Joanna Ptolomey Copyright the key: hard work is not easy
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Tuesday, 2nd February 2010 Sign in to MyJinfo or create an account be able to star items Printable version Subscribe via RSS to get updates as soon as Blog items are added

By Joanna Ptolomey


There has been a recent flurry of postings on the LiveWire concerning access and workflow around research content, specifically with the role of copyright compliance. Penny Crossland’s report from Content Workflow 2010 ( ) was especially interesting in that copyright was branded as ‘the biggest killer in the information environment’ by one of the speakers Henning Nielsen. Conversely when Nancy Davis Kho reported from SIIA Information Industry Summit she remarked that there had been scant coverage of copyright at that event ( Blame it or ignore it; copyright and its role is not going to just disappear. It could in fact be the key for managing better information access and workflow. Copyright compliance is an unwieldy topic, and it can be difficult to have a firm grasp of the issues. There is no doubt that copyright presents problems for accessing information affecting the workflow of researchers and information professionals. It was therefore good to see that the Content Workflow event was an attempt at bringing the STM sector together with the task of discussing a difficult and problematic issue. A recent Research Information Network (RIN) report, ‘Overcoming barriers: access to research content’ (, echoed the mantra that copyright compliance is at the heart of accessing and distribution of vital research information. The RIN publication reported that finding information is not the issue, but access is raising complex sharing and licensing arrangements. They believe that this leads to ‘missing in action research’ having the effect of slowing progress, reducing collaborative work and calling into question the ‘quality and integrity’ of work. The report further examines the frequency that researchers encounter problems of access, the perceptions of ease of access, access to information in the public and private sector and especially information not ‘formally published’. It also reviews access arrangements for academic research libraries for researchers who are not members of institutions. The report concludes with recommendations and presents case studies of some institutions that are overcoming their differences and have developed information sharing practices, agreements, policies and compliance procedures to aid their workflow and successful research output. Hard work is not easy, and the road ahead for copyright compliance in reference to information workflow is hard. So strap in for the long haul……oh and its gonna be bumpy too!

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