Category: Copyright

What is NYU Digital Scholarship Services Working On? – #DayofDH2016

Image by flickr user patchtok (CC BY 2.0)

Image by flickr user patchtok (CC BY 2.0)

You know us as colleagues. You know us as consultants, service providers, and teachers. You know us as experts in copyright and fair use, knowledge management, media creation, web publishing, digital archiving & preservation, and repositories. You know us as organizers and leaders of digital humanities communities and initiatives at NYU and beyond.

But what you might not know is that we’re also scholars: we publish and present our work and we’re always exploring and learning new things.  Our research is a very important part of who we are and what we do both in and outside of NYU.

So for Day of DH 2016 we thought we’d help you get to know us as creators in our own right, by telling you about our scholarship. Here’s what we’ve been working on over the past year:

April Hathcock, Scholarly Communications Librarian, has been focusing much of her research in the last year on issues of diversity and inclusion in librarianship. She published an article on library diversity initiatives in the online journal In the Library with the Lead Pipe and is currently looking forward to several speaking engagements in the spring and summer relating to her work. She’ll be delivering the opening talk at the 2016 LACUNY Institute in May and will be joining Chris Bourg, the head of MIT Libraries, to deliver the closing keynote for the 2016 National Diversity in Libraries Conference at UCLA in August.

Monica McCormick, Program Officer for Digital Scholarly Publishing, has been learning about linked open data and the semantic web as part of a three-year grant-funded project to create infrastructure for the Enhanced Networked Monograph. She published a chapter on uniting the skills of librarians and university publishers in Getting the Word Out: Academic Libraries as Scholarly Publishers.  And in May 2016 she will serve as the facilitator at the P2L (Publishers Reporting to Libraries) Summit in Philadelphia, organized by the ARL, the AAUP, and the CNI.

Zach Coble, Digital Scholarship Specialist, is working on a paper on citation analysis of retractions in biomedical journals and wrote a chapter on getting started in DH in libraries for a forthcoming book, Career Transitions for Librarians: Proven Strategies for Moving to Another Type of Library. In addition to editing dh+lib and  leading various DH workshops at NYU and beyond, he is finishing his first year in NYU’s ITP master’s program, where he has made Drake The Autogenerating Ebook and other art+technology projects.

Amanda Watson (Librarian for English and Comparative Literature) has been working with her colleagues in Humanities and Social Sciences on a group digital project, Downtown Digital, as a way to improve their collective digital humanities skill sets. The project, inspired by the Developing Librarian Project at Columbia University, is focused on the history Washington Square and Greenwich Village. Each librarian involved in the project has been investigating a topic relevant to their own interests within the larger scope of the project. The participating librarians have been receiving training in the use of digital tools such as WordPress, Omeka, GitHub, and CartoDB. Their work is still in progress, but will eventually be showcased on the Downtown Digital site.

Nicholas Wolf recently completed his first publication to include appropriately linked datasets and R scripts to reproduce the paper’s findings. The essay, set to appear in the edited collection of lectures from the 2015 Heaney Series at St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, to be published by Four Courts Press later this year, examines the distribution of national schools in relation to Irish-speaking regions in Ireland in the nineteenth century. He has had a busy travel schedule this spring, participating in a colloquium on contemporary Irish literature and culture at University College Dublin in February, the Historical Sociolinguistics Network conference in Helsinki in March, and the American Conference for Irish Studies annual meeting in April where he led a workshop on Irish Studies and digital humanities and participated in a roundtable discussion on library and archival collections in the Irish Studies field.

Jennifer Vinopal, Head of  Digital Scholarship Services, wrote an article entitled The Quest for Diversity in Library Staffing: From Awareness to Action and is currently working with April Hathcock on a chapter on feminist praxis in library leadership for a forthcoming book entitled The Feminists Among Us: Resistance and Advocacy in Library Leadership.  Jennifer delivered the closing keynote at the fall 2015 Taiga Forum and will be keynoting the June 2016 Oberlin Group Digital Scholarship Conference. In her free time, Jennifer is currently taking a Coursera course on Research Data Management and is learning Spanish.


Fair Use Week 2016

Slide from "Figuring Out Fair Use" by April Hathcock

Slide from “Figuring Out Fair Use” by April Hathcock

February 23-26 was Fair Use Week, an annual celebration sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries to highlight the power of fair use for facilitating scholarship and research using copyrighted materials. At NYU, we held two workshops on “Figuring Out Fair Use,” led by Scholarly Communications Librarian, April Hathcock.

