enews feature: UMass Amherst asks faculty, "Got Rights?"
By Rebecca Reznik-Zellen, Science Librarian for the Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing at University of Massachusetts-Amherst
First published in SPARC enews, January 2009.
This article is one in a series SPARC offers to highlight change on our member campuses. If you’re a SPARC member and have a program to be highlighted here, or would like to recommend a program on another campus, please contact Jennifer McLennan through jennifer [at] arl [dot] org.
In an effort to bring the topic of Author Rights to the attention of faculty members, the University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries hosted a “Short and Snappy Author Rights Colloquy for Science Faculty” in November of 2007. The goal of the lunch event was to inform faculty and graduate students in the Sciences about their rights as authors in a comfortable and casual way. Over sandwiches and soda, a three-person panel presented basic information on why and how to maintain author rights, a faculty perspective on author rights, and addressed intellectual property issues that surround patents and inventions that are discussed in research articles.
Faculty and graduate students from six departments and a research center (Physics, Chemistry, Microbiology, Mathematics, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Natural Resource Conservation, and the National Center for Digital Government) registered for the event, which provoked fruitful discussions between librarians and faculty members about their rights and responsibilities as authors--specifically within the scientific fields--and even some collaborations. One panelist was later invited to present the topic of Author Rights to a graduate class on Ethics.
Currently, the University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries are planning a series of lunches with a similar format for faculty and graduate students in the Sciences, the Social Sciences, Public Health and Nursing, and Arts and Humanities for the Spring 2009.
Panel members included: The Scholarly Communication and Digital Initiatives Librarian (Marilyn Billings), a faculty member from the Physics Department (Ian Beatty), and the Director of the Commercial Ventures and Intellectual Property Rights Office of the University of Massachusetts Amherst (Nick DeCristofaro).