Copyright Enforcement Tools as Censorship

This week, Scholarly Commons graduate assistants Zhaneille Green and Ryan Yoakum, alongside Copyright Librarian Sara Benson, appeared as guest writers for the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions’ blog as part of a series for Copyright Week. Their blog post looks at how the current copyright tools on platforms such as YouTube and Facebook allow large corporate or governmental entities to silence and suppress individual voices. You can read the full blog post on the IFLA blog website.

When did you first fall in love with data?

This post is part of a series for Love Data Week, which takes place February 14-18 2022.

Written by Lauren Phegley

Picture it – North Central College, Illinois, 2018. Twenty-one-year-old sociology major Laurent Phegley takes her seat in Professor Corsino’s class with no idea that she’s about to fall in love…with data. At the time, Dr. Corsino studied occupational attainment of Italian immigrants in Chicago Heights during the 1900’s. Lauren and her classmates sifted through census data to piece together the career tracks of (mostly male) Italian Americans. These data weren’t just checkmarks on a form. They were glimpses into entire families, glimpses that when pieced together told a story about how the American dream operates on the basis of social class. “For me, tracking the individuals through the census was a large puzzle,” Lauren says. Since then, Lauren has focused on helping other researchers solve their data puzzles. “Social science students are often not taught about data management because they don’t see their research as relating to ‘data’. I make a concerted effort now in my work and teaching to target fields that are often forgot about in terms of data management. Research is a labor of love. It is well worth a few hours of time to make sure that your data stays useable and understandable!”

Headshot of LaurenLauren Phegley is a graduate assistant for the Library Research Data Service pursuing her Masters of Science in Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois iSchool. Once she graduates in May 2022, she hopes to work as an academic librarian helping researchers manage their data and research.

It Matters How We Open Knowledge: Open Access Week 2021

It’s that time of year again! Open Access Week is October 25-31, and the University of Illinois Library is excited to participate. Open Access Week is an international event where the academic and research community come together to learn about Open Access and to share that knowledge with others. The theme guiding this year’s discussion of open access will be “It Matters How We Open Knowledge: Building Structural Equity.”

These discussions will build on last year’s theme of “Open with Purpose: Taking Action to Build Structural Equity and Inclusion.” While last year’s theme was intended to get people thinking about the ways our current information systems marginalize and exclude, this year’s theme is focused on information equity as it relates to governance.

OA Week digital banner with theme name and date

Specifically, this year’s theme intentionally aligns with the recently released United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recommendation on Open Science, which encompasses practices such as publishing open research, campaigning for open access, and generally making it easier to publish and communicate scientific knowledge.

Circulated in draft form following discussion by representatives of UNESCO’s 193 member countries, the recommendation powerfully articulates and centers the importance of equity in pursuing a future for scholarship that is open by default. As the first global standard-setting framework on Open Science, the UNESCO Recommendation will provide an important guide for governments around the world as they move from aspiration to the implementation of open research practices.

UNESCO Icon

While the University of Illinois is not hosting any formal events for open access, the Library encourages students, staff, and faculty to familiarize themselves with existing open access resources, including:

  • IDEALS: The Illinois Digital Environment for Access to Learning and Scholarship, collects, disseminates, and provides persistent and reliable access to the research and scholarship of faculty, staff, and students at Illinois. Once an article is deposited in IDEALS, it may be efficiently and effectively accessed by researchers around the world, free of charge.
  • Copyright: Scholarly Communication and Publishing offers workshops and consultation services on issues related to copyright. While the Library cannot offer legal advice, we can help you to identify information and issues you may want to consider in addressing your copyright question.
  • Illinois Open Publishing Network: The Illinois Open Publishing Network (IOPN) is a set of digital publishing initiatives that are hosted and coordinated at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library. IOPN offers a suite of publishing services to members of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign community and aims to facilitate the dissemination of high-quality, open access scholarly publications. IOPN services include infrastructure and support for publishing open access journals, monographs, born-digital projects that integrate multimedia and interactive content.

IOPN logo

For more information on how to support access at the University of Illinois, please reach out to the Scholarly Commons or the Scholarly Communication and Publishing unit. For more information about International Open Access Week, please visit www.openaccessweek.org. Get the latest updates on Open Access events on twitter using the hashtag #OAWeek.

