Team Awarded Grant to Help Digital Humanities Scholars Navigate Legal Issues of Text Data Mining

We are thrilled to share that the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded a $165,000 grant to a UC Berkeley-led team of legal experts, librarians, and scholars who will help humanities researchers and staff navigate complex legal questions in cutting-edge digital research.

What is this grant all about?

If you were to crack open some popular English-language novels written in the 1850’s–say, ones from Brontë, Hawthorne, Dickens, and Melville–you would find they describe men and women in very different terms. While a male character might be said to “get” something, a female character is more likely to have “felt” it. Whereas the word “mind” might be used when describing a man, the word “heart” is more likely to be used about a woman. Yet, as the 19th Century became the 20th, these descriptive differences between genders actually diminish. How do we know all this? We confess we have not actually read every novel ever written between the 19th and 21st Centuries (though we’d love to envision a world in which we could). Instead, we can make this assertion because researchers (including David Bamman, of UC Berkeley’s School of Information) used automated techniques to extract information from the novels, and analyzed these word usage trends at scale. They crafted algorithms to turn the language of those novels into data about the novels.

In fields of inquiry like the digital humanities, the application of such automated techniques and methods for identifying, extracting, and analyzing patterns, trends, and relationships across large volumes of unstructured or thinly-structured digital content is called “text data mining.” (You may also see it referred to as “text and data mining” or “computational text analysis”). Text data mining provides humanists and social scientists with invaluable frameworks for sifting, organizing, and analyzing vast amounts of material. For instance, these methods make it possible to:

The Problem

Until now, humanities researchers conducting text data mining have had to navigate a thicket of legal issues without much guidance or assistance. For instance, imagine the researchers needed to scrape content about Egyptian artifacts from online sites or databases, or download videos about Egyptian tomb excavations, in order to conduct their automated analysis. And then imagine the researchers also want to share these content-rich data sets with others to encourage research reproducibility or enable other researchers to query the data sets with new questions. This kind of work can raise issues of copyright, contract, and privacy law, not to mention ethics if there are issues of, say, indigenous knowledge or cultural heritage materials plausibly at risk. Indeed, in a recent study of humanities scholars’ text analysis needs, participants noted that access to and use of copyright-protected texts was a “frequent obstacle” in their ability to select appropriate texts for text data mining. 

Potential legal hurdles do not just deter text data mining research; they also bias it toward particular topics and sources of data. In response to confusion over copyright, website terms of use, and other perceived legal roadblocks, some digital humanities researchers have gravitated to low-friction research questions and texts to avoid decision-making about rights-protected data. They use texts that have entered into the public domain or use materials that have been flexibly licensed through initiatives such as Creative Commons or Open Data Commons. When researchers limit their research to such sources, it is inevitably skewed, leaving important questions unanswered, and rendering resulting findings less broadly applicable. A growing body of research also demonstrates how race, gender, and other biases found in openly available texts have contributed to and exacerbated bias in developing artificial intelligence tools. 

The Solution

The good news is that the NEH has agreed to support an Institute for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities to help key stakeholders to learn to better navigate legal issues in text data mining. Thanks to the NEH’s $165,000 grant, Rachael Samberg of UC Berkeley Library’s Office of Scholarly Communication Services will be leading a national team (identified below) from more than a dozen institutions and organizations to teach humanities researchers, librarians, and research staff how to confidently navigate the major legal issues that arise in text data mining research. 

Our institute is aptly called Building Legal Literacies for Text Data Mining (Building LLTDM), and will run from June 23-26, 2020 in Berkeley, California. Institute instructors are legal experts, humanities scholars, and librarians immersed in text data mining research services, who will co-lead experiential meeting sessions empowering participants to put the curriculum’s concepts into action.

In October, we will issue a call for participants, who will receive stipends to support their attendance. We will also be publishing all of our training materials in an openly-available online book for researchers and librarians around the globe to help build academic communities that extend these skills.

Building LLTDM team member Matthew Sag, a law professor at Loyola University Chicago School of Law and leading expert on copyright issues in the digital humanities, said he is “excited to have the chance to help the next generation of text data mining researchers open up new horizons in knowledge discovery. We have learned so much in the past ten years working on HathiTrust [a text-minable digital library] and related issues. I’m looking forward to sharing that knowledge and learning from others in the text data mining community.” 

