Copyright Solutions for Institutional Repositories: A Collaboration With Subject Librarians
Written by Heather Leary, Kacy Lundstrom, and Pamela Martin
This work investigates using subject librarians to conduct copyright clearance in an institutional repository (IR). At Utah State University, the library assures copyright clearance for faculty scholarship, thereby garnering input of faculty scholarship into the IR. Currently, subject librarians are not widely participating in routine IR work; however, the involvement of subject librarians with the IR offers benefits to the subject librarians and the institution as a whole. This article provides a model for institutions needing new solutions for copyright clearance using subject librarians and discusses the rationale, benefits and challenges of adopting this model.
Options for access to electronic scholarly and educational information continue to increase each year. The Internet supplies entrance to many digital libraries, discipline repositories, Institutional Repositories (IRs), open access journals, and subscription journals. Today it is common (and some argue necessary) for a university to have an institutional repository showcasing the scholarly output of an institution. As repositories continue to expand and become more relevant, the benefits and challenges of running and maintaining them grow.
This article details a project by the Merrill-Cazier Library at Utah State University that utilizes partnerships and collaborative opportunities between departments. Specifically, the project sought to determine how feasible it is for subject librarians to participate in copyright clearance for the IR. The library’s decision to perform copyright clearance on behalf of authors submitting to the IR is an attempt to encourage faculty support and use of the IR, while requiring very little time and effort on their part, especially considering the time intensive nature of copyright clearance work. As IRs strive to include accurate metadata and access to as many works as possible, the process to obtain permission (copyright clearance) to include a copyrighted full-text can involve time consuming steps. Thus IRs are faced with a bottleneck. This article identifies the benefits and challenges for the subject librarians and the repository in pursuing this goal.