Welcome to the new Scholarly Commons!

The staff at the Scholarly Commons are excited to welcome you to our new location in Room 220 of the Main Library! Over the course of the past year of remote work, we have been making progress on getting 220 ready for patron use by the start of the Fall semester and officially opened our new space on August 9th.

Study tables arranged in two rows with students studying.

Study tables located in Room 220

The new Scholarly Commons in Room 220 is a much bigger space that can accommodate more patrons, support individual and group study, host research consultations, and more. We have brand new soft furniture that patrons can lounge in, as well as several study tables that come with screen-casting monitors for easy collaboration.

Individual study pod with clear glass doors

Rooms available to reserve for individual or group study

Our patrons have also been excited about the group collaboration rooms, which are brand new to the Scholarly Commons. These rooms can be reserved for individual study or group meetings. They are glass-enclosed spaces with adjustable lighting, a monitor for screen-casting, and air conditioning. The pods can be reserved for two hours at a time through the library’s online reservation portal.

The Scholarly Commons mission of supporting the advanced research needs of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign community continues in our new space, where we have 14 desktop computers equipped with specialized research software. A full list of software available in Room 220 is available on the Scholarly Commons website. You can also receive statistical consulting services through the Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning in Room 220 during their drop-in hours. Our scanning equipment is also now located in Room 220, including our new KIC Bookeye Book Scanning Station.

Bookeye scanner with touchscreen and two flatbed scanners

Bookeye and Flatbed scanners

The Scholarly Commons service desk is also now located in Room 220 and is the best way to get immediate help from one of our staff members. We will also be available via our online chat and through email (sc@library.illinois.edu) during our oprerating hours, Monday-Thursday, 10am-4pm and Fridays 10am-noon. You can also visit Room 220 outside of these hours – the room will be available for use whenever the Main Library building is open.

We are so excited to be back on campus and in our new space. We look forward to seeing you at the new Scholarly Commons!

Meet Michelle Reed: New Head of The Scholarly Commons

Head shot of Michelle Reed from the chest up

It is an exciting time for our unit because we finally have a new head of the Scholarly Commons, Michelle Reed! We want to give our readers a chance to learn more about Michelle and her career in this blog post.

Before joining us, Michelle worked as Associate Librarian and Director of Open Educational Resources at the University of Texas at Arlington Libraries. In that role Michelle led efforts to support the adoption, modification, and creation of open educational resources (OER). She oversaw the university’s financial investment in OER, managed the OER publishing activities of Mavs Open Press, and collaborated with UTA faculty to secure external grant funding for OER development, including a $582,322 grant from the U.S. Department of Education to create a series of transportation resources.

Michelle Reed giving a presentation at a podium

Prior to joining UTA, Michelle supported both information literacy and scholarly communication at the University of Kansas Libraries. She also worked as a technical writer and editor for a Department of Energy waste management center and a small research and manufacturing business specializing in neurophysiological research tools.

In her new role as the head of the Scholarly Commons she hopes to build collaborative relationships with partners from within the library and across campus to support the use and exploration of digital tools, broaden access to scholarship, and enhance the university’s research output.

To learn more about Michelle, you can visit her website librariansreed.com.

Simple NetInt: A New Data Visualization Tool from Illinois Assistant Professor, Juan Salamanca

Juan Salamanca Ph.D, Assistant Professor in the School of Art and Design at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign recently created a new data visualization tool called Simple NetInt. Though developed from a tool he created a few years ago, this tool brings entirely new opportunities to digital scholarship! This week we had the chance to talk to Juan about this new tool in data visualization. Here’s what he said…

Simple NetInt is a JavaScript version of NetInt, a Java-based node-link visualization prototype designed to support the visual discovery of patterns across large dataset by displaying disjoint clusters of vertices that could be filtered, zoomed in or drilled down interactively. The visualization strategy used in Simple NetInt is to place clustered nodes in independent 3D spaces and draw links between nodes across multiple spaces. The result is a simple graphic user interface that enables visual depth as an intuitive dimension for data exploration.