Team member Brandon Butler, a copyright lawyer and library policy expert at the University of Virginia, said, “In my experience there’s a lot of interest in these research methods among graduate students and early-career scholars, a population that may not feel empowered to engage in “risky” research. I’ve also seen that digital humanities practitioners have a strong commitment to equity, and they are working to build technical literacies outside the walls of elite institutions. Building legal literacies helps ease the burden of uncertainty and smooth the way toward wider, more equitable engagement with these research methods.”

Kyle K. Courtney of Harvard University serves as Copyright Advisor at Harvard Library’s Office for Scholarly Communication, and is also a Building LLTDM team member. Courtney added, “We are seeing more and more questions from scholars of all disciplines around these text data mining issues. The wealth of full-text online materials and new research tools provide scholars the opportunity to analyze large sets of data, but they also bring new challenges having to do with the use and sharing not only of the data but also of the technological tools researchers develop to study them. I am excited to join the Building LLTDM team and help clarify these issues and empower humanities scholars and librarians working in this field.”

Megan Senseney, Head of the Office of Digital Innovation and Stewardship at the University of Arizona Libraries reflected on the opportunities for ongoing library engagement that extends beyond the initial institute. Senseney said that, “Establishing a shared understanding of the legal landscape for TDM is vital to supporting research in the digital humanities and developing a new suite of library services in digital scholarship. I’m honored to work and learn alongside a team of legal experts, librarians, and researchers to create this institute, and I look forward to integrating these materials into instruction and outreach initiatives at our respective universities.”

Next Steps

The Building LLTDM team is excited to begin supporting humanities researchers, staff, and librarians en route to important knowledge creation. Stay tuned if you are interested in participating in the institute. 

In the meantime, please join us in congratulating all the members of the project team:

  • Rachael G. Samberg (University of California, Berkeley) (Project Director)
  • Scott Althaus (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)
  • David Bamman (University of California, Berkeley)
  • Sara Benson (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)
  • Brandon Butler (University of Virginia)
  • Beth Cate (Indiana University, Bloomington)
  • Kyle K. Courtney (Harvard University)
  • Maria Gould (California Digital Library)
  • Cody Hennesy (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)
  • Eleanor Koehl (University of Michigan)
  • Thomas Padilla (University of Nevada, Las Vegas; OCLC Research)
  • Stacy Reardon (University of California, Berkeley)
  • Matthew Sag (Loyola University Chicago)
  • Brianna Schofield (Authors Alliance)
  • Megan Senseney (University of Arizona)
  • Glen Worthey (Stanford University)

Workshop: Copyright and Fair Use for Digital Projects

Digital Publishing Workshop Series

Copyright and Fair Use for Digital Projects
Thursday, March 7, 1:10-2:30pm
D-Lab, 350 Barrows Hall

This training will help you navigate the copyright, fair use, and usage rights of including third-party content in your digital project. Whether you seek to embed video from other sources for analysis, post material you scanned from a visit to the archives, add images, upload documents, or more, understanding the basics of copyright and discovering a workflow for answering copyright-related digital scholarship questions will make you more confident in your publication. We will also provide an overview of your intellectual property rights as a creator and ways to license your own work. Register at bit.ly/dp-berk

Upcoming Workshops in this Series 2018-2019:

    • Text Data Mining and Publishing
    • By Design: Graphics & Images Basics
    • Publish Digital Books & Open Educational Resources with Pressbooks

Please see bit.ly/dp-berk for details.



What a semester! What’s up next?

Photo by Karen Lau on Unsplash

Is it just us, or was fall semester a whirlwind? The Office of Scholarly Communication Services was steeped in a steady flurry of activity, and suddenly it’s December! We wanted to take a moment to highlight what we’ve been up to since August, and give you a preview of what’s ahead for spring.

We did the math on our affordable course content pilot program, which ran for academic year 2017-2018 and Fall 2018. This pilot supported just over 40 courses and 2400 students, and is estimated to have yielded approximately $200,000 in student savings. We’ll be working with campus on next steps for helping students save money. If you have questions about how to make your class more affordable, you can check out our site or e-mail us.

We dug deep into scholarly publishing skills with graduate students and early career researchers during our professional development workshop series. We engaged learners in issues like copyright and their dissertations, moving from dissertation to first book, and managing and maximizing scholarly impact. Publishing often isn’t complete without sharing one’s data, so we helped researchers understand how to navigate research data copyright and licensing issues at #FSCI2018.

We helped instructors and scholars publish open educational resources and digital books with PressbooksEDU on our new open books hub.

