World Book and Copyright Day 23rd April

On the 23rd of April each year, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) celebrates World Book and Copyright Day.

Image of a world, books and the copyright symbol. Text says World Book and Copyright Day

The death anniversary of William Shakespeare, Miguel Cervantes and Inca Garciloso de la Vega as well as the birth or death of several prominent authors, was chosen in 1995 by UNESCO to become the World Book and Copyright Day. That date is 23rd April.

The day in itself is a celebration of everything relating to books but also to highlight the importance copyright has in the dissemination of some of our favourite reads.

Thanks to copyright, thousands of authors and publishers around the world can publish works that enrich society, through creativity, diversity and access to knowledge.

Copyright is an Intellectual Property (IP) right which allows the creator of an original work, certain economic rights as well as the right to modify, adapt, and disseminate the work. Copyright is automatic and in the UK it lasts for the lifetime of the author plus 70 years.

Copyright protects different categories of work, from literary, dramatic, artistic and musical works, films and sound recordings as well as broadcasts and typographical arrangement.

Books fall into the literary works spectrum. However, sometimes a book can have multiple types of works included.

Image showing different copyright components of text and duration of copyright protection

Using certain material from a book can sometimes become problematic. Multiple rights holders, means multiple people to request permission from. At times, a publisher might own the copyright and using the material in any way would mean that permission must be requested from publishers which also could mean paying a fee.

While copyright was created to protect creators and their original work, it has become a way for publishers to keep the power over the creations. Alexander Pope described it this way:

What Authors lose, their Booksellers have won,

So Pimps grow rich, while Gallants are undone.

While during Pope’s time, publishers indeed had a lot more power over authors, nowadays, with Open Access for publications, the authors can keep the copyright to their creations and share them widely for the enjoyment and use of the public.

Have a look below at the multiple resources available at Loughborough as well as the multitude of free resources, either because they have been published Open Access or because copyright expired, and they are now part of the public domain.

Loughborough University Catalogue

Authors, copyright, and publishing in the digital era / by Francina Cantatore, 2014

China’s creative industries copyright, social network markets and the business of culture in a digital age / Lucy Montgomery, 2010

Copyright versus open access on the organisation and international political economy of access to scientific knowledge / Marc Scheufen, 2015

E-publishing and digital libraries legal and organizational issues / edited by Ioannis Iglezakis, Tatiana-Eleni Synodinou, and Sarantos Kapidakis, 2010

Judiciary-friendly forensics of software copyright infringement / Vinod Polpaya Bhattathiripad, 2014

Piracy the intellectual property wars from Gutenberg to Gates / Adrian Johns, 2010

Publishing law Hugh Jones and Christopher Benson, 2014

Rethinking copyright history, theory, language / Ronan Deazley, 2006

The copyright wars three centuries of trans-Atlantic battle / Peter Baldwin, 2014

The digital rights movement the role of technology in subverting digital copyright / Hector Postigo, 2012

The EU Artificial Intelligence Act regulating subliminal AI systems / Rostam J. Neuwirth, 2022

The rhetoric of intellectual property copyright law and the regulation of digital culture / by Jessica Reyman, 2009

Wired shut copyright and the shape of digital culture / Tarleton Gillespie, 2007

Directory of Open Access Books

Copyright’s Broken Promise  – Willinsky, John (2022)

Copyright and Cartography  – Alexander, Isabella (2023)

Copyright, the Freedom of Expression and the Right to Information  – Mendis, Sunimal (2011)

The Copyright Pentalogy : How the Supreme Court of Canada Shook the Foundations of Canadian Copyright Law  – Michael Geist (2020)

The Digital Public Domain: Foundations for an Open Culture  – Dulong de Rosnay, Melanie; De Martin, Juan Carlos (2012)

The Greatest Films Never Seen: The Film Archive and the Copyright Smokescreen – Op den Kamp, Claudy (2017)

What if we could reimagine copyright – Giblin, Rebecca; Weatherall, Kimberlee (2017)

Whose Book Is it Anyway?: A View from Elsewhere on Publishing, Copyright and Creativity  – Jefferies, Janis (Editor); Kember, Sarah (Editor) (2019)

Project Gutenberg

Open Library

UCL Press

For more books on copyright, visit our World Book and Copyright Day stand in the University Library, level 3.

Image of two people sitting and reading with text in the middle saying World Book and Copyright Day 23rd April

Yes, you can open commercially funded research (but probably not all of it)

Image description: Two LEGO figures, in white shirts and blue trousers, discussing a model of a LEGO shark. Image created with Bing’s AI Image Creator: https://www.bing.com/images/create/

“Mommy, how much do you think the Jaws LEGO set will cost?” asked my seven-year-old the other night as I was putting him to bed. His dad had told him earlier that day that the LEGO Review Board had officially announced that a build design, submitted by a LEGO fan, based on the 1974 novel by Peter Benchley, which was the source of the 1975 Steven Spielberg movie, was going to be in production. As my son is an ardent enthusiast of all things with big teeth, a LEGO Jaws set was the best news since he discovered that he could build a mosasaurus.