Simple NetInt InterfaceCheck out the Simple NetInt tool here!

In collaboration with Professor Eric Benson, Salamanca tested a prototype of Simple NetInt with a dataset about academic publications, episodes, and story locations of the Sci-Fi TV series Firefly. The tool shows a network of research relationships between these three sets of entities similar to a citation map but on a timeline following the episodes chronology.

What inspired you to create this new tool?

This tool is an extension of a prototype I built five years ago for the visualization of financial transactions between bank clients. It is a software to visualize networks based on the representation of entities and their relationships and nodes and edges. This new version is used for the visualization of a totally different dataset:  scholarly work published in papers, episodes of a TV Series, and the narrative of the series itself. So, the network representation portrays relationships between journal articles, episode scripts, and fictional characters. I am also using it to design a large mural for the Siebel Center for Design.

What are your hopes for the future use of this project?

The final goal of this project is to develop an augmented reality visualization of networks to be used in the field of digital humanities. This proof of concept shows that scholars in the humanities come across datasets with different dimensional systems that might not be compatible across them. For instance, a timeline of scholarly publications may encompass 10 or 15 years, but the content of what is been discussed in that body of work may encompass centuries of history. Therefore, these two different temporal dimensions need to be represented in such a way that helps scholars in their interpretations. I believe that an immersive visualization may drive new questions for researchers or convey new findings to the public.

What were the major challenges that came with creating this tool?

The major challenge was to find a way to represent three different systems of coordinates in the same space. The tool has a universal space that contains relative subspaces for each dataset loaded. So, the nodes instantiated from each dataset are positioned in their own coordinate system, which could be a timeline, a position relative to a map, or just clusters by proximities. But the edges that connect nodes jump from one coordinate system to the other. This creates the idea of a system of nested spaces that works well with few subspaces, but I am still figuring out what is the most intuitive way to navigate larger multidimensional spaces.

What are your own research interests and how does this project support those?

My research focuses on understanding how designed artifacts affect the viscosity of social action. What I do is to investigate how the design of artifacts facilitates or hinders the cooperation of collaboration between people. I use visual analytics methods to conduct my research so the analysis of networks is an essential tool. I have built several custom-made tools for the observation of the interaction between people and things, and this is one of them.

If you would like to learn more about Simple NetInt you can find contact information for Professor Juan Salamanca here and more information on his research!

If you’re interested in learning more about data visualizations for your own projects, check out our guide on visualizing your data, attend a Savvy Researcher Workshop, Live Chat with us on Ask a Librarian, or send us an email. We are always happy to help!

Save The Date: 10th Anniversary!

Text: Celebrate a decade with the Scholarly Commons. Background: fireworks and party banner.

This month marks the 10th anniversary of the Scholarly Commons! To celebrate this momentous occasion, the Scholarly Commons is presenting a digital exhibition commemorating our history. This digital exhibition will highlight the projects, partnerships, and people that supported the unit over the past ten years. The exhibition will include:

An Interactive Timeline of the Scholarly Commons History

The Scholarly Commons has celebrated many milestones over the course of the past decade. From creating the Savvy Researcher Workshops to hosting symposiums and competitions to inviting guest scholars to the UIUC campus to share their ideas and projects with our community. The Scholarly Commons has created long-lasting initiatives that enrich the academic life of the UIUC. 

To commemorate some of our biggest achievements, the Scholarly Commons has created a timeline featuring the projects, partnerships, and people who have built the Scholarly Commons through the years. To read these highlights and learn about the future of the Scholarly Commons, you can view the timeline here.

A GIS Mapping Project Highlighting Former Scholarly Commons Graduate Assistants

Graduate Assistants play a valuable role in keeping the Scholarly Commons functional and efficient. They provide consultation services for patrons, develop instructional materials for technologies and tools in the Scholarly Commons, facilitate in-person and virtual workshops, and perform a wide variety of other tasks. By the time they graduate and leave the Scholarly Commons, our hope is that our Graduate Assistants gain new technical skills, form long-lasting relationships, and develop a profound sense of professionalism and responsibility that they will carry with them throughout their careers.

