Future Themes and Forecasts for Research Libraries and Emerging Technologies

“The pandemic drew attention to collaborative and cloud tools to  support the focus on online teaching and research continuity, testing barriers to open data and scholarship. Experiments and improvisations can be expected to continue, with new constraints.

Participants identified immediate responses and anticipated future pressures that will shape the strategies available to research libraries in the near horizon of one to three years, including policy changes and financial changes. Examples of such responses included the “all hands on deck” attempt to protect research continuity, support effective distance education, and provide resources electronically through digitization, open educational resources (OERs), new acquisition and licensing strategies, and data infrastructure….

As faculty mobilized to quickly move instruction and learning support to online venues, resources and services provided by research libraries featured heavily, feeding an already growing expectation in society of openness and access via the internet. This was indicated by the Internet Archive’s suspension of checkout limits on digitized materials, and the use of HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service. One signal of change is the perception that “copyright is out of action” because of the coronavirus emergency, offering a taste of the possibilities of openness. With it, participants detected “a strong sense of convergence across all levels of research funding and infrastructure toward assuming openness as a general condition,” even if, in reality, there’s a long way to go….

The coronavirus pandemic intensified pressures and accelerated experiments and improvisations with technologies—primarily those already available to instructors and researchers—to meet stopgap research and learning needs, including with data and scholarly openness….”

ARL Welcomes cOAlitionS Rights Retention Strategy Calling for Open Access to Results of Funded Research – Association of Research Libraries

“The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) commends cOAlitionS on today’s announcement of its Rights Retention Strategy to advance the goal of immediate open access to the published results of funded research. With this announcement, cOAlitionS has provided a pathway to implementing the first principle of PlanS, that authors or their institutions retain copyright to their publications, and make them available under an open license. While author rights retention and open licensing have been a bedrock principle for open access advocates for nearly two decades, many authors are reluctant to challenge journal publishers who require the transfer of copyright as a condition of publication. Similarly, cOAlitionS (and many other funding agencies) have been reluctant to tell authors where to publish their work.

Under this new strategy, cOAlitionS resolves this conflict by assigning, as a condition of their grants, a default CC-BY license to all Author Accepted Manuscripts (AAM) reporting on original research supported in whole or in part by their funding. Grantees are asked to inform publishers of this requirement and open license upon submission, and then upon publication to make that manuscript (or, if possible, the Version of Record), immediately available in an open access repository. Research libraries either maintain such open repositories for their institutions or have the expertise and services to consult with researchers on where and how to deposit their work openly….”

Association of Research Libraries Urges End to Litigation against Internet Archive – Association of Research Libraries

“The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) urges an end to the lawsuit against the Internet Archive filed early this month by four major publishers in the United States District Court Southern District of New York, especially now that the National Emergency Library (NEL) has closed two weeks earlier than originally planned.

For nearly 25 years, the Internet Archive (IA) has been a force for good by capturing the world’s knowledge and providing barrier-free access for everyone, contributing services to higher education and the public, including the Wayback Machine that archives the World Wide Web, as well as a host of other services preserving software, audio files, special collections, and more. Over the past four weeks, IA’s Open Library has circulated more than 400,000 digital books without any user cost—including out-of-copyright works, university press titles, and recent works of academic interest—using controlled digital lending (CDL). CDL is a practice whereby libraries lend temporary digital copies of print books they own in a one-to-one ratio of “loaned to owned,” and where the print copy is removed from circulation while the digital copy is in use. CDL is a practice rooted in the fair use right of the US Copyright Act and recent judicial interpretations of that right. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many academic and research libraries have relied on CDL (including IA’s Open Library) to ensure academic and research continuity at a time when many physical collections have been inaccessible….”

Program Analyst for Scholars & Scholarship Position Open at ARL – Association of Research Libraries

“The program analyst for Scholars & Scholarship’s major responsibilities will include the following:

Track global open science and open scholarship developments and work with the ARL membership to lead and partner in these developments
Work with other research, higher education, information technology, and library organizations on institutional and public policy issues that arise from new and emerging practices in research, teaching, and learning
Represent and advance the Scholars & Scholarship program with key partners, allies, and joint ventures to advance program objectives, particularly as they relate to the broader mission of scholarly communication, information stewardship, and publishing
Lead key initiatives and task forces of the Scholars and Scholarship Committee….”

Association of Research Libraries Awards Venture Fund 2020 Grants – Association of Research Libraries

“Northwestern University Libraries’ proposal is titled “Lowering Barriers for Publishing Open Textbooks: A Minimal Computing Toolkit” and is led by Chris Diaz, digital publishing librarian, and Lauren McKeen, open education librarian. The Venture Fund will help with the expansion of Northwestern’s prototypical workflow, into an adaptable toolkit for open textbook creators. The toolkit will consist of learning modules, documentation, and code samples for librarians, faculty, and instructors at ARL institutions to use and adapt, as part of the open textbook publishing process. More broadly, this project will introduce a minimal computing framework for creating open textbooks….”

