May 9, 2007
Scholarly Communications - It's Everyone's Job
There was a time, way back in say, 2003, when "scholarly communications" was a term associated with the work library administrators did at the campus level and, sometimes, that became attached to the work of a single librarian, often called a Scholarly Communications Librarian or a Scholarly Communications Officer. Those days are gone.
Earlier this year, the Association of Research Libraries launched its Copyright Education Initiative with the release of the Know Your Copyrights brochure. The brochure was recently distributed to all faculty on the UIUC campus, and we are poised to join our colleagues across the country who have added a scholarly communications dimension to the profile of professional services provided by liaison librarians across the curriculum.
Along with reference services, collections services, and instructional services, the liaison librarian or subject specialist of the 21st century should be prepared to provide scholarly communications services and to serve as a liaison between classroom faculty and research faculty and the scholarly communications infrastructure and initiatives support by the academic library.
This is a tall order - one on par with the expectation found in academic libraries across the country beginning 30 years ago that all liaison librarians would be responsible for teaching. At Kansas, we developed a handbook aimed at facilitating that discussion. Now, thanks again to ARL, we have some new tools for scholarly communications outreach and instruction.
With the establishment of our scholarly communications program, the launch of our institutional repository, and the network of contacts that we have across the campus and in key units like the Graduate College, these tools will help us to articulate a scholarly communications instruction and outreach program that will allow us to contribute to ongoing discussions of copyright, open access, digital publishing, and more.
UIUC has made a substantial commitment to moving forward in this area through its sponsorship of a team of librarians who will be attending the Scholarly Communications Institute this summer. I look forward to working with them and with the rest of our scholarly communications team to see how we add scholarly communications services to the already rich menu of services that we provide to our faculty and students.
April 27, 2007
"Universally Underinformed and Misinformed"
That is how a new study of student users (courtesy of the Wired Campus blog) of social networking sites like YouTube and Facebook characterizes its participants' understanding of copyright law. For example:
[while] 76% of the students said that the Fair Use doctrine allowed them to use copyrighted material, none could accurately define the doctrine. While they were generally concerned with staying on the "good side" of the law, they were "making up rules themselves" about what and how to use intellectual property. They also did not understand their own rights as creators of content.
In a world in which user-created content and social networking sites are among the innovations shaping our discussion of the future of higher education, it is clear that copyright education is a critical arena in which information literacy instruction, information technology training, and scholarly communications instruction come together.
At UIUC, our Scholarly Communications Program provides resources to faculty on how to manage their copyrights and how to support emerging models for dissemination and preservation of scholarly materials, and supports the ARL copyright education initiative. We are also beginning a dialogue with the Graduate College about how to integrate copyright education into the ongoing instructional programs provided through Central Reference to our graduate students.
In the Web 2.0 world, we all need to manage "author's rights" and navigate the shoals of "fair use." With strong leadership both in instruction and in scholarly communications, we are in a good position to work with our colleagues across campus to help all our users do just that.