Submission to UNZ on Copyright and Digital Convergence

Anton Angelo
Research Data Co-ordinator
University of Canterbury Library

14th October 2015

Academic research works by explicitly free sharing of information, and any friction introduced into the process decreases its efficiency, in turn reducing the return on investment we make into any kind of research.

I don’t have a sophisticated position on the harmonisation on the various reuse provisions “Fair Dealing” and “Fair Use” within the TPPA actors.  As librarians we are expected to have a clear understanding on practical issues around this, and the current situation means we are unable to offer advice and guidance for the medium term.  It is not just uncomfortable for us personally; it could lead to a position of liability for our organisations as we make research outputs available.

As librarians we are the sharp end of the balance between providing adequate protection for copyright holders to exploit their creations, and access to research to our community, and the wider academic world for material that they have paid for through taxes.

I am concerned that there will be more corporate interference in access to publically paid-for research, just as business models are starting to change to an Open Access model where organisations sponsor and patronise profit and not-for-profit businesses to provide publishing platforms for research analysis and data.  Corporate organisations have a responsibility to provide a maximum return for their shareholders, but not at the cost of reducing access to tax-payer funded research.  Library budgets are at such low levels that they cannot afford to purchase the research outputs of record their own organisation has funded in the first place.

This is one element of the friction against efficient research I was talking about above.

The second issue is not one of established objective regulation, but the chilling effect of extended copyright provisions has on sharing research in the minds of researchers themselves.  Copyright is not well understood by researchers, even with the best efforts of librarians and records offices.  It is a tangential field to research proper, part of the game of scholarly publishing.  As (mostly media) businesses protect their output more and more closely, to the point of employing third party bounty hunters to find infringements to prosecute, researchers become more concerned about protecting their property, to the point of being overly sensitive.  This adds yet more friction to research efficiency for no reason other than fear of breaking some misunderstood rule.  “Because copyright” has become the standard response for a number of perverse behaviours, including supervisors recommending to students to hide their postgraduate research for a number of years, not to make work available on institutional repositories even though it is legitimate to do so, and stifle sharing and collaboration between institutions.

Ensuring strong provisions for Fair Dealing are fundamental to be able to criticise, review and expand on previous work.  Any uncertainty on the ability to do so is not just a blow to the high minded ideals of academic freedom, but a sheet anchor on research and innovation in a very practical sense.

A good response to these concerns is a policy change for all NZ funded research to be mandated to be published immediately as Open Access.  This would create a level, clear and unambiguous regulatory platform which would remove fear, uncertainty and doubt over access to publically funded research.  In some cases extra funding for research institutions would be required to sponsor commercial platforms, but the reduction in the price of subscriptions through libraries would offset that to some extent.

This model has been developed and is operating in the UK, and for all state funded research over a certain amount in the US.  NZ will be at a considerable disadvantage if it does not follow suit.

 

 

Podcasts

I love my podcasts…  people occasionally ask for recommendations, so here are my top five (currently)

99% Invisible – a very pleasant study on design topics.  Roman Mars enthuses me about whatever he’s talking about.

Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review.  Easily the best film review radio show, and probably best podcast of all time.  Like two married men bickering about pretty much anything.  Deeply entertaining.

In Our Time – BBC Radio 4‘s podcast hosted by Melvin Bragg and three experts on pretty much anything.  Phyisics, Hisotry, Literature – the one on Fairies got a few people of a certain age quite excitable.

You Are Not So Smart.  Social psychology based on the idea that we are prtty much clueless.  And biscuits.  Love the biscuits.

Criminal – A US podcast about criminals, talking to them about their crimes, or a type of crime in general.  Compelling.

There are tonnes more: BBC Friday Night Comedy (especially the News Quiz), NPR’s Wait wait, Don’t tell me, ABC’s Science Vs.

You can search for these in iTunes, or use any podcast program you like (Pocketcast on Android is my favourite)

Three things that indicate you can get rid of your Institutional Repository

I’ve always thought the IRs were temporary.  They are a messy beast: part archive for Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs), part publishing platform for grey scholarly material, part journal back-end.  We will always need archives, but will Libraries need to put resource into storing duplicate, inferior, copies of scholarly journal articles?