When companies like LEGO, IKEA, Unilever and NASA crowdsource design, innovations and problem-solving, it is termed open innovation. It is one example where a commercial venture works in synergy with open research practices. At Loughborough University, our researchers have worked with companies like Rolls Royce, Jaguar, Airbus, and Adidas. While some of the research outputs are embargoed due to commercial restrictions, there are parts of the research that can and is made openly available.

Negotiations of what can be made openly available should take place before the contract is signed. If you are a researcher who is working with commercial funding, be sure to check if your methods, data collection tools, and data (perhaps in an aggregated format) can be shared and under what conditions. In the discussions I’ve had, I have found commercial funders willing to work with researchers in opening as much of the research as is sensibly possible.

And thank goodness they are because, without open innovation, I wouldn’t be in the running for the best Christmas present award from my seven-year-old.

Tensions of Open Research in Creative Arts and Design fields

By Dr. Tincuta Heinzel, Senior Lecturer in Textiles and Open Research Lead, School of Design and Creative Arts

Mashup of vials and a blue swirly pattern
Image credit: Lara Skelly, CC-BY

Starting with the 1st of April 2022, all submitted for publication research that a public body has funded must comply with the Open Access policy. This rule applies to all UKRI research councils, Research England, and Innovate UK-funded projects. Open Research and Open Data compliance means that the researchers must make their research publications Open Access, make their research data as open as possible, follow good research data management practices, and acknowledge their funder in any outputs. (for more details, please check here). Still, many particulars are to be addressed regarding Open Science and research, like, for example, the right to privacy when it comes to Open Data or the way each discipline will implement this policy.

Given the previous research publication models, this new policy implies a paradigmatic change that aims to facilitate everyone’s access to the research results and enable them to re-use and build upon them. The Open Access Policy builds on ideas popularised by movements such as Free Software (Free Software Foundation) launched in 1983 or Open Source Software Initiative, both aiming to offer alternatives to commercial computer operating systems to facilitate experimentation and innovation in the digital arena. Both movements adhere to philosophies that place free access to the source code and collaboration at their core. As their manifestos state (here and here), it is about the freedom to use, study, distribute, create, and modify any operating system, with the difference that the free software focuses on the users’ freedom, while Open-Source software is focusing on collaboration and transparency of the source code to provide improvements to the operating systems; which translates in the fact that not all Open-Source software is free software, for example. The same principles also apply to free hardware, which refers to the freedom to build, modify, and distribute hardware designs. Arduino and Raspberry Pi boards are good examples in this sense. The educative role of most of these projects is at the core of all these cases.

The application of the Open Research and Open Science policy in creative arts and design has nothing of the obvious. At the crossroad between science and technologies, between humanities and natural sciences, the place of research in creative arts and design is a minefield. Concepts such as “tacit knowledge” (Polanyi, 1958) often address the complexity of research in creative arts and design, expressing the limits of translating certain aspects of the practice into generally accepted forms of research. The nature of the outputs makes things even less straightforward. An exhibition is already an open, public presentation of an artist’s work, but does it count as research? What exactly is research in creative arts and design? What is the role of design theory and design practice in design research? How to find harmony between “research for”, “research into”, and “research through” design (Savic et al., 2014; Zimmerman et al., 2010), for example, with Open Science and Open Data policy?

Moreover, not all artistic and design research results in texts; in many cases, it is about products, objects, swatch books, processes, and methodologies. In some cases, it is about industrious initiatives and not merely educational purposes. The research in creative arts and design might reflect and use different media, such as images, sound compositions, video recordings and films, codes, or, as in the case of interactive arts and design, it might be about all of them.

Let’s take a closer look at the case of textiles and textiles patterns. In general, when it comes to textile designs and patterns, these are defined as designs (see the difference between artistic copyright, designs, and trademarks). As an e-textiles designer, I came across situations where the status of Open Publication and Open Research has been challenged.

