the larger framework of scholarly publishing and how it supports scholarship
and society. How can HathiTrust think about new roles and different funding
models to sustain the stewardship of intellectual resources? The academic in the
ivory tower may be a romantic and outdated image—especially as academics
can sit in their towers (well, cubicles) and communicate globally with ease.
Strategies to Empower Authors
John Wilkin is the University of Michigan Library’s Associate University
Librarian for Library Information Technology and Executive Director of
HathiTrust. Wilkin says that “one of the more gratifying parts of building
HathiTrust is bringing together the monographic works of our own scholars,
of the stars at our research institutions. As the initiative has gained recognition,
faculty from universities around the world have sent in permissions forms to
open their works. Being able to permit broad access to these works feels like the
epitome of scholarly communication.”
HathiTrust and its partners hope that research libraries will think about how
they can leverage their relationships with their authors to do novel things in
conjunction with their repositories, especially in the area of author reprints.
HathiTrust tries to think creatively and identify opportunities across activities;
ideas sometimes come simply from sharing a cup of coffee. As individuals and
institutions, librarians and libraries often maintain longstanding professional
and personal relationships with current and retired faculty. Over time, personal
contact with a faculty member can generate significant contributions—for
example, gaining their permission to open all the content where they have the
authority to do so. The experience of HathiTrust confirms that the cycle starts
with and returns to authors, who can be newly empowered to exercise rights
they do have and to be active participants in the global distribution,
preservation, and access to their work as never before.
1
The agreement form is listed with other rights information on the HathiTrust Web site
http://www.hathitrust.org/rights_management.
2
As a separate matter, Section 203 of the US Copyright Act provides for termination of transfers and
licenses granted by the author—essentially, certain limited opportunities to “revert” transferred rights
in very specific situations. Interestingly this provision is the focus of a recent Federal Register from the
US Copyright Office. See the request for comments, “Gap in Termination Provisions; Inquiry,” Federal
Register 75, no. 59 (March 29, 2010): 15390–15391, http://www.copyright.gov/fedreg/.
RLI 269
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Opening Up Content in HathiTrust
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C O N T I N U E D
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APRIL 2010 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A BIMONTHLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC
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