SCOOP: The Year in Scholarly Communication – 2022 Edition/
December 29, 2022
It’s time for the SCOOP’s annual recap of happenings across scholarly communication.
Atla’s Year in Scholarly Communication
Atla had several important announcements from its scholarly communication program in 2022:
- The Atla Scholarly Communication and Digital Initiatives Committee continued to promote open educational resources (OER) by hosting a virtual ACRL OER roadshow in March, presenting on Supporting the Creation and Implementation of OERs in Religion and Theology at Atla Annual 2022, and awarding the third round of OER grants. The Scholarly Committee is putting together a pre-conference workshop on OER advocacy for Atla Annual 2023 – stay tuned for more details!
- Books@Atla Open Press published two new volumes, Bivocational and Beyond: Educating for Thriving Multivocational Ministry and Collection Development in Theological Libraries, the third volume of The Theological Librarian Handbook series. Atla Open Press also published the grant-funded OER produced by General Theological Seminary in 2022.
- The journal Theological Librarianship, in collaboration with the Atla Scholarly Communication Committee, announced a call for submissions to an October 2023 forum on the ethical imperative of open access. Submissions are welcome through June 1, 2023.
- TCB: Technical Services in Religion & Theology published a lot of great content in 2022 under its expanded scope and new sections. Be sure to check out issues you may have missed for articles on support from technical services and collection development for textbook affordability, OER, and stories of implementation and reviews of various open-source software programs. TCB is currently seeking submissions to an October 2023 issue focusing on system migrations.
- In addition to the OER Grant Program, Atla is currently accepting applications for the digitization grant program through February 17, 2023. Four Atla member institutions received digitization grants in 2022.
Scholarly Communication Headlines in 2022
The Copyright Claims Board Begins Accepting Filings
In June 2022, the Copyright Claims Board (CCB) opened for business, allowing copyright infringement claimants to file actions to resolve disputes provided they were seeking less than $30,000 in damages. As of the date this SCOOP was penned, 277 claims have been filed, but more than 100 have already been dismissed. Only two claims have tangentially involved scholarly publishing or higher education and are unlikely to have any bearing on fair use or how libraries utilize it. Libraries should consider whether it is in their best interest to opt out of proceedings before the CCB. We have provided information on our Copyright LibGuide with more information on the CCB and how (and why) to opt-out.
Impact on Theological Libraries
The prevailing concern of those who advise libraries on matters of copyright generally and fair use specifically is that the CCB will be used by “copyright trolls” or others who may be looking to target the exercise of fair use. It is still uncertain what, if any, impact there will be upon the current interpretation and application of fair use. While we continue to follow the claims that are filed and their outcome, theological libraries should educate themselves about the CCB and the options available to them to either weigh on a case-by-case basis to proceed before the CCB should a claim be filed against them or to opt-out of the CCB preemptively.
- The SCOOP looked at the first 100 claims filed before the CCB. https://www.atla.com/blog/scoop-the-first-100-cases-of-the-copyright-claims-board/
- Law professor Eric Goldman recently prepared a five-month check-in on the CCB and provided some interesting analysis. https://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2022/11/a-5-month-check-in-on-the-copyright-claims-board-ccb.htm
- EDUCAUSE offered a perspective on why the CCB has worrying implications for scholarship and pedagogy. https://er.educause.edu/articles/2022/11/the-copyright-claims-board-worrying-implications-for-scholarship
Continued Litigation Against Internet Archive
The case of Hachette v. Internet Archive is still pending as of the writing of this SCOOP post. Recall the lawsuit was filed in June 2020 following the Internet Archive’s (IA) launch of the “National Emergency Library,” which has since ceased operations alongside its long-standing Open Library. The lawsuit challenges IA’s scanning and lending practices, also known as Controlled Digital Lending (CDL), as mass copyright infringement. During 2022, several amicus briefs were filed on behalf of both parties. Additionally, both parties have filed motions for summary judgment and responses to the same. The trial court’s ruling on the motions for summary judgment is still pending.