On behalf of the UC’s Council of University Librarians, we chaired and hosted the Choosing Pathways to OA working forum. The forum brought together approximately 125 representatives of libraries, consortia, and author communities throughout North America to develop personalized action plans for how we can all transition funds away from subscriptions and toward sustainable open access publishing. We will be reporting on forum outcomes in 2019. In the meantime, one immediate result was the formation of a working group to support scholarly society journal publishers in flipping their journals from closed access to open access. Stay tuned for an announcement in January.

We funded dozens of Open Access publications by UC Berkeley authors through our BRII program

We developed a novel literacies workflow for text data mining researchers. Text mining allows researchers to use automated techniques to glean trends and information from large volumes of unstructured textual sources. Researchers often perceive legal stumbling blocks to conducting this type of research, since some of the content is protected by copyright or other use restrictions. In Fall 2018, we began training the UC Berkeley community on how to navigate these challenges so that they can confidently undertake this important research. We’ll have a lot more to say about our work on this soon!

Next semester, we’re continuing all of these efforts with a variety of scholarly publishing workshops. We invite you to check out: Copyright & Fair Use for Digital Projects, Text Data Mining & Publishing: Legal Literacies, Copyright for Wikipedia Editing, and more.

We would like to thank Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, for their generous support in helping to make the work of the Office of Scholarly Communication Services possible.

Lastly, we’d like to thank all of you for your engagement and support this semester! Please let us know how else we can serve you. In the meantime, we wish you a Happy New Year!

E-mail: schol-comm@berkeley.edu

Twitter: @UCB_scholcomm

Website: lib.berkeley.edu/scholcomm


Practice Makes Published: Developing Skills to Navigate Today’s Publishing Landscape

Typewriters resting on old school desks in a desert landscape

Photo by Matt Artz on Unsplash

We’re more than a month into the fall semester, and if you’re a graduate student or postdoc you’ve probably been thinking about some of the milestones on your horizon, from filing your thesis or dissertation to pitching your first book project or looking for a job.

While we can’t write your dissertation or submit your job application for you, the Library can help in other ways! We are collaborating with GradPro in October to offer a series of professional development workshops for grad students, postdocs, and other early career scholars to guide you through important decisions and tasks in the research and publishing process, from preparing your dissertation to building a global audience for your work.

  • October 23: Copyright and Your Dissertation
  • October 24: From Dissertation to Book: Navigating the Publication Process
  • October 26: Managing and Maximizing Your Scholarly Impact

Similar to a workshop series we offered last year, these sessions are focused on helping early career researchers develop real-world scholarly publishing skills and apply this expertise to a more open, networked, and interdisciplinary publishing environment.

These October workshops are also taking place during Open Access Week 2018, an annual global effort to bring attention to Open Access around the world and highlight how the free, immediate, online availability of scholarship can remove barriers to information, support emerging scholarship, and foster the spread of knowledge and innovation.

Below is the list of next month’s workshop offerings. Join us for one workshop or all three! Each session will take place from 1:00 to 2:30 pm at the Graduate Professional Development Center, 309 Sproul Hall. Please RSVP at the links below.

Light refreshments will be served at all workshops.

If you have any questions about these workshops, please get in touch with schol-comm@berkeley.edu. And if you can’t make it to a workshop but still need help with your publishing, we are always here to help!


Copyright and Your Dissertation

Tuesday, October 23 | 1-2:30 p.m. | 309 Sproul Hall

This workshop will provide you with a practical workflow for navigating copyright questions and legal considerations for your dissertation or thesis. Whether you’re just starting to write or you’re getting ready to file, you can use this workflow to figure out what you can use, what rights you have, and what it means to share your dissertation online.

RSVP


From Dissertation to Book: Navigating the Publication Process

Wednesday, October 24 | 1-2:30 p.m. | 309 Sproul Hall

Hear from a panel of experts – an acquisitions editor, a first-time author, and an author rights expert – about the process of turning your dissertation into a book. You’ll come away from this panel discussion with practical advice about revising your dissertation, writing a book proposal, approaching editors, signing your first contract, and navigating the peer review and publication process.

RSVP


Managing and Maximizing Your Scholarly Impact

Friday, October 26 | 1-2:30 p.m. | 309 Sproul Hall

This workshop will provide you with practical strategies and tips for promoting your scholarship, increasing your citations, and monitoring your success. You’ll also learn how to understand metrics, use scholarly networking tools, evaluate journals and publishing options, and take advantage of funding opportunities for Open Access scholarship.

