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Archive for June, 2024

UCL Discovery reaches 50 million downloads!

By Rafael, on 27 June 2024

Guest Post by Dominic Allington-Smith (Open Access Publications Manager)

Decorative image displaying fireworks filling the night sky with bursts of red, orange, and blue lights. Sparkling circles of light create a festive and celebratory atmosphere.

Photo by Erwan Hesry on Unsplash

UCL Publications Board and the Open Access Team are delighted to announce that on Monday 24 June, UCL’s institutional repository, UCL Discovery, reached the milestone of 50 million downloads! UCL Discovery is UCL’s open access repository, showcasing and providing access to UCL research outputs from all UCL disciplines. UCL authors currently deposit around 1,675 outputs in the repository every month (average figure for the current academic year).

The 50 millionth download was of the paper ‘Replenishing IRAK-M expression in retinal pigment epithelium attenuates outer retinal degeneration’ originally published in Science Translational Medicine by a team of researchers including UCL co-lead author Professor Andrew Dick.  This paper found that increasing the levels of a key protein in the cells at the back of the eye could help protect against the age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss among older adults.

UCL Discovery hosts over 178,500 open access publications at the time of writing, comprising mostly self-archived copies of research outputs published elsewhere to bypass publisher paywalls, but also including doctoral and research master’s theses (contemporary submissions and historic digitisations), and books published by UCL Press.  This variety of resources is displayed when viewing the highest-downloaded publication within the UCL hierarchy:

This amazing milestone shows the scope and reach that sharing research through UCL Discovery has. There are a number of ways you can share your research at UCL, and we encourage you to continue sharing your research publications via UCL RPS and Profiles. Additionally, consider sharing other types of outputs such as data, code and software to further enhance the visibility and reproducibility of your work. The Research Data Management team maintain a guide on best practice for software sustainability, preservation and sharing, and can give further support to UCL researchers as required.

Congratulations to everyone involved in reaching this incredible milestone, and let’s continue to push the boundaries of open access and research sharing at UCL!

Get involved!

alt=""The UCL Office for Open Science and Scholarship invites you to contribute to the open science and scholarship movement. Stay connected for updates, events, and opportunities. Follow us on X, formerly Twitter, LinkedIn, and join our mailing list to be part of the conversation!





Copyright and AI, Part 1: How Does Copyright Apply to AI-Generated Works?

By Rafael, on 21 June 2024

Guest post by Christine Daoutis, UCL Copyright Support Officer. 

This the third blog post of the collaborative series between the UCL Office for Open Science and Scholarship and the UCL Copyright team. Here, we continue our exploration of important aspects of copyright and its implications for open research and scholarship.

An artist’s illustration of artificial intelligence (AI). This illustration depicts language models which generate text. It shows distorted text on a screen seen through a glass container. The visible text at the top reads, "How do large language models work?" The rest is partially obscured, but includes mentions of "neural networks" and "machine learning.

Photo by Google DeepMind.

In a previous post we introduced questions that arise when using and creating materials protected by copyright. What options are available to you if you want to reuse others’ work (e.g. articles, theses, images, film, code) in your research? And what do you need to consider before you share your own research with others? Issues around copyright protection, permissions, exceptions, licences, and ownership need to be examined when creating new works and including others’ materials. These questions are also relevant when we think about works that are created with the use of GenAI tools, such as ChatGPT. However, with the use of these technologies still being relatively new and the legal aspects being shaped as we speak, answers are not always straightforward.

GenAI Training Data: GenAI models are trained on a large number of materials, usually protected by copyright (unless copyright has expired or been waived). Does this mean AI companies are infringing copyright by using these materials? How would copyright exceptions and fair dealing/fair use apply in different countries? How would licence terms – including the terms of open licences – be respected? Answers will come both from legislation and codes of practice introduced by governments and regulatory bodies (such as the EU AI Act) and from the outcomes of court cases (see, for example, Getty Images vs Stability AI, the Authors’ Guild against OpenAI and Microsoft.

User Prompts: The prompts a user provides to the model (instructions, text, images) may also be protected. You should also consider whether the prompts you enter include any confidential/commercially sensitive information that should not be shared. Please see UCL’s IP policy for guidance on this.

A digital illustration depicts a serene-looking young woman with glowing skin and braids that resemble threads. Text overlay reads "Zarya of the Dawn," The background has shades of green, black and blue forming an ethereal environment.

