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Text and Data Mining (TDM) and Your Research: Copyright Implications and New Website Guidance

By Rafael, on 13 May 2024

This the second blog post of our 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. In this instalment, we examine Text and Data Mining (TDM) and its impact on research along with the associated copyright considerations.

Data processing concept illustration

Image by storyset on Freepik.

The development of advanced computational tools and techniques for analysing large amounts of data has opened up new possibilities for researchers. Text and Data Mining (TDM) is a broad term referring to a range of ‘automated analytical techniques to analyse text and data for patterns, trends, and useful information’ (Intellectual Property Office definition). TDM has many applications in academic research across disciplines (Intellectual Property Office definition). TDM has many applications in academic research across disciplines.

In an academic context, the most common sources of data for TDM include journal articles, books, datasets, images, and websites. TDM involves accessing, analysing, and often reusing (parts of) these materials. As these materials are, by default, protected by copyright, there are limitations around what you can do as part of TDM. In the UK, you may rely on section 29A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, a copyright exception for making copies for text and data analysis for non-commercial research. You must have lawful access to the materials (for example via a UCL subscription or via an open license). However, there are often technological barriers imposed by publishers preventing you from copying large amounts of materials for TDM purposes – measures that you must not try to circumvent. Understanding what you can do with copyright materials, what may be more problematic and where to get support if in doubt, should help you manage these barriers when you use TDM in your research.

The copyright support team works with e-resources, the Library Skills librarians, and the Office for Open Science and Scholarship to support the TDM activities of UCL staff and students. New guidance is available on the copyright website. TDM libguide and addresses questions that often arise during TDM, including:

  • Can you copy journal articles, books, images, and other materials? What conditions apply?
  • What do you need to consider when sharing the outcomes of a TDM analysis?
  • What do publishers and other suppliers of the TDM sources expect you to do?

To learn more about copyright (including how it applies to TDM):

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What is Open Access?: new video for UCL researchers

By Kirsty, on 26 October 2022

This Open Access Week, we’re delighted to be launching a new video designed to help new UCL staff and students understand some of the key ideas in open access. With so many different open access routes, including fully OA, transformative agreements and Green, and myriad open access policies – including UKRI, Wellcome, NIHR, CRUK, Horizon Europe/ERC and REF – unfortunately open access is often more complex than we would like. We cover all the detail on our webpages, but we’re hoping that this short video, the first of a pair, will be a helpful introduction for new UCL staff and early career researchers, and a handy reference for other researchers. In just two-and-a-half minutes, it covers:

  1. What open access is and why it is important
  2. Green/Gold open access
  3. Fully open access/hybrid journals
  4. Transformative agreements

The eagle-eyed will spot a small spoiler about a second video, which will explain what UCL authors need to do about open access. We’re working on that now, and it should be available in the next few months.

Departments may like to add links to our videos to their induction materials. Here are the videos available at the moment:

  • What is Open Access?
  • What is RPS?, Claiming and adding publication in RPS, Uploading a manuscript to RPS

We hope you enjoy these new resources.