What I’m writing about are the victory conditions for librarians who thought that, like I do, IRs were a tool to challenge the business model of profiteering academic publishers.  I don’t have a problem with a commercial service working to provide services for academia, but I do have an issue when the world’s knowledge is being artificially restricted to only those who can pay, in a system of ever increasingly higher prices.

So, when should you pull the plug on IRs?

1) When there are no article database subscriptions anymore.  The move to Open Access is gathering pace, and when the end user doesn’t have to pay to read any article, then there is no need to hold a separate copy in the repository.

2) When journals pick out articles already available, edit and curate them.  There will always be a use for an editor.  Overlay journals that combine already existing OA articles into volumes and issues based on specific themes and disciplines will carry the seal of quality that top journals do now.  They may even be the same journals.  Peer review will be both crowd sourced, like reddit, and confidential, as the ed board might have a few suggestions to make before they publish your work.

3) When being an active article reviewer is the main way to improve your early academic career.  Sorting through the volume of material on big article and scholarly output aggregators like figshare, arXive, PeerJ, PubMed and F1000, where the economies of scale will muscle little IRs out, will be the role of the junior academic and senior student.  Evaluating method and conclusions, reanalyzing datasets, and generally having a critical mind will replace mindless regurgitation of accepted truths from high-impact journals.

I’m describing a a new take on academic scholarship – large disciplinary buckets of scholarly outputs that are then picked over for gems.  The ability to publish data, and have others analyse it, or reanalyse it.  Having professional academic editors reuse outputs and channel them into streams so that busy researchers get the best bits.  There is no real place for the IR here.  Grey material goes to figshare.  The only thing institutions need to do is archive ETDs, and most IR software is far too complicated to manage just to do that.

I’d love to, but no.

Dear Anton Findlay Angelo,

Are you the author of work entitled « Who visits academic institutional repositories and why? »?
It was apparently written at the Victoria University of Wellington in 2014.

I’m Robert Wilson from the editorial team of Lambert Academic Publishing.

I believe this particular topic could be of interest to a wider audience and we would be glad to consider publishing it. We would be especially interested in publishing a complete academic work of yours (a thesis, a dissertation or a monograph) as a printed book. Our services are free of charge for authors.

Anton Findlay Angelo, would you agree to receive more information in an electronic brochure?

Thank you in advance.

Sincerely,
Robert Wilson
Acquisition Editor

LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing is a trademark of
OmniScriptum GmbH & Co. KG
Heinrich-Böcking-Str. 6-8,
66121, Saarbrücken, Germany

r.wilson@lap-publishing.com / www.lap-publishing.com

Handelsregister Amtsgericht Saarbrücken HRA 10356
Identification Number (Verkehrsnummer): 13955
Partner with unlimited liability: OmniScriptum Management GmbH
Handelsregister Amtsgericht Saarbrücken HRB 18918
Managing directors: Marta Lusena (CEO)

Ooh. They want to publish me. How Nice! I know my genius has been generally under-appreciated (especially by my idiot supervisor and markers), but finally someone has realised my ideas are forward thinking and generally gold-plated.  Hooray!

Oh, hold on.  “our services are free to authors”.  Huh.  This is a book, surely there are royalties involved.  In fact, the more I think about this, it sounds a bit fishy.  I mean, of course my work is worth disseminating, written in words a foot high on the walls of the university I went to, as well as written on grains of rice, for all to admire, but it doesn’t sound quite kosher.  Lets have an investigate…

LAP Publishing   The Publisher   Who are weTheir website looks nice.  All corporate stripy and modern and flat.  That girl has nice eyes.  I wonder if she would be my editor.  Hmm.

They are not on Beall’s list I notice, and that’s because Beall thinks they are not an open access publisher.  He points to a blog post that insinuates that the company is just picking up free content to add to their list, to publish on demand if they get an order from Amazon. That sounds a lot like the Proquest model for selling dissertations they pick up for free.

Oh well, I suppose I won’t hand over my hard earned IP just so someone else can make money out of it.  Now, lets see if I can write a paper for an Elsevier journal…

 

 

Endeavour Place III – plans, plans plans.

I was bereft after CJS Construction let us down.  I really didn’t know what to do.  My brother, an architect with his own studio in Hamilton, kindly offered to help out, and over Christmas and the early part of the year put together a set of plans roughly based on the Lockwood design we had already liked.  the results were amazing: a small house with the ability to extend easily in the future, clever use of the slope to create a garage.

