All 4 entries tagged Copyright

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May 08, 2009

Copyright and coursepacks

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I’m busy learning all about copyright as I am currently exploring whether the library will take on the role of preparing and providing printed module course packs for academic departments.

Many academic departments already provide their students with printed handouts or course packs of some type and the library could play a larger role in the production of these by offering copyright clearance and can act as a central facility for the distribution of such packs leading to less strain on academic departmental resources as well as reducing strain on the library in terms of the provision of multiple copies and photocopies being kept in the SLC.

After an initial scoping of various academic departments, support for the library’s provision of such course packs have arisen from a need for:

  • All material included in each course pack will be copyright cleared by the library.
  • Students will not have to locate the material in the library themselves, therefore increasing student efficiency and reducing the strain on library materials and services.
  • Successfully implemented at both UCL and LSE.
  • Advantageous for distance learners.
  • Students generally appear very keen, cuts the costs of buying recommended textbooks etc. Aids in the widening participation strategy, allowing material to be more easily available to all.
  • Potentially more useful for 1st year students to get them started (an important caveat to note is that this may remove their exploration of the library services at an early stage).
  • Advantageous for courses where text availability is poor.
The main concerns and issues arising from our scoping have been:
  • Copyright restricts the content of the course packs thus influencing their effectiveness.
  • Experiences of other UK Universities has highlighted the difficulties in selling such course packs, with some Universities making a financial loss in doing so.
  • Costs and finance have been flagged as a major concern for all interested parties along with distribution methods and the general logistics involved.
  • Some departments prefer to give students more openness in what they read and also feel that this would be a method of “spoon-feeding” information to their learners.
  • Numerous responses have queried why the library is only interested in producing paper-based course packs and not electronic. The shift to digital online resources such as document scanning, e-books and journal articles has reduced demand for hard copies and as such some of the more successful course pack provisions in other universities have declined in recent years although there is still some interest and demand. Students are expressing a rising preference for online resources although this then can place additional strain on IT systems. It should also be noted that print and digital packs will not always be transferable due to the licensing and restricted access of e-materials. This means that it may not be possible to host the packs online and use a “print-on-demand” system.

For further information please go to:

July 27, 2007

Digitise out–of–copyright and sell facsimile on demand

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Digitise you out-of-print holdings and sell them as print-on-demand facsimile publications. Then come come back to me and let me know how the business is doing!

Cornell University Library has partnered with BookSurge, a subsidiary of, to so publish over 6,000 titles from their collections. “When a book is retrieved online from the library’s Web site, records now indicate whether it is also available as a print-on-demand title via” and there is also a dedicated online bookstore homepage.

April 02, 2007

Plagiarism detectives in breach of copyright?

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Incredible – what will they think of next in this tangled web of legal nonsense! Apparently some US students are launching a law suit against Turnitin because the plagiarism detection software relies on copies of their essays being submitted to the software company. If only their school had thought to have the students sign a declaration that the copyright to all their schoolwork belonged to the school who could do what they wanted with it…

January 03, 2006

What's a swicki?

Writing about web page

Happy New Year all. First day back at work since the break, and I'm investigating one or two things I read about before Christmas.

Thought I'd find out what a swicki was… and set one up for myself. Seems to produce pretty good results, although its not quite as useful as bookmarks, and only just more accurate than Google. When you use Google properly (ie with good keywords and using the advanced search feature) its probably better to use Google. Not really sure that the swicki will take off, but it was worth a play!

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