Impact on Theological Libraries
The outcome of the lawsuit will have a bearing and impact on the CDL activities of libraries and potentially on the application of fair use on other digitization activities. This will be a very important case to follow in the new year.
- The Electronic Frontier Foundation maintains a page containing all filings and briefs. https://www.eff.org/cases/hachette-v-internet-archive
- The writers at Slate interviewed a few experts to ponder the question, “Could the Internet Archive Go out Like Napster?” https://slate.com/technology/2022/09/internet-archive-national-emergency-library-lawsuit.html
White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Updates Federal Open Access Mandate
In 2013 the open access movement in the United States got a shot in the arm when the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) delivered a federal mandate requiring federally funded research to be made publicly available via open access repositories at least twelve months after publication. This memo led to the development of federal agency public access plans and federal repositories for depositing published research. In August 2022, updated guidance was announced by the OSTP, requiring all federal agencies affected by the 2013 memo to update their policies as soon as possible to make publications and research publicly available immediately without any embargo or cost. The cessation of the twelve months embargo permitted by the 2013 memo is an important change.
Impact on Theological Libraries
For theological libraries serving institutions or faculty who receive grants from any of the federal agencies, it will be important to watch any communications from those agencies with respect to the timeline for updating their plans and what they may now require with respect to the deposit of publications and data.
- SPARC has been an active player in Washington, D.C., promoting open and public access to research. They have prepared a summary of the new guidelines and will be a great resource to follow in the months ahead as agencies respond. https://sparcopen.org/our-work/2022-updated-ostp-policy-guidance/fact-sheet-white-house-ostp-memo-on-ensuring-free-immediate-and-equitable-access-to-federally-funded-research/
- The Association of Research Libraries offers a comparison between the 2013 and 2022 OSTP memos. https://www.arl.org/resources/ostp-2013-2022-public-access-memo-comparison/
- The Scholarly Kitchen poses some good questions and observations in response to the new memo. https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2022/08/29/a-new-ostp-memo-some-initial-observations-and-questions/
Coalition for Diversity & Inclusion in Scholarly Communications Publishes New Guidelines
Launched in 2020, the Coalition for Diversity & Inclusion in Scholarly Communications (C4DISC) promotes equity, inclusion, diversity, and accessibility to individuals and organizations engaged in the work of scholarly communication. In a short period of time, they have produced several useful and instructive resources. In 2022, C4DISC released two of its most important resources to date: the Antiracism Toolkit for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in Scholarly Publishing and the Guidelines on Inclusive Language and Images in Scholarly Communication.
Impact on Theological Libraries
The resources produced by C4DISC should be in all theological librarians’ toolkits and promoted by librarians to their faculty, researchers, students, and staff.
- In case you missed it, the most recent SCOOP column offered a summary of the most recent guidelines on inclusive language and images. https://www.atla.com/blog/scoop-guidelines-on-inclusive-language/
- Take some time to review all the C4DISC toolkits for equity. https://c4disc.org/toolkits-for-equity/
Keep Up on News & Trends in Scholarly Communication
To keep up on scholarly communication issues throughout the year, look for the SCOOP column every month on the Atla blog, but also consider these useful and informative sources:
- Hosted by Harvard University’s Berkman Center, the Open Access Tracking Project provides a feed of stories and news on open access in a variety of forms (e.g., Twitter, RSS).
- The Journal of Scholarly Communication and Librarianship is an open access peer-reviewed journal publishing articles investigating the modes and technologies of scholarly communication, particularly regarding libraries.
- The “Scholarly Kitchen” is the Society of Scholarly Publishers blog. It features posts written by a wide array of authors from both the scholarly publishing and library worlds and that often inform and tantalize readers.
The SCOOP, Scholarly COmmunication and Open Publishing, is a monthly column published to inform Atla members of recent developments, new resources, or interesting stories from the realm of scholarly communication and open access publishing.
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