Digitization in an Emergency: Fair Use/Fair Dealing and How Libraries Are Adapting to the Pandemic – Association of Research Libraries

“Fortunately, the principle of fair use—a pillar of the US copyright system—provides a crucial safety valve, as does the doctrine of fair dealing in Canada. Research libraries have taken the lead in clarifying and applying fair use and fair dealing to the present crisis. Earlier this month, a broad group of copyright experts from university libraries published a statement on fair use, explaining how, “while legal obligations do not automatically dissolve in the face of a public health crisis,” US copyright law is “well equipped to provide the flexibility necessary for the vast majority of remote learning needed at this time.” Similarly, several experts on Canadian copyright law posted a detailed analysis of why “the circumstances of the current emergency justify a broad construction of fair-dealing.”

What are these fair uses in practice? To begin with, academic libraries are necessarily digitizing more materials in response to specific demands. For example, the University of Georgia Libraries are “providing emergency scanning of print and digital materials from our collections to our faculty and students to ensure that…education and research remain continuous.” Cornell University Library has advised faculty on how to assess “whether fair use permits scanning” of physical materials for online teaching. However, selective scanning is not a comprehensive solution. As the pandemic worsens and shelter-in-place orders proliferate, many libraries have had to send all of their staff home, leaving no one to pull books from the stacks and digitize them.

In response to unprecedented exigencies, more systemic solutions may be necessary and fully justifiable under fair use and fair dealing. This includes variants of controlled digital lending (CDL), in which books are scanned and lent in digital form, preserving the same one-to-one scarcity and time limits that would apply to lending their physical copies. Even before the new coronavirus, a growing number of libraries have implemented CDL for select physical collections. For example, MIT used CDL for a collection of works that were inaccessible during the renovation of one of their libraries. The justifications for CDL, both in legal and public interest terms, are at their strongest right now, to allow for continued progress of the arts and sciences while physical library holdings are broadly inaccessible….”

Digitization in an Emergency: Fair Use/Fair Dealing and How Libraries Are Adapting to the Pandemic – Association of Research Libraries

“Fortunately, the principle of fair use—a pillar of the US copyright system—provides a crucial safety valve, as does the doctrine of fair dealing in Canada. Research libraries have taken the lead in clarifying and applying fair use and fair dealing to the present crisis. Earlier this month, a broad group of copyright experts from university libraries published a statement on fair use, explaining how, “while legal obligations do not automatically dissolve in the face of a public health crisis,” US copyright law is “well equipped to provide the flexibility necessary for the vast majority of remote learning needed at this time.” Similarly, several experts on Canadian copyright law posted a detailed analysis of why “the circumstances of the current emergency justify a broad construction of fair-dealing.”

What are these fair uses in practice? To begin with, academic libraries are necessarily digitizing more materials in response to specific demands. For example, the University of Georgia Libraries are “providing emergency scanning of print and digital materials from our collections to our faculty and students to ensure that…education and research remain continuous.” Cornell University Library has advised faculty on how to assess “whether fair use permits scanning” of physical materials for online teaching. However, selective scanning is not a comprehensive solution. As the pandemic worsens and shelter-in-place orders proliferate, many libraries have had to send all of their staff home, leaving no one to pull books from the stacks and digitize them.

In response to unprecedented exigencies, more systemic solutions may be necessary and fully justifiable under fair use and fair dealing. This includes variants of controlled digital lending (CDL), in which books are scanned and lent in digital form, preserving the same one-to-one scarcity and time limits that would apply to lending their physical copies. Even before the new coronavirus, a growing number of libraries have implemented CDL for select physical collections. For example, MIT used CDL for a collection of works that were inaccessible during the renovation of one of their libraries. The justifications for CDL, both in legal and public interest terms, are at their strongest right now, to allow for continued progress of the arts and sciences while physical library holdings are broadly inaccessible….”

ARL Urges Publishers to Maximize Access to Digital Content during COVID-19 Pandemic – Association of Research Libraries

“The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) joins global library associations in urging publishers to maximize access to digital content during the emergency conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is an unprecedented time for the academic enterprise, and humanity will benefit from an unprecedented response by publishers in support of research and learning.

This week, ARL signed a statement by the International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC), an informal organization of state, regional, and peer library organizations that collaborate on resource sharing and electronic licensing. The statement calls on publishers to ease the restrictions on simultaneous usage and interlibrary loan that may accompany subscription-based digital content. During this crisis, as research and education move almost exclusively online, ARL applauds both ICOLC’s leadership and publishers who have responded by opening previously paywalled content. Around the world, library associations (including in Australia, Canada, France, and the UK) are amplifying the message to publishers: maximize access to digital content to advance research and ensure academic continuity during this crisis. With this national and global imperative, ARL makes the following requests regarding COVID-19-related research, online research and learning more broadly, and educational equity….”

ARL Celebrates Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week 2020 – Association of Research Libraries

“Fair Use/Fair Dealing Week highlights the legal and policy decisions now pending that will shape the future of digital creativity. From the Google v. Oracle case before the US Supreme Court to the proposed copyright reforms in South Africa and elsewhere around the world to the continuing battles over digital intermediaries in Europe and the United States, fair use rights remain under attack from those who would lock away knowledge and culture for commercial advantage and other narrow self-interests….”