The purpose of the sessions was to provide an overview of fair use and the many ways it can be employed for research at NYU, particularly in the realm of digital scholarship. Focus was centered on the reuse of internet images and video, an increasingly common area of fair use in digital research.

For those who missed the workshops last month, there will be another on March 23 at 3pm, so be sure to register.

And as always, for any copyright or fair use questions or concerns, consult the Copyright Research Guide, email the Fair Use Listserv, or contact us to schedule a consultation.


Recap of our Workshop on Copyright in Digital Humanities

This copyright workshop, the third in our series designed specifically for graduate students interested in digital humanities, was taught by NYU Libraries’ April Hathcock, Scholarly Communications Librarian, and Monica McCormick, Digital Scholarly Publishing Officer.

(See their workshop notes with links to key resources.)

Before the workshop, students were asked to prepare by reading 3D Scanned Statue Copyright Debacle: How A University Got It Wrong. It tells about a legal challenge to an artist who was 3D scanning a sculpture that is over 400 (!) years old (and definitely not under copyright).

April Hathcock provided a brief introduction to copyright and shared Cornell’s grid on when things pass into the public domain. She explained that cultural heritage institutions like archives and museums can require that you ask them for permission to re-use or re-publish copyrighted works in their collections. But if they create a scanned reproduction of something that is in the public domain, that scan won’t be copyrightable.

If you’re using digital resources that were acquired or made available under a license, then your use is governed by the license and not by copyright. For example, NYU students using ARTstor are governed by the license that NYU Libraries signed in order to make ARTstor images available to the NYU community. Hathcock showed examples of usage restrictions in the licenses of ARTstor and of the UK National Gallery.

Hathcock then walked us through the four factors of fair use analysis and which kinds of uses weigh in favor of asserting fair use. To wrap up her portion of the workshop, she brought licensing, copyright, and fair use all together into a single workflow diagram for determining when to seek permission to use a copyrighted work.

Monica McCormick talked about publishing agreements and encouraged us to negotiate when we’re faced with a publishing contract. We looked closely at parts of two typical contracts and discovered that they required the author to sign away all rights in perpetuity to the publisher. The SPARC Addendum to Publication Agreement can be used as a template for negotiating a better publishing contract.

We also looked at the Creative Commons licenses which allow creators to make explicit how they want to share their online work with users. These licenses provide the copyright holder with a spectrum of options for giving users more or less permission of their works. As well, Creative Commons licenses do not preclude users asserting their fair use rights of a copyright holder’s material.

McCormick concluded the workshop with a discussion about collaboration and provided some examples of best practices developed by scholars for collaborative work. Interesting models include the Digital Humanities Best Practices (in draft), a  Collaborators’ Bill of Rights, and INKE’s very detailed document on attribution, shared authorship, joint IP, and more.

There is more information in the workshop document. And you can find lots of great information on copyright, fair use, and licensing on April Hathcock’s copyright research guide.

Visit the NYU Libraries Digital Scholarship Services blog to see the full list of workshops and public lectures. To contact us, fill out our appointment request form or email us at We look forward to helping you with your digital projects.

Recap of “Who Owns What: Intellectual Property in the Humanities”


On February 3, 2015, NYU’s Humanities Initiative hosted an event entitled “Who Owns What: Intellectual Property in the Humanities,” featuring three engaging speakers: Mark Righter, NYU’s Associate General Counsel; April Hathcock, NYU’s Librarian for Scholarly Communications; and Elizabeth Buhe, PhD Candidate in Art History at NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts. The session was moderated by Jonathan Zimmerman, Professor of History and Department Chair, Humanities and Social Sciences in the Professions at NYU’s Steinhardt School.

Jonathan Zimmerman kicked off the evening reminding us how important it is for scholars to understand fair use and copyright in order to do their work, and Mark Righter gave a brief overview of copyright. April Hathcock emphasized that scholars are both copyright holders as well as users of copyrighted materials and that it all comes down to access: getting access to the copyrighted materials scholars need as well as making one’s own materials available for use by others.

Finally, Elizabeth Buhe talked about a wonderful Mellon-funded digital humanities project she did, “Egyptian Antiquities in the Musée Charles X: A 3D Model,” in which she re-created, through 3D modeling, Jean-François Champollion’s presentation of Egyptian artifacts in several rooms of the Louvre in the early 1800s. This 3D work was a collaboration between Buhe and a for-profit company, and she has shared what she learned about collaboration, communication, project management, and copyright negotiation in “Digital Humanities Best Practices: Engaging a Collaborator.”

[Reminder: NYU Libraries provide copyright and fair use support to the NYU community. Visit April’s Guide to Copyright for more information.]

Follow this blog

Get every new post delivered right to your inbox.