Recently in Scholarly Communication Category

The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology has released the a report on Scholarly Publishing.

The Roundtable's core recommendation is:

Each federal research funding agency should expeditiously but carefully develop and implement an explicit public access policy that brings about free public access to the results of the research that it funds as soon as possible after those results have been published in a peer‐reviewed journal.
This public access objective can be accomplished in several ways: Some agencies may choose to develop and manage central databases; others may elect to work with university libraries, one or more publishers, or other external partners to establish centralized or distributed databases of journal articles resulting from the research they fund.

Read full report.

Learn more about the NIH mandate for open access to research on the library's Scholarly Communications web site.

Publishing Contracts Workshop

"Case studies in publishing: Your choices in journal contracts"

In this 1-hour workshop, designated by OVPR to satisfy the
Awareness/Discussion component of the RCR continuing education
requirement, participants will work through two common decision points
raised by journal article contracts. Relevant context will be provided
on academic publishing issues such as copyright and author's rights,
cultural and economic norms, and promotion & tenure implications.
Practical strategies and helpful tools will be discussed.

Offered at

  • 3:30pm, May 13 in Walter Library First Floor, and
  • 9:00am, May 26 in Bio-Medical Library, Room 555.

Register at

A Copyright Story

In celebration of April 23rd, the 14th World Book and Copyright Day, proclaimed by UNESCO I wanted to share a copyright success story.

I was accepted for publication earlier this month in a journal owned by T&F. The "Transfer of Copyright Agreement" they sent was not great. It significantly limited my rights, namely it withheld:

  • the non-exclusive right to use, reproduce, distribute, and make derivative works of the article in all areas of my profession (not just teaching)
  • the ability to legally contribute this work, or some preprint form of it, to my university's institutional repository after an embargo period of 6-months (or other negotiable time period).

My first step was to send them the UMN's author addendum (pdf). This is a document approved by the CIC and provided by each of the big 10 universities that reclaims some of the copyrights I mention above. Read more at the library's scholarly communications page.

Rather than accepting the addendum, as other publishers have reportedly done, they sent me a second, secret copyright agreement that they "don't like to give out."

The appropriately named "Author or Company Owned Copyright Transfer" is an agreement that allows the publisher to use my work for the journal in this instance only and specifically states that the

Copyright of the manuscript remains in the author’s name and the author reserves all other rights.

So, bottom line, it was worth the trouble and it didn't hurt to ask (in this case). Any other successful copyright stories? Horrors?

For more info on the April 23rd, 2009 World Book and Copyright Day visit the website

Copyright Workshop-Feb 16, 2009

Who Owns Your Scholarship
A Workshop for Authors and Creators of Academic Works
Monday, February 16, 2009
2:30-4:30 p.m.
Great Hall, Coffman Memorial Union
Free to University of Minnesota community.

This event has been designated by the Office of the Vice President for Research to satisfy the Awareness/Discussion component of the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) continuing education requirement.

Reserve your seat now!

To blog or not to blog?
Nature Geoscience 1, 208 (2008)
Gavin Schmidt1

"Scientists know much more about their field than is ever published in peer-reviewed journals. Blogs can be a good medium with which to disseminate this tacit knowledge."

Read the full article