Writing February 1 – 13

I decided to write elsewhere for the last two. Here’s what I’ve gotten thus far.

Feb 1

This presentation http://digitalcommons.law.uga.edu/ir/4/ from librarians at the UGA Law Library. In this presentation the librarians discuss the issues related to copyright and institutional repositories. They relate to this issue by making a few assumptions. They believe first that they have permission from faculty authors on campus. Then the next step is to get permission to publish in the IR from journals that faculty have published in. According to UGA, this process is usually very simple and results in permission being granted. They mention that they’ve had some luck negotiating global permissions for getting past and future publications into the institutional repository. This is an interesting occurrence because while copyright seems “scary” the ease at which permissions are granted seems comforting. That much of an university’s problems with faculty member related copyright is actually solved by asking.

One of the major issues that they emphasized tracking permissions which they accomplished through the software that they use.

Feb 2

I spent some time today examining sources related to MFA Creative Writing theses to get a rough understanding of how these works are handled in institutional repositiories. This quote from a “libguide” at George Mason University seems indicative of the American philosophies towards storing mfa creative writing thesis in IR. ”  Unfortunately, American and Canadian MFA theses are harder to find – some American schools may hold electronic copies in their digital repositories, but access can be limited due to concerns for future literary publication.” http://infoguides.gmu.edu/content.php?pid=10487&sid=1956482

Copyright and creative works will be a major issue for an institutional repository policy, but it doesn’t seem that there is a universal rule regarding these kinds of works. More research will actually need to be done to understand how publication in an IR impacts publication in more traditional venues. This also does call into question lots of issues related to current methods of publication.

Feb 3


I did a bit of searching to find a national level organization that works with MFA programs in creative writing to see what their policies were on Electronic Thesis and Dissertations (ETD). It seem that the Association of Writers and Writing Programs strongly encourages access to creative writing works be restricted to just campus users or limit access in some situation.  The issue that seems at play is the right of first serial rights which allows students to publish their works in other forms beyond the IR. This really produces more questions than answers. Why does publishing online constitute first publication? Is it more of a concern that because its free online that people will not purchase it?

This is a bit of blow for the concept of open access. I can understand the desire to have first sale, but the models of publishing have changed dramatically is this really something that’s going to continue. There are alot of new methods for publishing that have freeium distribution models. So this seems kind of silly.

Feb 4

Fair use is an important concept to consider when working with copyright. The four major factor as defined by US title 17 section 107 and case law are what have to be understood when determining what is a fair use and what isn’t. Using the university system fair use as a guide to these factors, you learn that these are the main factors in determining in a use is fair

  • Purpose of use
  • Nature of use
  • Amount used
  • Effect on the market

Feb 13

I’ve spent the last week working with a donor on a bequest to our department, but this issue has really go me thinking about responsibilities archives have when it comes to caring for the copyright of another and what agreements should be made so that materials can be more accessible if the copyright is owned by another. In our case, the donor plans to transfer the copyright to a relative, but we didn’t discuss permissions for us to digitize and distribute materials from this collections. This will probably be an issue in years to come, but it’s worth pondering now to understand what are the requirements for permission so that an archive will not be hampered in the future when i comes to a collection that it owns.