RSVP


Workshop: Copyright and Fair Use for Digital Projects

Digital Publishing Workshop Series

Copyright and Fair Use for Digital Projects
Wednesday, March 14th, 11:10-12:40pm
D-Lab, 350 Barrows Hall

This training will help you navigate the copyright, fair use, and usage rights of including third-party content in your digital project. Whether you seek to embed video from other sources for analysis, post material you scanned from a visit to the archives, add images, upload documents, or more, understanding the basics of copyright and discovering a workflow for answering copyright-related digital scholarship questions will make you more confident in your publication. We will also provide an overview of your intellectual property rights as a creator and ways to license your own work. Register at bit.ly/dp-berk

Upcoming Workshops in this Series 2017-2018:

  • Omeka for Digital Collections and Exhibits
  • By Design: Graphics & Images Basics
  • The Long Haul: Best Practices for Making Your Digital Project Last

Please see bit.ly/dp-berk for details.


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Boost Your Scholarly Publishing Skills During Open Access Week, Oct. 23-27

Open Access Connects - OA Week logo

 

Open Access connects your scholarship to the world, and helps you gain global readership. For the week of Oct. 23-27, the UC Berkeley Library is highlighting these connections.

You can attend five exciting workshops and panels that bridge real-world scholarly publishing skills with the connectedness that open access offers.

 

What’s Open Access?

Open Access (OA) is the free, immediate, online availability of scholarship. Often, OA scholarship is also free of accompanying copyright or licensing reuse restrictions, promoting further innovation. OA removes barriers between readers and scholarly publications—connecting readers to information, and scholars to emerging scholarship and other authors with whom they can collaborate, or whose work they can test, innovate with, and expand upon.

 

Open Access Week @ UC Berkeley

OA Week 2017 is a global effort to bring attention to the connections that OA makes possible. At UC Berkeley, the University Library—with participation from partners like the Graduate DivisionCalifornia Digital LibraryCenter for Teaching & Learning and more—has put together engaging programming demonstrating OA’s connections in action. We hope to see you at the events, where you can continue to build your scholarly publishing skills.

 

Schedule

Refreshments provided at all events, and attendance enters you into raffle for prizes! To find out more about each event, please visit our Scholarly Communication Events page.

 

Monday, Oct. 23
Copyright and Your Dissertation
1-2:30 p.m. | 309 Sproul Hall
Register http://bit.ly/1023copyright
From the beginning of the writing process to submitting and publishing your dissertation or thesis, we will walk you through a useful workflow for addressing copyright and other legal considerations.

 

Tuesday, Oct. 24
First Books & Publishing Your Dissertation

2-3:30 p.m. | 309 Sproul Hall
Register http://bit.ly/1024publishing
Hear from expert panelists about what happens once you submit your dissertation, how to shape your dissertation’s impact, and how to go about publishing your first book.

 

Wednesday, Oct. 25
Increasing and Monitoring Scholarly Impact

10-11:30 a.m. | 309 Sproul Hall
Register http://bit.ly/1025impact
Discover strategies and tips for preparing and promoting your scholarship, and the best ways to monitor and increase your citations and success. You’ll also learn how to: understand metrics, select and use scholarly networking tools, choose reputable open access journals and publishing options, and participate in open access article and book funding opportunities.

 

Thursday, Oct. 26
Understanding the (Changing) Realm of Peer Review

1-2:30 p.m. | 309 Sproul Hall
Register http://bit.ly/1026understandpeer
Are you publishing an article or reviewing someone else’s work? Panelists demystify the peer review process, what’s expected of you and what you’ll experience, and how the world of peer review is evolving with new models that foster transparency and impact.

 

Friday, Oct. 27
Making Textbooks and Course Readers Affordable

11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | Wurster Hall, Environmental Design Library
Register http://bit.ly/1027ACC
Do you wonder how to make your assigned readings more affordable, and how much time and effort you’d need to invest? The University Library and Center for Teaching and Learning have partnered in an innovative pilot program to reduce course content expenses and incentivize the creation of high quality, free, and open course materials. In this panel event, you’ll hear from participating faculty and lecturers who will discuss their experiences and provide practical tips from the leading edge of course content affordability.

 

We hope to see you there!

Questions? E-mail schol-comm@berkeley.edu, or check out our Scholarly Communication Services website.