The Open Software movement inspired designers such as Hannah Perner-Wilson (aka plusea.at) to develop a series of textiles-based sensors and to release them into the public domain. Her “tilt sensor” developed during her master studies at MIT (Perner-Wilson, 2011) has been appropriated by a group of scientists (Hyung Sun Lee, Daejeon (KR); Hyung Cheol Shin, Daejeon (KR); Thad E. Starner, Atlanta, GA (US); Scott M. Gilliland, Atlanta, GA (US) and Clint Zeagler, Atlanta, GA (US)) from the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute, Daejeon, Korea and, respectively Georgia Tech Research Corporation, Atlanta, USA, and patented based on the argument that her work would be an artistic product and not scientific research. Still, it is to question how legitim such a patent is when it doesn’t recognise the scientific merit of an author and boycotts the designer’s ideological choices (Heinzel, 2018).

The same ambiguity can be seen when it comes to the cultural appropriation of traditional textiles’ patterns. Plenty of cases show the appropriation of the work of “collective authors” has been used for the financial gain of some brands. It is the case of the legal action of the Indigenous Mexican Community against Isabel Marant, who used their patterns for her collection, or the Maasai Association for Preserving and Celebrating Maasai Cultural Heritage legal action against companies like Louis Vuitton, Calvin Klein, or Jaguar Land Rover, who were using the image of Maasai warriors to sell their products (Pilling, 2018). In the same category could be included the media campaign “Bihor, not Dior” (Davies, 2018). Still, when it comes to woven structures, for example, we can easily argue that we deal with a certain form of ethnomathematics (logical structures that await to be discovered) and not really designs.

In some cases, the designs are about the notations of the steps to produce the pattern and not about the patterns themselves. This logic of notation approach brings us closer to the aspects related to programming and digital rights. We can notice a series of ambiguities when defining and applying a pattern’s legal status and a series of breaches into the legal system(s) (Heinzel, 2018).

Suppose there is justified to request that the public-funded research be publicly released. In that case, aspects still need to be pondered as they interfere with the existing legal, economic, or ethical orders. Moreover, as the cases of cultural appropriation are proving, there is also an aspect of legitimacy that should be considered. Certainly, there is still work to be done to address these issues.

Below are a series of useful links related to Open Research compliance guidance and links for information related to designs, patents, or trademarks.

Useful links:

Works cited:

Davies, K. M. (2018). Bihor, not Dior: check out the new campaign reclaiming Romanian folk style, The Calvert Journal, URL:  https://www.calvertjournal.com/articles/show/10465/bihor-not-dior-watch-the-new-campaign-reclaiming-romanian-folk-style. (Retrieved on line on 29th of April 2023)

Heinzel, T. (2018). Patented Patterns: On the art and science of patterns. A critical inquiry, Proceedings of the Politics of the Machines – Art and After (EVA Copenhagen) Conference, May 2018, DOI: 10.14236/ewic/EVAC18.8.   

The Open Source Definition (2007), URL: https://opensource.org/osd/. (Retrieved 1st of May 2023.)

Pilling, D. (2018). Warrior tribe enlists lawyers in battle for Maasai “brand”, in The Financial Times, URL:

Perner-Wilson, H. et.al. (2011). Handcrafting Textile Interfaces from A Kit-of-No-Parts, TEI’11 Conference Proceedings, Funchal, Portugal, p. 61-68, DOI: 10.1145/1935701.1935715.

https://www.ft.com/content/999ad344-fcff-11e7-9b32-d7d59aace167 . (Retrieved the 15th of June 2018).

Polanyi, M. (1958). Personal Knowledge: Towards a Post-Critical Philosophy. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-67288-3.

Savic, S., Huang, J. (2014). Research Through Design: What Does it Mean for a Design Artifact to be Developed in the Scientific Context?, Proceedings of the 5th STS Italia Conference : A Matter of Design. Making Society through Science and Technology, Milan, Italy, DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.4306.6729.

US Patent 9316481 (2016). Sensor for measuring tilt angle based on electronic textile and method thereof. URL: https://patents.justia.com/patent/9316481.  (Retrieved the 15th of June 2018).

Zimmerman, J.; Stolterman, E.; Forlizzi, J. (2010). An Analysis and Critique of Research through Design: Towards a Formalisation of a Research Approach; ACM: New York, NY, USA, 2010; pp. 310–319.

What is Free Software? (2001), URL: https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html. (Retrieved 1st of May 2023.)

In search of missing princes: what drives repository views?

By Lara Skelly, Open Research Manager for Data and Methods, Loughborough University Library

Sleeping Beauty slumbers for decades in her tower until she is woken by a prince, whom she marries, and they live happily ever after. We all know the story, but what if the prince was gone when she awoke? Where would she find her happily ever after? 

The case of the missing prince is not a tale that everyone knows, but it might be familiar to those reporting on the impact of their research. Sleeping Beauties in research are articles1 that lie largely undiscovered for a period until they are cited, mentioned in the media or otherwise woken up [source]. If the prince did the proper thing and cited the article, then happily ever after could be a sure ending, but many princes do not conform to these standard practices and slip away before they are discovered. 

