Learning to Spot the Revealing Gaps in Our Public Data Sets

“As art installations go, it is low key: a filing cabinet filled with meticulously labelled hanging folders. Visitors are welcome to browse under any heading that sparks their interest: publicly available gun trace data; the Nanjing massacre death toll; English language rules internalised by native speakers; how much Spotify pays each artist per play of song. The folders are all empty.

The work, titled “The Library of Missing Datasets”, is by Mimi Onuoha, an artist and adjunct professor at New York University. The aim, she says, is to expose the “blank spots in spaces that are otherwise saturated with data”. The blanks can reveal hidden biases in a society….”

Explainer: What will the new EU copyright rules change for Europe’s Cultural Heritage Institutions | Europeana Pro

“On 17 May 2019 the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market was published in the Official Journal of the European Union. Member States have until the 7 June 2021 to implement the new rules into national law.  In this explainer, Paul Keller, Policy Advisor to Europeana Foundation breaks down the changes these new rules bring to Europe’s Cultural Heritiage insitutions. …

Article 14 of the directive clarifies a fundamental principle of EU copyright law. The article makes it clear that “when the term of protection of a work of visual art has expired, any material resulting from an act of reproduction of that work is not subject to copyright or related rights, unless the material resulting from that act of reproduction is original”. In other words, the directive establishes that museums and other cultural heritage institutions can no longer claim copyright over (digital) reproductions of public domain works in their collections. In doing so the article settles an issue that has sparked quite some controversy in the the cultural heritage sector in the past few year and aligns the EU copyright rules with the principles expressed in Europeana’s Public Domain Charter….

Finally the DSM directive introduces not one but two new Text and Data Mining exceptions (Articles 3 & 4) that will need to be implemented by all Member States. The first exception (Article 3) allows “research organisations and cultural heritage institutions” to make extractions and reproductions of copyright protected works to which they have lawful access “in order to carry out, for the purposes of scientific research, Text and Data Mining”. Under this exception cultural heritage institutions can text and data mine all works that the have in their collections (or to which they have lawful access via other means) as long as this happens for the purpose of scientific research. 

The second exception (Article 4) is not limited to Text and Data Mining for the purpose of scientific research. Instead it allows anyone (including cultural heritage institutions) to make reproductions or extractions of works to which they have lawful access for Text and Data Mining regardless of the underlying purpose. …”

Open Access and Monographs

“Open access for books is very much more complex than it is for journal articles. The publishing landscape for academic books includes commercial and traditional presses, new and old university presses, as well as scholar-led initiatives and is hence far more diverse an ecology than is that obtaining for journals. In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, 1,180 unique book publishers were returned to Panel D (arts and humanities), with some 8,500 monographs submitted. And, although 46% of books submitted were published by the same 10 presses, there was a very large range of publishers among the remaining 54%.1 A future OA policy for long-form publications needs to recognise this very diverse publishing landscape. It is already apparent that discipline-specific requirements must be respected by any OA policy of the future, and that more restrictive licences (such as the use of the non-derivative (ND) licence) may be more appropriate for disciplines in the arts and humanities. It is also clear that long-form publication in the arts, humanities and social sciences encompasses a broad range of output type: inter alia, scholarly translations, editions, commentaries, catalogues and edited collections of essays, as well as the conventional single-authored monograph….”

A price to be paid for open-access academic publishing | Letters | Education | The Guardian

“[Sarah Kember:] Your analysis of the scandal of aspects of scientific publishing (Editorial, 5 March) was on point in highlighting that, despite the best intentions, open-access routes have thus far delivered little by way of savings for universities (and therefore the taxpayer).

The headlong rush towards further adoption of open-access models demands careful thought. While questions around access to scientific research tend to grab attention, the long tail of implications are a particular concern for those of us working in the arts and humanities….”

[I]n all but the most specialist institutions, the sciences will win out as a priority for acquisitions….