To recognize the achievements of our former GAs, the Scholarly Commons has created an interactive map showcasing where they are now and how their time with the Scholarly Commons impacted their careers. To see the global influence of the Scholarly Commons for yourself, you can view the map here.  

A Talk by Guest Speaker Thomas Padilla

Thomas Padilla in a study space at the University of Nevada Libraries

Thomas Padilla at the University of Nevada Libraries

On Tuesday October 20, 2020 from 3:30-4:30pm, former Scholarly Commons Graduate Assistant and current Interim Head of Knowledge Production at the University of Nevada Las Vegas Libraries Thomas Padilla will lead a discussion around the importance of responsible operations in libraries. 

Drawing on his experience leading development of the research agenda Responsible Operations: Data Science, Machine Learning, and AI in Libraries, Padilla will discuss how cultural heritage practitioners and their partners can improve collection description and discovery, develop machine actionable collections, and create space for members of their organizations to expand skills and deepen cross-functional community partnerships using data science, machine learning, and AI technology. To attend this lecture, use this Zoom Webinar Link

To stay updated on all these events and more, please visit our 10th anniversary webpage on the Scholarly Commons website. Thank you all for celebrating 10 years with us!

New Register of Copyrights

On September 21, the Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden announced her appointment of  Shira Perlmutter as the next U.S. Register of Copyrights. While the Register of Copyrights (the Register) role may not be the most publicly visible position in the Library of Congress, the Register plays a significant role in influencing and upholding copyright laws.

Picture of Shira Perlmutter speaking at a podium

Shira Perlmutter, Register of Copyrights

To help you gain a better understanding of what the Register of Copyrights does and how they may impact your life as a researcher and/or consumer of public information, we created a list of  important information you should know about the U.S. Copyright Office and the Register of Copyrights.

What is the Register of Copyrights?

The Register of Copyrights is the director of the U.S. Copyright Office, the principal federal agency that administers the U.S. Copyright Act. The Register is responsible for administering the provisions of copyright and related laws set out in Title 17 of the United States Code. The law directs the Register to advise Congress on national and international issues related to copyright laws, provide information and assistance on copyright matters to other federal agencies and the judiciary, conduct studies and programs regarding copyright, and participate in meetings of international intergovernmental organizations and meetings with foreign government officials.

Additionally, the Register is responsible for allocating financial and other resources to ensure that the Copyright Office’s programmatic mission and objectives are met. The Register oversees Copyright Office employee functions such as registration, recordation, statutory licensing, law and policy, public information and education, operations, and modernization program activities.

Who is Shira Perlmutter?

Shira Perlmutter is one of the nation’s most preeminent copyright experts. Prior to her appointment as the 14th U.S. Register of Copyrights, Shira Perlmutter served as the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Chief Policy Officer and Director for International Affairs.

All together, Perlmutter has more than 20 years of experience working on copyright and other intellectual property issues, in a variety of public and private sector positions. During her tenure at the USPTO, she led the work of the Office of Policy and International Affairs in contributing to domestic and international IP policy development, represented the United States in negotiations at the World Intellectual Property Organization, oversaw the USPTO’s economic research, international education and IP attaché programs, and managed the USPTO’s work with the United States Trade Representative on matters involving IP and trade.

Coming into the position, Perlmutter has also been vocal about her advocacy of fair copyright laws. Prior to her appointment Perlmutter has given public lectures on copyright, stating that Americans desire copyright laws that make sense and that reflect the technologies currently in use. Furthermore, she has expressed desires for laws that keep pace with modern technology.

Implications of Perlmutter’s Appointment

With her new appointment as the Register of Copyrights, she is now in a position to potentially make some of those updates. Assuredly, one of the policy areas in copyright law that demands a new approach is technology.

For example, new technologies like facial recognition and artificial intelligence have been plagued by racial and gender bias, and Internet platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter have amplified hate speech, disinformation, and conspiracy theories. Additionally, as digital streaming continues to establish its dominance in the music industry, it raises the question of how the federal government should modernize copyright laws for music and audio recordings.

Unlike her predecessors, Perlmutter will have to learn to provide guidance on copyright laws and privacy issues while dealing with big tech corporations with trillion dollar market caps and major lobbying influence. Depending on how she wields her influence, Perlmutter’s decisions as the new Register could have long-lasting implications in the fields of copyright, privacy, and intellectual property.