Image Credit: Kris Kashtanova using Midjourney AI, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

AI-Generated Work: Is the AI-generated work an original work protected by copyright? Is it a derivative of other original works, and therefore, possibly infringing? If it is protected, who owns the copyright? The answer to this will vary by case and jurisdiction. In the US, a court ruled that AI-generated images in a comic book were not protected, although the whole comic book and story were. In China, it was ruled that images generated with the use of GenAI tools would be protected, with the owner being the person who provided the prompts. The UK’s CDPA (9.3) states that ‘in the case of a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work which is computer-generated, the author shall be taken to be the person by whom the arrangements necessary for the creation of the work are undertaken’.

In short, GenAI raises questions about what constitutes an original work, what constitutes infringement, how copyright exceptions and fair dealing/fair use are applied, and how authorship is established. While these questions are still being shaped, here are three things you can do:

  1. Consider any limitations in using GenAI besides copyright (e.g., confidentiality, biases, publishers’ policies). See UCL’s Generative AI hub for guidance.
  2. Be transparent about how you use GenAI. See UCL Library guidance on acknowledging the use of AI and referencing AI.
  3. If you have any copyright-related questions on the use of GenAI, contact the copyright support service.

 While GenAI has opened up more questions than answers around copyright, it also offers an opportunity to think about copyright critically. Stay connected with us for Part 2 of this blog post, which will discuss how new technologies, including GenAI, are changing our understanding of copyright. We look forward to continuing this important conversation with you.

Get involved!

alt=""The UCL Office for Open Science and Scholarship invites you to contribute to the open science and scholarship movement. Stay connected for updates, events, and opportunities. Follow us on X, formerly Twitter, LinkedIn, and join our mailing list to be part of the conversation!



UCL Open Science & Scholarship Conference 2024: Programme Now Available!

By Rafael, on 13 June 2024

Image of UCL Front Quad and Portico over spring. With less than a week until this year’s UCL Open Science Conference, anticipation is building! We are thrilled to announce that the programme for the UCL Open Science & Scholarship Conference 2024 is now ready. Scheduled for Thursday, June 20, 2024, from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm BST, both onsite at UCL and online, this year’s conference promises to be an exciting opportunity to explore how the UCL community is leading Open Science and Scholarship initiatives across the university and beyond.

Programme Outline:

1:00-1:05 pm
Welcome and Introductions
Join us as we kick off the conference with a warm welcome and set the stage for the afternoon.

1:05-1:45 pm
Session 1: Celebrating our Open Researchers
Learn about the outstanding contributions of our Open Science champions and their work recognised at the UCL Open Science & Scholarship Awards last year.

1:45-2:45 pm
Session 2: Policies and Practice
Explore discussions on policy development and ethical considerations in Open Science, including talks on collaborative policy-making and the role of Open Source Programme Offices (OSPOs).

2:45-3:15 pm
Coffee Break
Network and engage with our fellow attendees over coffee, tea, and biscuits.

3:15-4:00 pm
Session 3: Enabling Open Science and Scholarship at UCL
Check out services and initiatives that empower UCL researchers to embrace Open Science, including updates on UCL Profiles, UCL Citizen Science Academy, and Open Science Case Studies.

4:00-4:45 pm
Session 4: Research Projects and Collaborations
Discover cutting-edge research projects and collaborations across UCL, including case studies involving the transition to Open Access publishing, reproducible research using medicinal plants, and social and cultural barriers to data sharing.

" "4:45-5:00 pm
Summary and Close of Main Conference
Reflect on key insights from the day’s discussions and wrap up the main conference.

5:00-6:30 pm
Evening Session: Poster Viewing and Networking Event
Engage with our presenters and attendees over drinks and nibbles, while exploring posters showcasing research and discussions in Open Science and Scholarship through diverse perspectives.

For the complete programme details, please access the full document uploaded on the UCL Research Data Repository, or access the QR code.

Join us – Tickets are still available!
Whether you’re attending in person or joining us virtually, we invite you to participate in discussions that shape the future of Open Science and Scholarship at UCL. Sales will close on Monday. Secure your spot now! Register here.

Thank you!
Thank you once more to everyone who submitted their ideas to the Call for Papers and Posters. We received brilliant contributions and are grateful for our packed programme of insightful discussions and projects from our community.

We look forward to welcoming you to the UCL Open Science & Scholarship Conference 2024!

Get involved!

alt=""The UCL Office for Open Science and Scholarship invites you to contribute to the open science and scholarship movement. Stay connected for updates, events, and opportunities. Follow us on X, formerly Twitter, LinkedIn, and join our mailing list to be part of the conversation!