A08 RA Section X3.pdf Mike, being the smart guy he his, encouraged us to run the plans passed a quantity surveyor.  QSes can p[rice a house plan to within 10% of its cost.  The bad news was it came out about $100,000 more than we can afford.  Even taking out the $300 toilet roll holders (a big galvanised nail would do me…) it still came in far more than we could afford.  I’m deeply grateful to Mike for the work, and he has a GREAT birthday present coming, but the cost of an ‘architecturally’ built house is beyond us.  The main costs were in labour – simply putting the building together.

The realization, that labour is the enemy (and its not often I say that) put me back to plan B.  Kitsets.  One of the other kitset companies we had been looking at seemed to have a long history, quite a few buildings up, and good feedback on the process.  Even better, Wildwood: the franchise holder hadn’t been bankrupt.  All the groovy new modular housing companies seemed to be run by people who had financial troubles in the past, and we were just not OK with risking that.

sketch1414456457670We approached Wildwood (who build ‘Grove Lifestyle Homes’) and asked them to put a plan together from a sketch I had done in a Wellington hotel one rainy afternoon.

Much to my delight, they didn’t laugh at me, but quickly produced a plan.  A few iterations later we have a set of plans we are really happy with.  The costs are in our range (just)
and are almost ready to be sent for consent.

UntitledWe are yet bend a blade of grass on the section I bought almost a year ago.  The broom has grown, but that’s about it.

The designer has told us that we may be able to do the consents the week after next.  We have a valuer looking at the property as well, and once that’s in we can get a final go-ahead from the bank.  I reckon we might be in by Christmas….

 

Steve Scurr, Bankrupt.

I know I wasn’t going to harp on about this, but finally there has been some official movement. Steve Scurr has personally gone bankrupt.

I tend to make a lot of excuses for him, but my partner, Courtney, does not. I’m a nice guy, and I let him take advantage of my good nature, which has cost me thousands of dollars, and wasted more than a year of my time. I don’t know what he thinks about it, but I suspect he thinks that since I am insured that I’m OK. Well, it’s not OK.

Steve Scurr, Bankrupt
Steve Scurr, Bankrupt

Coming back on track….

A few things have happened in the last couple of weeks that have brought the building project back on track – and there are some things I want to reflect on.

We have both been really frustrated by the project recently, mainly because of having to start again from scratch – or so it felt.  We have been plugging along however, and things have started to move.  We went to see some other modular/kitset house designers, and nothing really fitted in our price range, though there are some really cool things happening with prefabs (Wel Haus are particularly interesting).  We’ve decided though to use a lot of the work we did with Lockwood, and my brother Mike has offered to guide us through getting plans drawn up.

With these projects you have to start at the bottom and work up – my last post was about the frustration we had with getting an engineer to estimate how much it would cost to come up with a foundation plan.  I sent three some more detailed plans asking for a quote for how much the plans would cost.  The work will be an initial plan, which will be integrated into the plans by the architect, and then those plans signed off by the engineer.  The engineer will have to visit the site twice during construction to make sure that the plans are sound on the ground, as it were, and then produce a certificate saying that its all hunky dory.

  • One sent an estimate almost immediately, and quite a detailed description of costs, including the costs for site visits and potentially other variables
  • One sent a quote after a reminder email, with a very detailed description of ongoing costs ands site visits, and can start this week, but is twice the price of the first
  • The third, after 3 emails and two phone calls sent an estimate (the most expensive) with absolutely no mention of the cost for site visits or any other services they will have to provide.

I’ve committed to a slightly different approach to the project after thinking about it this weekend.  The actual house, though it is important to me, is not the goal.  The goal is building the house, and enjoying the experience.  I was up at the section last week, and man, it is just beautiful.  Really stunning.  With the kind of impetus the project is gaining, I feel much happier, and if I focus on the now, the daily problem solving that I enjoy, then it will all work out fine, and I’ll be happeri in the interim.

short sheeted.

Foundations.  Today, I want to start the process of finding out about foundations.  The thing I need to know is an educated guess, an estimate, of how much foundations will cost for an 80m2 building, on my section.

