Happy Fair Use Week!

This week is Fair Use Week and UT Libraries is participating by hosting a Copyright & Fair Use workshop on Wednesday and by joining in the online discussion via social media.

If you want to see everything that is happening around the country this week, please see the Association of Research Libraries’ page devoted to Fair Use Week.

What is fair use?

Fair use is the limited use of copyrighted works without needing to ask permission from the copyright owner. There is a ton of nuance in that sentence and fair use requires careful consideration. While it is complicated, it’s one of the most important parts of U.S. copyright law for people who are creating new works by building upon the works of others.

Fair use is happening all around – especially if you are on a college campus.

  • A professor may use small clips from films or television shows to demonstrate or illustrate a point in class
  • A student may use quotes from other authors in order to expand upon an argument in their paper
  • University radio or TV stations may use small clips from press conferences or other events as part of their news reporting
  • An instructor may share an article or selected reading with their class
  • A PhD student may include images or figures in their dissertation
  • A student group may create a parody of a popular show or meme

If this all seems foreign to you, I encourage to come to the workshop tomorrow (Wednesday) about fair use. We’ll discuss the basics of copyright & fair use and have hands-on “is this fair use?” activities.

The Libraries also has a comprehensive resource about copyright in the U.S. There is a subsection on fair use that gives a good overview of what needs to be considered. And I highly recommend you check out the codes of best practices that the Center for Media & Social Impact has collected on their site. While these statements are not legally binding, they are a great resource for investigating fair use in different fields.


Gates Foundation and AAAS OA agreement

You’ve probably already seen the news, but the Gates Foundation and AAAS have come to an agreement that will allow all Gates Foundation funded research to be published with a CC-BY license in Science, Science Translational Medicine, Science Signaling, Science Advances, Science Immunology, and Science Robotics. This now puts Science journals in line with the Gates Foundation open access policy and gives Gates funded researchers an option to publish in those journals.

It’s great to see funders using their leverage to promote greater access to scientific articles. It will be interesting to see if other publishers end up coming to similar agreements with Gates, and if other funders try a similar route in providing access to their funded-research.

The agreement includes a $100,000 payment to Science to help offset any lost revenues with the CC-BY license. The Gates Foundation anticipates publishing between 10-15 studies in AAAS journals in 2017, so that works out to $6,666 to $10,000 per article/study. Pretty pricey when you compare it to APC costs.

Here’s the announcements about the agreement. It’s interesting to note the differences between them.

AAAS announcement: http://www.sciencemag.org/about/aaas-and-gates-foundation-partnership-announcement

Gates Foundation announcement: https://medium.com/bill-melinda-gates-foundation/taking-steps-to-expand-access-to-high-quality-scientific-publishing-6db7a6bfe9be#.8zh9w2xwl

Nature News: http://www.nature.com/news/science-journals-permit-open-access-publishing-for-gates-foundation-scholars-1.21486?WT.mc_id=TWT_NatureNews

Texas ScholarWorks now features the Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles!

The Catalogue consists of accounts of taxa prepared by specialists, including synonymy, description, diagnosis, phylogenetic relationships, published descriptions, illustrations, distribution map, and comprehensive list of literature for each taxon. Over 900 accounts have been published since the initiation of the series in 1963. The series covers amphibians and reptiles of the entire Western Hemisphere. Previously, accounts were published as loose-leaf separates; beginning in 2013 accounts are published as on-line PDFs. Find the whole catalogue on Texas ScholarWorks! Learn more at the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.