Friday, September 01, 2006


So I've finally survived my first orientation week & first week of classes as a librarian. Diane has been blogging for both of us up until now, but now that I actually have a moment to catch up on some reading and think about something other than getting others oriented I will take this opportunity to write.

I came across this item at OA Librarian praising OhioLINK's recently released recommendations for Ohio faculty and students to retain intellectual property rights. The reasons behind these recommendations are summarized pretty effectively in the corresponding press release. I have to say that these recommendations make me very proud to be affiliated with OhioLINK.

For those who do not want to click through and/or are not familiar with the ins and outs of scholarly publishing, I will summarize why OhioLINK did this and why it is important. Ohio colleges and universities produce a lot of journal articles every year through the research of their faculty and students. The works of the students and faculty are a result of the classes and research at these IHEs (Institutions of Higher Education). Yet when they turn these works over to journal publishers, often the author signs over their copyright which means they no longer have control over what they just worked so hard on. The publisher then charges the library of the author's IHE for access to that article via a subscribition, in effect that IHE has paid twice for that item. In the case of electronic access, the library may have to continue to pay large yearly licensing fees for that journal or else they will lose access to all the previous years they've already paid for, including articles written at their own institution.

What OhioLINK is recommending is for scholarly authors in Ohio to negotiate a bit with publishers. Maintain control of works that you have published by retaining some or, if possible, all of your rights under copyright. Deposit items into your institution's or another open access electronic depository. Do something to make sure that your work is and will continue to be accessible to you and others in your field and won't simply disappear because that's what the publisher decided. I hope faculty, staff, and students in Ohio take these recommendations to heart. Read more about this situation and the new recommendations at OhioLINK's page devoted to this issue.

Have a great Labor Day weekend!

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