Providing scholarly work and research digitally has become the norm. Online journals and electronic books have changed the landscape in how one can contribute to and access digital scholarship. Scholars are also providing insight into their research via Twitter and Tumblr. Additionally, the Internet provides the opportunity to make physical materials available through online exhibits and displays. But, while the ways in which we can receive and provide scholarship have changed, digital scholarship encounters many of the same issues that occur in the analog world. Author’s rights issues, copyright, fair use, transformation, issues related to data mining, preservation and accessibility are topics that impact both of these realms.
For many in academia the expanding possibilities of interaction, creation and construction on the Internet are enormous. With the change in landscape the arrival of many works in digital form brings about a different challenge in future cloth (if the work is ever published in a physical format) and publishing rights, translation rights and open access. Though in many ways the digital realm is similar to the analog publishing world, scholarly work affords a difference in the ability to edit, revise and/or submit for further peer review immediately in real time. Online journals also provide opportunities for interaction with creators; some projects may even allow users to view or submit in line commentary and notes. These digital capabilities further demonstrate the need for clarity on issues especially those involving copyright, author’s rights and fair use.
In this occasional series, I hope to discuss and highlight issues to consider in understanding copyright, author’s rights and others as they relate to digital scholarship.