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Archive for October, 2023

Breathing new life into obsolete journals: a collaborative digitisation/open access project

By Christina Daouti, on 18 October 2023

Front cover of the UCL journal 'Wepwawet', showing the title, an image of Wepwawet depicted as a wolf, and the details: 'Volume 1, 1985, University College London). Red sticker at the bottom saying' 'not to be removed from the Library'.Guest post by Dr Katie Meheux, UCL Institute of Archaeology Librarian

Working collaboratively with colleagues in LCCOS and the wider Egyptology community has enabled us to make ‘Wepwawet: Research Papers in Egyptology’ available as open access through UCL Discovery, UCL’s open access repository.

Each year, thousands of academic journals publish innovative and exciting research. Some of these journals endure for decades; others rapidly become obsolete. They languish on library shelves, their contents forgotten.  The journal ‘Wepwawet: Research Papers in Egyptology’ (volumes 1-3, 1985-1987), produced and edited by PhD students from the former UCL Department of Egyptology, was one of these publications.

The project

In summer 2023, I came across ‘Wepwawet’ on our library shelves. I’ve been working to digitise the Institute of Archaeology’s historical journals, raising funds to make the ‘Annual Report’ and ‘Bulletin’ available as open access. Wepwawet looked like another good candidate. Volumes were short, highlighted UCL’s long history of contributions to Egyptology (the study of Ancient Egypt) and contained research that is valuable to Egyptology scholars around the world.

My first step was to find a copy of the missing second volume. Contacts in the wider Egyptology community helped me out: I borrowed and scanned the missing volume from the British Museum Library. With advice from Christine Daouti, UCL’s Copyright Support Officer, I then approached the former editors of the journal, Mark Collier, and Mariam Kamish, who shared the copyright with UCL. Both Mark and Mariam were supportive of the project and immediately gave permission to digitise. With their agreement, the scanned contents of the journal were added to UCL Discovery the same day and are now available online with a Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC BY).

The outcome: from the shelf to the world

The project to digitise ‘Wepwawet’ demonstrates how co-operative, pro-active initiatives within communities of practice can breathe new life into forgotten journals, and can be quick, easy, and low cost, but with high returns.

Making a digital copy of the journal open access supports its preservation, makes it discoverable and ensures that scholars – including native Egyptian scholars seeking to interpret their own past – can access, read and cite this research. A Creative Commons licence (CC BY) makes it possible for others to share and build upon this work, while attributing the original creators.

Thanks to all involved!

Creative commons logo, displaying CC in an inner circle and the words 'some rights reserved' and 'creativecommons.org' in an outer circle.

Creative Commons sticker logo. Source: https://creativecommons.org/about/downloads/. Used under the Creative Commons Trademark Policy: https://creativecommons.org/policies#trademark


To learn more about Creative Commons licences, drop-in any time between 12 and 2 pm on Teams on Tuesday 24 October.

Your copyright resources, October 2023

By Christina Daouti, on 9 October 2023

We hope you are settling well into the new academic year.

The copyright mailbox is always buzzing at the start of term. As ever, the questions we receive are varied and often fascinating. From using copies of old paintings in exhibitions to playing computer games in neuroscience experiements to tracing rights owners for films, and from negotating publishing agreements to licensing research data to establishing good practice in collaborative projects, the questions we address reflect the diverse research, teaching and creative activities that take place at UCL. More often than not, simple queries open up broader discussions. What is the place of copyright in the creative process? What aspects of copyright can be used to open up knowledge? Where does copyright sit in the broader context of research integrity?

Copyright – the exclusive right to copy, share and reuse a creative work -is a large part of pretty much every UCL activity. Books and articles, dissertations and presentation slides, teaching resources and websites, social media posts and computer programmes, images, film, photos and datasets may all be protected by copyright. Understanding what this means both when you use others’ works and creating your own can help you make decisions that benefit your research, your learning and your teaching.

We are starting the year with quite a few new copyright resources, suitable for those new to copyright and those who would like more specific advice.

Getting started 

Yellow text box. Text says: Rate your copyright confidence' and links to https://ucl-global.libwizard.com/f/copyright_questionnaire_UCL

Yellow text box. Text says: Rate your copyright confidence' and links to https://ucl-global.libwizard.com/f/copyright_questionnaire_UCLYellow text box. Text says: Rate your copyright confidence' and links to https://ucl-global.libwizard.com/f/copyright_questionnaire_UCL











You can:

  • Complete a 2-minute questionnaire to rate your copyright confidence and tell the UCL copyright support service what resources you need.
  • Complete an introductory 20-minute tutorial at your own pace, online. An opportunity to learn – or revisit – the basics, including works covered by copyright, permissions, ‘fair dealing’ and licences.
  • Join us for a training session, online or face-to-face. Current sessions run for postgrdauate students, researchers and teaching staff. There are also sessions on specific topics (open licences, publishing agreements). If you are not able to make a session or would like advice on a different topic, please contact us to arrange one for your department or research group.

Further resources

Further support

  • If you have a specific question, please email copyright@ucl.ac.uk.
  • You can also book an appointment (online or face-to-face) via the copyright booking service.
  • Subscribe to this blog for updates and topical discussions, including ones on copyright for AI-generated works.