Images of Works of Art in Museum Collections: The Experience of Open Access: A Study of 11 Museums

“No museum that has made the transition to open access for the images in its collection would return to its previous approach. Although challenges are still being resolved, such as the additional workload and the potential uncertainty about where images of works from their collections have been published, museum staff cited the satisfaction that comes from fulfillment of the museum’s mission as a tremendous positive. Most institutions are experiencing greater internal (and in the case of the Yale museums, university-wide) collaboration than in the past between museum departments and attribute this in part to their move to open access….”

A Systematic Approach to Collecting Student Work

Abstract:  Digital technology has profoundly changed design education over the past couple of decades. The digital design process generates design solutions from many different angles and points of views, captured and expressed in many file formats and file types. In this environment of ubiquitous digital files, what are effective ways for a design school to capture a snapshot of the work created within their school, and to create a long-term collection of student files for purposes of research and promotion, and for preserving the history of the school?

This paper describes the recent efforts of the Harvard Graduate School of Design in creating a scalable and long-term data management solution for digital student work files. The first part describes the context and history of student work at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. The second section of the paper focuses on the functionality of the tool we created, and lastly, the paper looks at the library’s current efforts for the long-term archiving of the collected student files in Harvard’s digital repository.

Response from the Royal Musical Association to the cOAlition S Implementation Guidance on Plan S

“At present it is estimated that across all scholarly and scientific disciplines, cOAlition S signatory funded research results in the production of <8% global published outputs and that wholesale changes within current business models are likely only once that funder base increases substantially. In the meantime, a mixture of models will need to continue to exist.

Nonetheless, the Royal Musical Association has recently taken active steps, through the re?negotiation of its contract to publish its journals to ensure that for research published in RMA journals from 2020 onwards authors will retain copyright, and outputs can either be made immediate OA (hybrid) or can be self? archived with a zero?month embargo.

As they stand, the Implementation Guidelines present issues which may render RMA outputs non?compliant with Plan S aims, reversing a trend with this learned society which seeks to support and enable OA for its publications. At worst we fear that this may result in the perpetuation of the subscription model – and limit funding available for exploring new publishing business models, particularly models which would support learned societies such as ours. They also risk alienating a scholarly community which is relatively new to OA and, for the RMA, is now actively engaging with OA. The suggestions below offer some proposals to address those issues and concerns….”

Open Access: Current Overview and Future Prospects

Abstract:  This paper examines, with emphasis upon the United States, the current status of open access and its future prospects from a literature review of items published since 2015. The examination of sources goes beyond articles in scholarly journals to include columns in the blog The Scholarly Kitchen and other selected resources as needed to fill gaps. With the enormity of the literature on the subject, the analysis does not claim to be comprehensive and focuses on key issues. This author takes care to look beyond STEM (science, technology, engineering, and medicine)1 fields to discuss the effect of open access in the social sciences, humanities, and fine arts. Overall, open access today looks very different from the goals of its proponents in 2002. For authors, open access has increased availability of scholarly resources and fostered distribution of their research, often after the payment of fees. Large commercial publishers have found ways to benefit from open access through author processing charges and by acquiring smaller presses. Open access overall has not allowed libraries to save money on serials subscriptions and has often increased costs through their support of institutional repositories and payment of author fees. Continued library support for open access is often more of a philosophical stance without significant cost-saving benefits.

The Cleveland Museum of Art Advances Open Access Movement | Cleveland Museum of Art

“The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) announced today it is using Open Access to make high-resolution digital images and collections data freely available by means of the internet. Open Access means the public now has the ability to share, remix, and reuse images of as many as 30,000 CMA artworks that are in the public domain for commercial as well as scholarly and noncommercial purposes. Additional information on more than 61,000 artworks —both those in the public domain and those with copyright or other restrictions—is also now available. …”

Introducing Open Access at the CMA: For the Benefit of All the People Forever

“Beginning immediately, as many as 30,000 images of public-domain artworks in the Cleveland Museum of Art’s (CMA) collection will be available to all as part of our Open Access program. In addition, metadata relevant to more than 61,000 works are available without restriction, whether the works themselves are in the public domain or under copyright. To make this initiative feasible, the museum has partnered with Creative Commons Zero (CC0), a global nonprofit organization that makes possible the sharing and reuse of creativity and knowledge….”