 


Participate in an Affordable Course Content Pilot Program!

Participation Invitation for Affordable Course Content Pilot Programs
Participate in Fall 2017 pilot programs

Dear UC Berkeley faculty and lecturers,

We can help you make your assigned readings and textbooks more affordable to students. The Library and the Center for Teaching & Learning have launched two pilot programs for Fall 2017, for which your participation can save students potentially hundreds of dollars each.

  • The first pilot service aims to reduce the cost of your print course packs through Library-assisted syllabus processing. We will locate copies of open, free, or Library-licensed versions of your assigned readings so the overall price of the print course pack or course reader is reduced.

  • The second service provides you with grants to either use, adapt, or develop open or library-licensed electronic textbooks and course materials. This can help save students the cost of purchasing expensive textbooks.

Please fill out this brief form if you are interested in participating in one or both pilots (described more fully below), and we will contact you soon with details.

______________________________

Pilot 1 (Course Packs):  Do you assign your students a print course pack for purchase?  We can help reduce the cost of that print course pack.

With the first piloted service, the Library will process your syllabus for you and search for your required readings to locate copies of open, free, or Library-licensed versions of assigned readings.

  • If open, free, or Library-licensed versions are available, we will give you links or PDFs to post to bCourses at no cost to your students, reducing any remaining readings that a student would have purchased as part of a print course pack.

  • We will also provide guidance to you for making fair use decisions–further reducing the cost of course packs, because we can help you limit instances in which a third party copy center would need to secure copyright clearance for assigned readings.

______________________________

Pilot 2 (Grants):  If you assign textbooks or other books, will you let us pay you from $500 up to $5,000 to switch to an electronic version of that book or to an equivalent eBook or combination of books?  Or will you let us help you in adopting, adapting, or designing your own open and electronic course materials?

The Library and the Center for Teaching and Learning are offering grants and programmatic support to instructors to enable you to link to open or Library-licensed electronic textbooks or other eBooks–or even to design your own.

  • The grants range in value from $500 (e.g. for switching one required print book to a Library-licensed electronic book that can be linked to in bCourses) all the way up to $5,000 to receive programmatic support to design your own open & electronic course materials for students so they don’t have to purchase expensive textbooks.

  • The Center for Teaching & Learning and the Library can also help you find campus support to update any other attendant PowerPoints, assignments, or materials that need alteration following a change in assigned books or textbooks.

If you have any questions, please contact the Library’s Scholarly Communication Officer, Rachael Samberg: rsamberg@berkeley.edu. You can also find out more about affordable course content in our Guide to Open, Free, & Affordable Course Materials.


My Dissertation Is Online! Wait – My Dissertation Is Online?! Copyright & Your Magnum Opus

This post was originally published on the University of California Scholarly Communication Blog.

Picture of balloons floating away
Picture of balloons floating away.

CELEBRATION, BFICK, CC BY 2.0

You’ve worked painstakingly for years (we won’t let on how many) on your magnum opus: your dissertation—the scholarly key to completing your graduate degree, securing a possible first book deal, and making inroads toward faculty status somewhere. Then, as you are about to submit your pièce de résistance through ProQuest’s online administration system, you are confronted with the realization that—for students at many institutions—your dissertation is about to be made available open access online to readers all over the world (hurrah! and gulp).

Because your dissertation will be openly available online, there are many questions you need to address—both about what you put in your dissertation, and the choices you’ll need to make as you put it online. If you are a first-time author, facing these concerns can be daunting to say the least. And you definitely don’t want to be thinking about them for the first time when you are scrambling to submit your dissertation to ProQuest.

For instance, you’ll need to consider:

  • Are you using materials created by other people in your dissertation? Perhaps you’re using photos, text excerpts, scientific drawings or diagrams? You might need the authors’ permission to include them.
  • Are you using materials from a library’s special collections or archives? You may have signed agreements or accepted terms of use that affect what you can publish from those materials. (Examples: Archive.org, Harvard’s Houghton Library, Smithsonian, and Niels Bohr Library & Archives.)
  • Are you including information about particular living individuals? You might need to consider their privacy rights (see, for instance, a discussion on p. 15 of a University of Michigan dissertation guide).
  • If you own copyright in your dissertation (as most grad students in the UC campus system do), should you register your copyright?
  • Do you need to embargo your dissertation for privacy, patent, or other concerns?
  • Should you license your dissertation for greater use by others?