The problem is I have no cash.  Everything is tied up in the section, and my mortgage is based on plans that are no longer happening, and not transferable to the new project, so I have to start from scratch.

To get estimates for the foundations, I need plans.  Which means I need an architect and an engineer to draw them for me.  I have a pretty firm estimate on building the structure using a kitset house, but I can’t find out if the project is even feasible until I pay for plans to get drawn up, using money I don’t have.  I’m already thousands out of pocket for the previous project  – I used all my savings to cover a valuation, design fees, a geotechnical report and other things.

I’m so angry right now, that CJS let me down this badly I can hardly speak.

I know this will all work out, but I feel like I’ve climbed into a short sheeted bed – it all looks like it should be fine, but its shockingly deeply uncomfortable.

Endeavour Place II – In which CJS Construction Solutions goes under.

I was going to write regularly about our property at Endeavour place.  Its October 2014 now, and we should be about to move in, according to CJS Construction.  Unfortunately for them, and us, they look likely to go into receivership.  Though the principal director, is Callum Scurr, I was mostly dealing with his dad, Steve Scurr.   I don’t know why the company is going under, but it looks as though his main franchisor isn’t being paid.  I’m not going to mention their name here, as they as just as embarrassed about having a franchisee have financial trouble as I am, having forked over 20K to them in deposits.  We are insured for that – but that’s just going to take time.

Time.  That’s what I’ve got now.  THere are going to be a thousand loose ends to tidy up with the first attempt at building, but I’m feeling a lot more confident about the process now, and this time rather than having a ‘turnkey’ solution, I reckon we should build the project peice by peice.

I’ve had a lot of great advice from a lot of really experienced people – and I think the goal of building something for $200,000 is doable, especially as we want something small and modest.   The biggest hassle is the foundations – the section is quite steep, and everyone around here is TERRIFIED about foundations.  My quick look at the geotechnical report I have, and reading th building code says that we should be fine.  More on that later.

Anyway, I’m going to start blogging more about the project now that the unpleasant experience with Messrs Scurr is behind us.

Lazy Revalidation for LIANZA

form
There are a few themes to make your LIANZA Revalidation Journal Form quite pretty.

I am the laziest person you have ever met, so when it comes to doing something like adding entries to my LIANZA validation journal, I really need the easiest way to get it done, or it won’t get done at all.  I’ve heard horror stories about people looking through their calendars for four years finding things to add to their journal, racking their brains on what they did at the time.  There are a couple of problems with this approach; one,  you’ll miss a lot of stuff that isn’t calendarised that might be really appropriate, and two, the point of the exercise is to reflect on stuff at the time, so you can purposefully add what you’ve learned to your practice.  If you’re not sold on doing that, then why are you doing it at all?

I love my phone, so I thought if I could work out a way to add my journal entries on my phone (or if my employer gave me an ipad to use (cough, cough) I could add entries on the fly – at a conference or during a meeting.  I’m also an unreconstructed google fanboy, so google docs seemed like a good tool to use – so here’s how I did it.

Setting up a Google Form for a Revalidation Journal

1) Pop Parov Stelar’s “Paris Swing Box” on youtube.

2) Open up google drive (https://drive.google.com).  If you’re new to google drive, docs and forms, you can always go to the Google Docs Editor’s help for detailed help.

3) Create a new form (from the big red new button, select more, then Google Forms)

4) Edit the name of the form. Mine is LIANZA Revalidation Journal, but you can call it anything you like.  Sometimes something deeply disrespectful might give you a laugh and encourage you to use it, which I believe, is the point.

5) The first question is “Activity Description”, and it is paragraph text.  You might want to note the date of the event  in here if it isn’t the day you are adding it, which will be added automatically.

6) The second question (see the ‘add item’ button) is “Reflective Comment“, and it is the same as the one above : a nice big box to write in what you’ve learned from the activity.

