The BU Digital Commons is a valuable way to extend the scholarly output of Butler University to include greater reach and increased circulation not only in Indiana, but throughout the country and beyond. This increased visibility, awareness, and stability benefits both content creators and Butler University as well. Some of the benefits include:
While many disciplines have a well-established hierarchy of journals, often measured through impact factor and/or informal consensus, digital publishing and increased interdisciplinary collaborations have given rise to a new class of journals. Many of these journals are online-only and funded not through the juggernauts of scholarly publishing (Elsevier, Springer, Taylor & Francis) but through author fees and library support. As more studies emerge questioning the validity of impact factor and other journal-level metrics, other methods of assessment have emerged to provide a more holistic method for evaluating scholarly work (see Altmetrics for more information).
At Butler University Libraries, we are happy to consult on journal selection -- please contact your liaison librarian to set up a consultation. If you've found a new open access journal and are curious about its bona fides (with any new "market," there are those looking to take advantage), we highly recommend evaluating your journal against the following indicators:
There are two components to licenses worth mentioning here: the first is securing licenses to publish or reprint materials in an article, book, or other work and the second is negotiating the copyright transfer agreement often required by journal publishers.
REUSING OTHERS' MATERIALS
Oftentimes publishers will provide you with a form to secure permissions for reprinting and otherwise reusing material that has been published elsewhere. You will also need to fill out this form for any images you find online with one significant exception: if the image has been clearly licensed under an open license such as a Creative Commons or the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL). Using materials licensed for reuse can greatly reduce the amount of time you spend on paperwork. Unsure how to find these? Check out our Finding Images & Media LibGuide.
NEGOTIATING A COPYRIGHT TRANSFER AGREEMENT (CTA)
Copyright consists of a bundle of rights that can be distributed in a number of ways. Frequently, Copyright Transfer Agreements have you sign over the copyright to your article/book/scholarship to the publisher and then certain rights are licensed back to you. It's important to review which rights are licensed back in your agreement, otherwise you could find yourself unable to distribute your work in the classroom, perform it in public, and place it in Digital Commons. It is becoming increasingly common for authors to request certain rights remain with them. For more information about Author Rights, check out the SPARC advocacy group's page on the subject: Author Rights