Managing Copyright to Advance Research and Teaching
Ann Wolpert, Director of Libraries; Claude Canizares, VP for Research, Associate Provost; Thinh Nguyen, Science Commons Counsel; Ann Hammersla, Senior Counsel for Intellectual Property, MIT; Ellen Finnie Duranceau, Scholarly Publications/Licensing Consultant, MIT Libraries; Brian Evans, Professor of Geophysics, EAPS
Description: Ann Wolpert's panel should set off alarm bells among academics who imagine they may enter blithely into a publishing agreement in the digital age. Claude Canizares sets the stage, describing the transformative changes in academic publishing: the disappearance of a paper"driven industry (with limited and controlled copies of authors' works) and the emergence of internet publishing, "where anything goes." The inexorable consolidation of academic publishers has allowed "relatively small numbers to exert significant control." This leads to conflict with institutions like MIT, whose mission is research and the untrammeled dissemination of knowledge. Canizares himself has been subject to copyright agreements that limit his ability to use his own work. "We'd like to make it much easier for authors," says Canizares. The archives of Britain's Royal Society going back 350 years are available online today, says Thinh Nguyen, "but the catch is, you have to be a current subscriber to download" this content. Newton's article on the invention of the telescope costs $9. "This is the essence of the current model: a gated community of information." Nguyen's open access movement attempts to smooth the way for academics to be published and for others to see and use their work. His Science Commons enterprise attempts to reduce legal barriers to scientific research. For instance, he hopes to allow internet users to conduct software searches of online journals-currently prohibited by many publishers. Nguyen encourages scientists who publish to consider alternatives to signing over copyright to publishers without first attempting to negotiate the terms of ownership. In her job as intellectual property overseer for MIT, Ann Hammersla works to retain as many rights for authors as she can. She's engaged in the challenging job of working out arrangements with publishers that enable authors to use their own materials in future work, in their classrooms, and to publish on the internet after first publishing in print. She sees an increasing demand by private and government funders for public posting of authors' works, a demand that runs directly counter to the copyright agreements publishers insist on. Hammersla also counsels the audience to "be careful in what you use, whether text, images, sound or video. You can't just download from the web. Someone may get grumpy if you use someone else's material." The best way forward for individual scientific authors, declares Ellen Finnie Duranceau, is through "collective and institutional action." Together, authors must demand in their publisher agreements the right to "share work as widely as possible," which will increase their readership and citation rate; and the right to reuse their work flexibly, and to authorize others to use their work. Duranceau discusses "chilling stories," including an MIT faculty member who gave a publisher copyright to his own hand"drawn maps, and then could not use them on his MIT OpenCourseWare site. She worries about scholarly societies that impose "digital rights management technology on consumers of technical papers," permitting only single printouts of a paper or viewing only onscreen. Duranceau recommends an MIT amendment to copyright transfer agreements that entitles authors more access to their own work, and more access by others through public repositories. Brian Evans sees an imbalance, where researchers and universities "are being preyed on by large companies." Researchers lose rights to their own work, and libraries pay excessively for journals: Says Evans, for "every $10 thousand we pay to a publishing company, it's $10 thousand we can't do something else with at the Institute." He exhorts his colleagues "to consider publishing in public access journals or starting one in your own field," and to reduce copyright restrictions through individual negotiations. Most of all, faculty should come together to work toward uniform standards.
About the Speaker(s): Ann Wolpert also oversees the MIT Press. The MIT Libraries include five major collections, a number of smaller branch libraries in specialized subject areas, a fee"for"services group, and the Institute Archives. The MIT Press publishes about 200 new books and more than 40 journals per year in fields related to or reliant upon science and technology.
Wolpert is a member of the Committee on Copyright and Patents, the Council on Educational Technology, the Dean's Committee, and the President's Academic Council. She is a member of the editorial board of the MIT Press, and chairs its Management Board.
Prior to joining MIT, Ann was Executive Director of Library and Information Services at the Harvard Business School. Her experience previous to Harvard included management of the Information Center of Arthur D. Little, Inc.
Her educational background includes a B.A. from Boston University and the M.L.S. from Simmons College. In 1998 she was nominated for and accepted into the National Network for Women Leaders in Higher Education of the American Council on Education.
Host(s): Office of the Provost, MIT Libraries
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