MOOCs, Open Access and Research Libraries.

The fact that more universities join the idea to offer free courses free of charge to students from all over the world, known as Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs, creates issues concerning policys and legal matters for research libraries since they are often asked to support the development of MOOCs.

MOOCs is a form of scientific publishing because they are created by faculty in order to be used in education and research libraries should, just as they do with other types of scientific publishing, advocate that Open Access is standard for materials within a MOOC. Otherwise, the libraries end up in the same situation as with scholarly publications, they are forced to buy back the resources that were once created in their universities.

Libraries’ work to set Open Access as a default for publishing research also includes a thought concerning equal access to educational materials for students. Libraries often have two roles in this that in no way is new to them. First, to support faculty in their need for materials and resources that can be used in the courses. Second, to support the copyright issues surrounding “open” movements. This may require new or revised versions of licenses like creative commons or GNU. Materials used in MOOCs will need to be reviewed before this development includes courses at Swedish universities and other higher education. This is where libraries have the chance to put open access licenses on the material used and created within a MOOC right from the start.

Source: Massive Open Online Courses: Legal and policy issues for research libraries, Brandon Butler (2012).

Text: Lisa Carlson

Understand Your Rights

As an author, you have both immaterial rights and financial rights. The economic rights can be transferred to another part whereas the immaterial rights cannot. The purpose of Copyright in Sweden is to have balance between the creators’ (in this case author’s) need for protection and users’ need for access. E.g., as a user you can copy for own use and cite public texts but as a creator you have always the right to be referred to. If you have transferred your financial rights to a publisher it is they who then decide over the use of your work. This means that the publisher may, with licensing agreements, restrict your rights granted in the law.

To be able to self-archive in BADA you have to know whether you have copyright to them or not. The following is a way to categorize publications according to a publishing policy:

  1.  Author keeps, if no other agreement is signed, copyright to that what is published by University of Borås and the author is recommended to self-archive in BADA.
  2.  When it comes to international scholarly journal publishers, the author has entered an agreement with the publisher and has either limited or transferred his/her rights. Most of the publishers allow self-archiving if some conditions are met. You can find publishers’ publishing policies in Sherpa/Romeo.
  3.  If a monograph dissertation is published by University of Borås or any of its departments the author should publish the dissertation in its entirety in BADA. If a monograph dissertation is published by a publisher you have to ask for permission to self-archive.
  4. An author has copyright to his/her compilation dissertation. The author has signed an agreement for each of the articles or other publications which are a part of the dissertation and are published by a publisher. The possibility to self-archive has to be controlled separately with each publisher. Here is an example in BADA.
  5. For books, book chapters, anthology contributions, journals without policies and published conference papers publishers are to be contacted to control rights to self-archive.