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Chris JHolland21 June 2019

An interesting  blog post by Shaun Khoo on the Scholarly Kitchen website takes a sceptical look at whether academic authors are likely to gain more leverage in an open access publishing environment.  With current publishing models, the publisher is generally in a more powerful position and the author at a disadvantage in any negotiation. Is that likely to change?

Shaun Khoo quotes some research carried out in the USA by Charbonneau and McGlone the results of which show that 97.8% of the relevant faculty members simply signed the agreement “as is”.

When delivering copyright training to groups of post-graduates I usually stress the importance of reading the terms and conditions of publishing agreements very carefully before signing on the dotted line.

The issue is that the pressure to get their work published in the “high impact” journals in their field leads authors to disregard questions of whether they are assigning copyright to the publisher and, if so, whether the agreement grants them any specific concessions to reuse their own work in ways that they might wish to in the future.

One should underline the importance of being prepared to the negotiate the details with the publisher if there are terms they object to or don’t fully understand. A student recently pointed out  (wisely I think) that, if an author is intending to negotiate, they had better start at as early a stage as possible, before time pressures take over.

On the other hand open access publishing models which apply Creative Commons licences do certainly allow academic authors to retain ownership of the copyright in their papers and with it the freedom to reuse their own work as they wish.

 

Going Dutch? Netherlands law on Green Open Access

Chris JHolland2 July 2015

It is interesting to read that the Netherlands Government has passed a law which obliges publishers to have a Green Open Access route available to authors of “short works of science” whose research has been even partly funded by public money. Authors now have the right to publish in an open access repository “after a reasonable time”. Presumably “short works of science” will cover articles in scholarly journal across all disciplines (“Science” in the broader European sense rather than the narrower English meaning). See for example: Kluwer Copyright Blog

The new Dutch measure is very similar to Article 38(4) of the German Copyright Act which specifies a period of 12 months before publishers are required to allow re-publication in an OA repository. Would a UK equivalent assist the Open Access publishing movement in this country or do the relevant publishers generally provide an Green OA route?

Teaching resources

Hazel MIngrey8 July 2014

Whilst Chris is unpacking the new amendments to the CDPA to explain how it will affect UCL teaching and learning, we have also been looking at the other side of the coin: resources which can be used in teaching.  Below are two resources that can be linked to for educational purposes, without infringing copyright. Neither are copyright-free or in the public domain, however they allow specific usage that can be fantastically useful in teaching.

BoB National: Box of Broadcasts

Teaching staff were very enthusiastic about this during a successful trial, and UCL has now taken a subscription.  BoB gives access to 60+ TV and radio channels.  You can request programmes you have missed, ‘record’ upcoming programmes and create clips.  These are saved to BoB indefinitely, for all BoB users to view.

To log in select ‘UCL’ from the institutions list, and use your usual UCL ID and password.  There are video tutorials or you can just start browsing.

  • You can: view, share, and create clips.
  • You cannot: view from outside the UK. Download or store on your computer.

British Pathe Archive

This newly available resource is open access; that is, it is available online to view for free.  British Pathe has had its entire collection digitised under a National Lottery grant and this is now available via their YouTube channel.

This archive makes available film clips from significant global historical events, including first and second World Wars, the Hiroshima bombing, Suffragette action and footage of the Titanic.  There is footage of the first mobile phone (1922) and features on travel, fashion and celebrities.

  • You can: view and share the film clips (e.g. using the Twitter / Facebook etc. ‘share’ buttons).
  • You cannot: play in the classroom, or download and store.  Pathe advertisements are included.

Open access resources are especially useful for teaching on open online courses (such as UCL eXtend, or CPD courses), where students are not registered at UCL and therefore unable to access UCL-subscribed resources.  Do make sure the links are stable for your students, and perhaps consider using ReadingLists@UCL to keep links to your teaching resources in one place.