At UC Berkeley, we’ve created a workflow and guide for you to tackle these kinds of important copyright and other legal questions. Below, I’ve included highlights from the workflow, but there are plenty more best practices to draw upon in the guide. What follows are, of course, exactly that: best practices, and not legal advice. Your local scholarly communication officer or librarian (see this list for some resources around UC) can help you find additional information as you consider these issues for your own dissertation.

Copyright Basics First

Before using the workflow, it can be helpful first to understand what copyright is—and is not. In short, copyright means that authors get exclusive publishing, reproduction, and other rights over their original works of expression for limited periods of time.

What this means for your dissertation is: If you’re including someone else’s work that’s “in copyright,” meaning protectable by copyright law and still within that limited time period (usually at least an author’s life + 70 years in the U.S), then you need to think about whether you need the author’s permission to include that work. You don’t need permission if your use would be “fair” under the law. Don’t worry, our guide helps address what’s considered fair use, as well as what’s eligible for copyright protection to begin with.

Okay, on to the workflow. Remember, you’ll need to ask these questions for every work you include that was created by someone else. And, keep in mind that addressing these questions takes time.

The Workflow

Step 1: Do you need permission first to include someone else’s work online?

You don’t need the copyright holder’s permission to include an excerpt / photo / diagram / whatever-you’re-using if any one of the following is true:

  1. The copyright holder has already granted a license for you to include their work. Sometimes, authors have already provided permission through grants such as Creative Commons licenses. For instance, this is a photo of people talking over ice cream that I took and that you can use for any purposes as long as you attribute me as the author (i.e. I’ve applied a Creative Commons Attribution, or CC-BY license, to it).
  1. The work is in the public domain. Public domain works are open for use with no permission needed. Just because a work is online does not mean it’s in the public domain. Rather, public domain refers to works for which copyright protections have expired, or works that were ineligible for protection in the first place (facts, ideas, federal government materials, etc.).
  1. Publishing the content would be fair use. Fair use—which is meant to encourage teaching, research, scholarship, criticism, and parody—allows you to exercise the otherwise-exclusive rights of the copyright holder (distribution, creating adaptations, etc.) without having to seek the copyright holder’s permission. For a use to be fair, though, you have to consider four factors that collectively weigh in favor of “fair use.” Records of your fair use analysis—which you can create by filling out a checklist—can be very helpful to have on hand if there are ever questions about your reasoning or use.

Remember: Attribution is not the same as permission! Even if you cite your sources (which, of course, you will!), this doesn’t mean you have permission to include the excerpts from them in the first place. And, if you’re linking to an authorized (e.g. not illegally-posted) source, it’s always fine (at least in the U.S.!) to link to the content online rather than including the item itself.

Step 2: If the copyright holder’s permission is needed, how do you get it?

If you couldn’t answer “yes” to anything in Step 1, you’ll need to seek the copyright holder’s permission to include the work or excerpt in your dissertation. Obtaining permission can take a long time, so plan in advance. You’ll need to research and locate the copyright holder and then ask, in writing, for permission covering all your intended uses. Here are some useful sample permission request letters:

Remember: A copyright holder’s silence is not permission. If you do not hear back in response to your request, you are now faced with a question of risk assessment, and whether to keep seeking permission or embrace the likelihood (or not) of the rights holder challenging your use down the road. In some of these situations, you may ultimately decide to limit your use further, or use a different work entirely—but you’ll need to make a decision one way or the other.

Step 3: What about other non-copyright legal or policy concerns?

Human subject research methodology, issues of indigenous knowledge, and other ethical concerns are best discussed with your dissertation advisors and institutional review boards. But the workflow does address a few other legal questions that at first might seem like copyright questions, yet actually pertain to different legal doctrines.

For instance, while copyright protects copyright holders’ property rights in their works, privacy law protects the interests of people who are the subjects of those works. Privacy rights in scholarship most often arise if you are seeking to use third party content like correspondence, diaries, and images that contain personal information about or pictures of particular people. But, they expire at death—meaning, you can’t be liable for disclosing private facts about a person no longer living. There are typically two additional important defenses to claims for invasion of privacy: newsworthiness and permission. If the material you wish to include reveals private facts that are of public interest or concern (which your dissertation scholarship may be) or if the person who is the subject of the information has given you permission to include it (which you may have obtained), then an invasion of privacy claim should not be sustainable.

