Archive for the ‘licence’ Category

Repository Deposit Licence

I believe we’re on the tail end of getting our deposit licence ironed out. It’s been through numerous iterations – essentially it’s a document based on the Sherpa/AHDS recommended licence, that’s been across the desk of anyone who might possibly want to have a say in it.
I did post a message to the UKCoRR mailing list to ask whether anyone includes an indemnity in their licence – a few places replied to say they did. Our legal people were particularly keen on this idea, but the repository working party members were concerned it was possibly a deterrent to depositors. I think we’ve come up with a compromise, although that of course means it needs to see the top of someone else’s desk. When it comes back I’ll put it up for all to have a look through. We have borrowed from other licences, with permission, but the end result is very formal, quite a lot of legal jargon – ‘I, the depositor, agree to ….’. I notice a lot of publisher copyright agreement and licences have really toned down the legalese in their documents, I expect we’ll need to do the same.


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It’s the little things that sometimes take ages.. like deciding how to describe the communities and sub-communities for our repository installation. We’re a University, so the faculties and schools are easy enough, and I can put the research centres and institutes together but what about ‘the leftovers’? What is the collective noun for the administrative services and support units? Everyone I spoke with had a different opinion.. Well I’ve finally found a page on the University website that covers ‘Administrative and Central Services’, so that’s what it is.. for now..

I’ve also spent bits of the last day or so tidying up our deposit licence and notice and takedown agreement. It’s coming along, and I’m writing up a checklist of things to consider before depositing – this is what I have so far:

1 Are you the owner of the copyright for this item? If not, do you have your co-author’s permission to deposit? Asking them to agree to the Deposit Licence is sufficient, but as co-owners of the copyright you must have their permission. (Charles Oppenheim made a good suggestion in response to a question on this today on a mailing list – agree to allow authors to self-archive before publishing..)

2 If the item is a journal article, does the journal publisher permit self-archiving? Have you checked RoMEO? Alternatively, have you negotiated the right to self-archive a copy of your work? There is more information available on the OPuS wiki (or there will be!).

3 If the item was sponsored by industry, do you have permission to make a copy of the item publicly available? You may wish to embargo the item to meet sponsor requirements, or check with your supervisor or Research Support Unit to make sure you meet contractual obligations.

4 Do you intend to publish this content commercially for the purposes of making a profit? If so you may wish to reconsider your deposit. The Bath OPuS is designed to make material widely accessible, enhancing impact, not necessarily income.

5 Is the item in a file format that is readily recognisable? Unusual file formats may create preservation difficulties and it is wise to discuss this with the repository manager.

What else needs to go in? Hmm.

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I’m at the point of drafting information to support the deposit of items into our repository. There’s a lot of good documentation out there for existing repositories, which surprisingly makes it quite difficult – I’m going to have to shoot off some emails requesting permission for re-use or risk plagarising wildly.. One thing I haven’t seen written up is advice on dealing with material which has been produced with sponsorship from industry. Most repositories don’t accept material with commercial implications, but is this an issue that needs awareness raising, perhaps to help with negotiations at the commencement of the sponsorship? This was brought up in our legal team meeting. Will restrictions placed by industrial sponsors pose as much of an issue for depositors as restrictions from publishers?

Eden Project

The Eden Project – we visited in late June. Excellent day out, even with weather like this.. a great example of building something great out of nothing.

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Yesterday we met with two legal people from the University to discuss licences and legal requirements for outlining deposit agreements and the like. The discussion brought up points I hadn’t thought to consider, and also highlighted the need to provide information and education on Intellectual Property Rights, including copyright and the fine print for publishing industry funded work.

Today I was trawling through a database and came across an article published by researchers here, published in a journal that is, by Sherpa ROMEO standards, a ‘white‘ journal. This means archiving is not formally supported by the publisher. I took a look at the publisher copyright statement to be signed by authors. It requires the author to agree to the following:

The author(s), in consideration of the acceptance of the above work for publication, does hereby assign and transfer to {the publisher} all of the rights and interest in and to the copyright of the above-titled work in its current form and in any subsequent ly revised form for publication and/or electronic dissemination.

Now I understand this has been standard practice for publishers and authors, but would I want to divest myself so entirely of the right to my own intellectual capital? It highlights for me the need to offer signposting to alternatives to these licences. Why not try an addendum or use the JISC/SURF Licence to Publish?

Awareness is clearly the key to making informed decisions on what happens to your intellectual property. I’m going to be working on developing material for our website, for training sessions and anywhere else I can get my foot in.

(Licence or License – my natural instinct is for the ‘s’, sorry… a case of the old ‘separated by a common language’. I fall between the two.)

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