Minutes of November 12, 2007 Meeting

G. Agnew, J. Boyle, T. Frusciano, H., Hoffman, T. Kuchi, J. Niessen (Co-Chair), J. Triggs, R. Womack (Recorder)

The primary item on the agenda was a discussion of four scholarly communication issues to provide input to Bob Sewell and Marianne Gaunt in advance of the Open Forum on Scholarly Communication Priorities on Friday, November 16. The group reviewed an outline for the Friday discussion provided by Gaunt.

I. First, what are the views, needs, and priorities of RU faculty with regard to the Repository?

Agnew described the state of current RUCore policies and projects, emphasizing that these include theses and dissertations and data sets as well as articles. RUCore has some criteria of its own to guide its growth, seeks to preserve material that will still be valuable in ten years time, and exclude ephemeral material. RUCore content should be open access. The one major exception is the Jazz Oral History project, which is a significant local collection that must be preserved. Distribution rights are being pursued for this collection. Other priority projects that will consume most of the staff time over the next one to two years are finding aids for Special Collections and Archives, and a Graduate School of Education project with Carolyn Maher that involves years of video and data.

Some issues were raised. Should we provide a mechanism for corrections to dissertations and other submitted material? How will version control be maintained in this case? To what extent do we capture the various records and publications of the university?

A useful first step will be to survey the various centers and institutes of Rutgers to discover exactly what kinds of publications and projects are currently available. As our starting point we will work from a list of Rutgers centers and institutes that has already been compiled, examining the websites of each of them to see if they have data or paper repositories. It is online as table 6 of appendix A of the self-study for Middle States, pp 9-11 on http://middlestates.rutgers.edu/pdf/M_AppendixA_draft.pdf. Warning: long list!

II. What is the interest in and value of digitizing collections?

Carrying over from the previous meeting's discussion, the group agreed that RU theses would be useful to digitize. Pre-1923 theses are out of copyright. We can check with the Alumni Association to secure permissions for post-1923 theses from their authors.

Two notable presentations at the Documents Association of New Jersey (DANJ) meeting in Princeton concerned the management of Google Books at NYPL and the mass digitization of federal committee hearings in the Camden Law Library. It was noted that Google Books is agnostic about whether material to be scanned is a document, applies the 1923 cutoff year across the board-hence Google Books is missing an opportunity to take advantage of the public domain for documents. The project at Camden is guillotining the hearings and feeding them into the hopper of a scanner, enabling great speed and efficiency. It is doubtful whether we would want to follow this procedure with our documents, but it might be an option with our older Rutgers theses, particularly if they are unbound.

The NJ State Library has already done two major digitization projects on the recommendation of DANJ: Annual report of the Inspector of the Labor of Children of the state of New Jersey and Annual report of the Bureau of Statistics of Labor and Industries of New Jersey.

Deborah Mercer of the State Library suggested four additional priorities for statewide digitization:

  1. Documents on a charities and corrections theme (1917 Prison Inquiry Report)
  2. Annual Reports of the State Geologist (related to NJEDL)
  3. NJ School Reports
  4. NJ Legislative Manual to 1922

The group found these publications valuable, but the initiative and funding for digitization would have to come from elsewhere; there is potential for an NJ Historical Commission grant shared by RUL, NJSL, and NJ Historical Society, but Agnew noted that the demands on her staff still made this unattractive. Current RUL commitments mean that TAS will be busy for the next two years. Mercer added concerning category 1: This could include the annual reports of early charities and corrections groups and could also encompass mental health, prisons, and the various children's homes. These might tie in with social work courses RU offers, but the social work interest is greater in contemporary than historical material. Agnew stated that a project to digitize the 1917 Prison Inquiry Report by itself would be doable. [Rutgers has a copy: Report of the Prison inquiry commission. Trenton, N. J., MacCrellish & Quigley Co., printers, 1917. 2 v. plates. fold. plans, tables (part fold.), Alex DOCNJ HV8350.A6 1917a v. 1/2]

Agnew discussed the importance of separating recon activities from digitization. Their workflows are not compatible: combining them slows down the entire process.

Agnew would like the new TAS faculty hire to work on providing links from our catalog to Google Books for out-of-copyright works as an alternative to digitization. We must be very careful about our commitment and responsibility for in-house digitization of widely available commercial publications. These issues need to be better understood. Digitization projects vary in complexity. A recent project to import the Paterson Chronicle into the NJDH took up 90% of the time devoted to the New Jersey Digital Highway (NJDH).

Agnew and Frusciano discussed the recent meeting of the NJDA Steering Committee. NJDH recently concluded the period of its initial grant, and is no longer limited thematically to immigration, hence focused in this meeting on forming a business plan for its next phase. Current developments in digital projects include a national newspaper grant and NJVID. NJVID is a video digitization project that will include twenty locally produced public broadcasting titles from NJN. NJVID is soliciting more NJ-themed content, as well as "at risk" video that must be preserved. NJVID is supported by VALE, NJEDGE, and NJDH.

III. Open access and copyright education

Boyle is involved with a planned Rutgers copyright education campaign built around the new copyright policy enshrined in Univ. Regs. 50.3.7. Notably, the new policy encourages authors to retain the right to use material within the University, and to retain the right to make the work available in a publicly accessible electronic archive (a definition that suits RUCore quite well). A Copyright Policy Advisory Committee is being formed to oversee implementation of the copyright policy. The campaign will most certainly be about use rights, and it is a good time to press for including author's information. We need to get appropriate authors' information together to offer to the planners. Education about fair use is necessary. Any education campaign must "consider our resources" in terms of who will be able to respond to questions and needs after the campaign.

The target of the planned campaign is instructors (especially TAs, PTLs, and Adjuncts). Boyle has already had one session for copyright education with university counsel and graduate students that was very informative. She is writing a campaign plan following the planning outline on the ARL Know Your Copyrights Campaign website (http://www.knowyourcopyrights.org/). She distributed handouts from the website and a draft of the plan. There are several portions of the plan where Jeanne needs advice from the committee. We have on hand 10,000 of the Know Your Copyrights brochure.

Liaisons will have to take on a greater role with regard to authors' rights, for which the primary audience will be full-time faculty. It was agreed that liaisons need more support and training before taking on this role. This support should include a publishing support page that would include authors' addendum and wording for authors' statements. Agnew noted that RUCore will create the capacity to store rights information about its material, which publishers often do not keep good track of.

IV. RU Survey Interface with RUCore

Agnew demonstrated the new Faculty Survey interface, which will allow easier updating, automatic production of CVs in web, NSF, and other formats, and other convenient features. As a convenience and enticement for faculty, RUCore is developing a link that will allow an RUCore submission to automatically be entered into the Faculty Survey, along with a permanent URL. Since RUCore and the Faculty Survey serve two very different purposes, the interface between them will always have certain klugey features, but it is useful to take advantage of the possibilities for labor savings. It is anticipated that the interactivity of the Survey and RUCore will generate needed motivation for faculty to submit citations to the Survey and content to RUCore. Longer term, Agnew wants to explore the possibility of interfacing RUCore/Survey submissions with RefWorks and Zotero as a way to make citation submissions still easier.

The group supported the idea of adding the option to designate RUCore submissions as refereed or non-refereed, as they are in the Survey. Agnew showed how these categories might work as limiting factors in an RUCore search. Within the submission template (WMS) it would have to be decided whether to enter refereed/non-refereed as notes or events.

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