Another non-copyright legal issue that often comes up in the context of dissertations is contract law (see p. 185 of Peter Hirtle’s excellent book on digitization). If you are using materials from archives, museums, library special collections, you may need to consider website terms of use agreements or contracts you signed (or clicked through online) with the archival institution. This is because, irrespective of whether the materials are protected by copyright, you may have entered into an agreement dictating whether or not you can include material from the works. Read carefully any agreement or website terms of use that you are asked to agree to. Inquire with the library or archives directly about whether a waiver is possible if you need one, or seek additional information from them about securing the right to publish.

Step 4: Address publication issues.

If you are a UC graduate student, your dissertation will be made available through ProQuest and/or published open access online in eScholarship. There are some issues to consider before clicking “submit”:

  • Should you register your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office? As a UC student, in most cases, you automatically own the copyright in your dissertation. However, registering copyright in your dissertation offers certain distinct advantages: It provides public record that you are indeed the author and owner, and also enables greater enforcement of your rights against infringers or plagiarists.
  • Should you embargo your dissertation? Making your work available to be read online immediately has many advantages. Not only does it establish when your work was created and published (which can help combat plagiarism), but also it can help build your academic reputation. There are circumstances, however, that would warrant an embargo—such as situations where there would be disclosure of patentable rights or there are ethical concerns, or a book/journal publisher has demanded it (which is rare). You should consult guidance from your institution about when embargos are recommended or approved. For instance, here are UC Berkeley’s guidelines on embargoes.
  • Do you want to license your work beyond fair use? As with any other copyrighted work, other scholars can make fair use of your dissertation in their own research. You can also decide to license your work beyond what fair use allows by applying a Creative Commons license to it. This should be a careful decision, which you discuss fully with your dissertation advisors and journal or monograph publishers in your field. There may be discipline-specific reasons to decide to—or not to—license your work, so examine them closely.

Once you get into the groove of answering these workflow questions, you’ll become a pro at addressing copyright and other policy issues in all of your subsequent scholarship, too. Perhaps the two most important points to keep in mind are:

Good luck, and keep writing!

P.S. Want more beyond our guide? There are several other excellent online resources about electronic dissertations to check out:


Connect Your Scholarship: Open Access Week 2016

Open Access Week 2016

Open Access connects your scholarship to the world, and for the week of Oct. 24-28, the UC Berkeley Library is highlighting these connections with five exciting workshops and panels.

What’s Open Access?

Open Access (OA) is the free, immediate, online availability of scholarship. Often, OA scholarship is also free of accompanying copyright or licensing reuse restrictions, promoting further innovation. OA removes barriers between readers and scholarly publications—connecting readers to information, and scholars to emerging scholarship and other authors with whom they can collaborate, or whose work they can test, innovate with, and expand upon.

Open Access Week @ UC Berkeley

OA Week 2016 is a global effort to bring attention to the connections that OA makes possible. At UC Berkeley, the University Library—with participation from partners like the D-Lab, California Digital Library, DH@Berkeley, and more—has put together engaging programming demonstrating OA’s connections in action. We hope to see you there.

Schedule

To register for these events and find out more, please visit our OA Week 2016 guide.

  • Digital Humanities for Tomorrow
    2-4 pm, Monday October 24, Doe Library 303
  • Copyright and Your Dissertation
    4-5 pm, Monday October 24, Sproul Hall 309
  • Publishing Your Dissertation
    2-3 pm, Tuesday October 25, Sproul Hall 309
  • Increase and Track Your Scholarly Impact
    2-3 pm, Thursday October 27, Sproul Hall 309
  • Current Topics in Data Publishing
    2-3 pm, Friday October 28, Doe Library 190

You can also talk to a Library expert from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Oct. 24-28 at:

  • North Gate Hall (Mon., Tue.)
  • Kroeber Hall (Wed.–Fri.)

Event attendance and table visits earn raffle tickets for a prize drawing on October 28!

Sponsored by the UC Berkeley Library, and organized by the Library’s Scholarly Communication Expertise Group. Contact Library Scholarly Communication Officer, Rachael Samberg (rsamberg@berkeley.edu), with questions.


Welcome Back!

Welcome/Welcome Back to Berkeley!

Over the summer the Library came up with new ways to save you time and improve your research and teaching:

And, as always, all the basics that grad students, faculty, and undergrads  need to know including off campus access to databases, library privileges, renewing online, fee based document delivery service, Interlibrary Loan, research support, support for your teaching, and scholarly communication.