7) The next item is Domain Area, and I’ve put it in as multiple choice.  Multiple Choice is rather misleading, because you can only make one choice from a selection – in HTML parlance it is a radio button set.  The choices are;

Professional Knowledge Extending professional knowledge and skills
Professional practice – Applying professional skills
Professional communication – Sharing Knowledge and expertise, developing relationships
Professional Leadership – Displaying Leadership and initiative

8) The next, and almost last item is the Body Of Knowledge Area.  I’ve put this in as checkboxes so I can mark more than one, which I think is OK.  My mentor might tell me differently when he sees this 🙂

The choices are:

  • BOK 1: The information environment, information policy and ethics
  • BOK 2: Generating, communicating and using information
  • BOK 3: Information needs and design
  • BOK 4: The information access process
  • BOK 5: Organisation, retrieval, preservation and conservation
  • BOK 6: Research, analysis and interpretation of information
  • BOK 7: Application of information and communication technologies (ICTs)
  • BOK 8: Information resource management and knowledge management
  • BOK 9: Management in information organisations
  • BOK 10: Assessing service effectiveness
  • BOK 11: Awareness of indigenous knowledge paradigms, which in the New Zealand context refers to Māori

9) The really last item is a bit sneaky.  I can’t remember exactly what goes in which BOK, so I have put in a crib.  The new item is a “Header Text”, and in the optional description for it I put in the details for the BOKs, from the LIANZA website:

BOK 1: The information environment, information policy and ethics
The Scope includes:
·         The history and changing nature of the wider information sector
·         The legal, policy, economic and ethical issues that are relevant to the wider information sector
·         The significance of the Tiriti o Waitangi (Treaty of Waitangi) to the development and delivery of library and information services and resources
·         The purpose and content of professional codes of practice

BOK 2: Generating, communicating and using information
The Scope includes:
•        Understanding how information is created, presented, disseminated and used
•        Identifying the impact and opportunities presented by the changing publishing environment
•        Understanding the role of information organisations in generating and communicating information

BOK 3: Information needs and design
The Scope:
·         Identifying and evaluating customer needs
·         Designing and delivering information services

BOK 4: The information access process
The Scope
·         Understanding how people find information
·         Developing literacies for accessing and using information
·         Using reference and research skills
·         Promoting the benefits of reading and lifelong learning

BOK 5: Organisation, retrieval, preservation and conservation
The Scope includes:
·         Describing, categorising and storing information
·         The principles of preservation and conservation
·         Designing systems for the storage, description and retrieval of information

BOK 6: Research, analysis and interpretation of information
Please note ‘Doing research is gathering and analysing data’
The Scope includes:
·         Understanding the nature, methodology and practice of research
·         Evaluating the quality and relevance of research
·         Undertaking research by gathering and analysing data and applying the findings

BOK 7: Application of information and communication technologies (ICTs)
The Scope includes:
·         The changing nature of ICTs and their application
·         Identifying and evaluating ICTs

BOK 8: Information resource management and knowledge management
The Scope includes:
·         Collection development and content management principles
·         Definitions, concepts and frameworks of knowledge and knowledge management
·         Applying knowledge sharing strategies

BOK 9: Management in information organisations
The Scope includes:
·         Contributing to strategic, business and operational planning
·         Managing finance, people and resources
·         Governance structures and stakeholder relationship

BOK 10: Assessing service effectiveness
The Scope includes:
·         Designing ways to assess service effectiveness
·         Designing ways to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of library and information facilities, products and services

BOK 11: Awareness of indigenous knowledge paradigms, which in the New Zealand context refers to Māori
The Scope includes:
·         Understanding the importance, diversity or structure of Māori knowledge (mātauranga Māori)
·         Understanding the influence that Māori processes, philosophies and language (kaupapa, tikanga and te reo Māori) are intrinsic in Māori knowledge frameworks
·         Understanding the importance of Māori research methodologies when assisting Māori clients with their information needs

Now you can send it with the link at the bottom of the form editing window to your own email, and you have the form link.  If you use gmail you can fill in the form from your email.    I have bookmarked it and added it as a shortcut on my phone.

If you look back into drive you’ll see a spreadsheet with the responses to your form.  The responses are private to you, but I’ve shared the spreadsheet with my mentor, so he can check in on my progress when he wants to.

After my probationary period is up, I’ll probably create the coversheet for my spreadsheet using a pivot table to count up the number of each domain and BOK items I’ve done, but that’s a talk for another time.  Right now I have to add this post as an item in my revalidation journal (Professional Leadership and BOK2).  If you go through this process, you can add it as Professional Knowledge, BOK 7!
Creative Commons License
Lazy revalidation for LIANZA by Anton Angelo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.