To learn more about the U.S. Copyright Office and Register Perlmutter, visit the Copyright Office’s website.

Resources Consulted:

Keyes, J. (2019, November 14). The Katy Perry Verdict Proves Our Music Copyright Laws Need a Tune Up. Retrieved September 28, 2020, from https://www.ipwatchdog.com/2019/08/29/katy-perry-verdict-proves-music-copyright-laws-need-tune/id=112644/.

U.S. Copyright Office. Leadership and Offices. Retrieved September 28, 2020, from https://www.copyright.gov/about/leadership/.

United States Patent and Trademark Office. (2020, September 21). Shira Perlmutter, USPTO Chief Policy Officer and Director for International Affairs, appointed Register of Copyrights. Retrieved September 28, 2020, from https://www.uspto.gov/about-us/news-updates/shira-perlmutter-uspto-chief-policy-officer-and-director-international.

Welcome back to the Scholarly Commons! Here’s what you missed…

Hello friends! Campus is open again (kind of) after our long, strange, and trying pandemic summer. Here at the Scholarly Commons we are ready to get back into the swing of things and help you with all of your research technology needs. While many of the ways we do business have changed, our commitment to our patrons and your success is unwavering. In case you are feeling out-of-the-loop I’ve compiled a list of the most important changes to our services. Here is what you missed on the last episode of Keeping Up With The Scholarly Commons:

1. We are all online! Find us on chat!

Starting this semester the Scholarly Commons reference staff will be available to our patrons through the library chat service. Have a question? Trouble accessing our tools? Just miss us? Drop us a chat and we will help you in real time. Scholarly Commons chat reference hours are between 10:00am to 2:00pm Monday through Friday. Access chat through our website!Chat window with "Whats up scholarly commons?" in the text box

As always, feel free to send us an email at sc@library.illinois.edu.

2. Scanning help by appointment

You might think that because our space is closed until further notice that we don’t offer scanning services anymore. I’m delighted to say that is not the case. If you need to scan something you may request an appointment to use a library scanner using this form. It will take up to 48 hours for the form to be processed. Keep in mind that not all requests can be accommodated due to demand and the ability of our staff to supervise your appointment but we will try our best to ensure this service is accessible. If you have questions about this service send us an email.

Plustek Scanner Image

“Come visit… I’m lonely”- Our scanners (probably)

3. New Interim Head of Unit: Sara Benson

Yes, you read that correctly! We have new leadership!!! Our new interim head of unit is Copyright Librarian Extraordinaire Sara Benson. If you want to get to know Sara and her work read her interview on our blog or listen to her Copyright Chat Podcast.

Sara Benson headshot

4. New GIS Specialist: Wenjie Wang

We are very very excited to have a full-time GIS specialist for all your mapping and spacial data needs! He joins us after working at the University of Connecticut Map and Geographic Information Center and has years of experience working with GIS. Do you want to learn more about Wenjie and his work? Read his interview on Commons Knowledge. Do you have GIS questions? Request a consultation with Wenjie!

Headshot of Wenjie Wang, wearing a black suit with a blue shirt and blue striped tie. Standing in front of trees.

5. Our podcast is out!

We have been working hard on our podcast for a long time now and it is finally out! In our podcast, It Takes a Campus, we interview experts across campus about the new and exciting ways they support digital scholarship in their roles. Listen to our first two episodes right here on our blog!

Image has the text supporting digital scholarship, it takes a campus with icons of microphone and broadcast symbol

 It Takes a Campus: Episode One With Dena Strong

It Takes a Campus: Episode Two With Harriett Green

6. The Scholarly Commons turns ten!

This marks a very important year for the Scholarly Commons as we enter our tenth year supporting digital scholarship here at the University of Illinois. We have some exciting events planned so stay tuned for more updates on that!

2020 Vision: An Overview of the Scholarly Commons This Semester

Jeff Goldbloom saying

The Scholarly Commons would like to wish you a warm welcome back as we gear up for an exciting new semester of research and opportunities together! We have officially resumed our regular semester hours. Come visit us anytime Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Continue reading