Take, for example, Karen Blay’s thesis on resilience in projects. First uploaded in 2017, it received a few hundred views each year, when suddenly, in July 2022, there were over 2000. Karen was on leave for much of the year and is at a loss as to what might have sparked this level of interest, particularly from Cardiff, London, Helsinki and Amsterdam which all reflected over 300 views that month. 

Korbinian Moeller is similarly unsure what caused the bump in the views of his paper, Potential and limits of game-based learning. Since its upload to Loughborough University’s Research Repository, it’s never had more than a hundred views in a month. Until, inexplicably, it was viewed almost 500 times in August 2022, most of them from Seychelles and Australia. Presumably, the prince resides out there. 

Princes are easier to track if you create your own. Lise Jaillant tweeted about her article, which had just been published in Open Access. The tweet was seen over 13 000 times, easily marking itself the prince that led to 600+ views in January 2023, whereas previous months never saw more than twenty-five views. 

Knowing your prince is a good first step in tracking impact. After all, views are necessary precursors to the change that any research project could make. But the happily-ever-after of impact takes more than just finding the prince. Anyone with a messy life knows that happily can happen in small moments just as easily as in the big moments; that happily can happen instantaneously or after years of a long slog. Happily is not quantifiable, even though one could count the happy moments. So too, with impact, which can happen on a large scale or small, immediately or delayed. As our Responsible use of research metrics policy puts out, quantitative measures do not tell the full story. 

Not all impact depends on a prince. Some research projects are not Sleeping Beauties at all. Ian Taylor, whose research was the focus of Experts in sports podcast, Episode 35, has seen steadily increasing interest in his work from some unusual places, including a book on feminist creativity.

So, in searching for the ever-elusive impact stories, keep a watchful eye out for princes or be your own prince. If the Sleeping Beauty analogy doesn’t work for you (or your research), drop it like a golden ball down a well. And if anyone has any information on the missing princes, please get in touch with rdm@lboro.ac.uk.  

The author is grateful for the assistance from David Campling in identifying stories with missing princes.

The views and opinions of this article are the author’s and do not reflect those of the University…although hopefully, they do reflect Loughborough University values. 

Endnotes:

[1] I use the word articles because that has traditionally been the only item of interest, but with the rise of Open Research practices, Sleeping Beauties can be any file related to research that is somehow discoverable.

Data management – from a section in the grant proposal to a day-to-day reference manual 

By Krzysztof Cipora, Lecturer in Mathematical Cognition, Open Research Lead of the School of Science, Centre for Mathematical Cognition, Loughborough University, k.cipora@lboro.ac.uk, @krzysztofcipora

Most funding agencies require grant proposals to contain a data management plan. It may seem an extra burden to prepare yet another document, as all applicants have been handling research data and know how to do it, so why mandate such a technicality in the proposal? At the same time, many researchers have not been formally trained in data management. Open Research practices becoming more and more widely adopted (and more and more often mandated by funders) include Open Data, that is sharing research data, either in the public domain or granting access to other researchers. No matter whether shared publicly or with some restrictions, the data need to be understandable and usable. This requires the data to be thoroughly curated, documented, and at best to go along with the programming code used for its processing and analysis. Researchers also benefit from good data curation and documentation if they come back to their own data after a few months or years. Data management is even more critical in large-scale projects including many researchers, research assistants etc. However, the document typically supplied to the funder is relatively short (space restrictions!) and therefore quite generic, so it cannot fully satisfy the day-to-day data management needs. 

In June 2022 at Loughborough University, we launched £ 9 989 000 Centre for Early Mathematics Learning (CEML; ceml.ac.uk) funded within ESRC Research Centre scheme. Funding covers a period of five years and over twenty-five researchers from several institutions are involved within five CEML challenges. They are supported by several research assistants and PhD students. Various types of data are being gathered. One of the crucial issues at the CEML onset was to ensure we are on the same page with data management. It has been necessary for several reasons both within CEML and for future data sharing. The same variables should be named and coded consistently across studies to streamline the readability of the data, facilitate the re-use of analysis code, and collapse datasets if needed. In case a researcher is reallocated from one study to another, they can catch up easily. Keeping our data curated and consistent for ourselves also makes it more accessible to other researchers when we share it with the community. 

Together with other colleagues, I took on preparing a detailed Data Management Policy for the CEML. In the following, I briefly describe what we did and how this might be used as an example for other projects (including much smaller ones). 

We started from the Data Management Policy from the CEML proposal and elaborated on the details (see CEML Data Management Policy https://doi.org/10.17028/rd.lboro.21820752). The document first outlines the responsibilities of Challenge Leads and Leads of specific studies being run (this is particularly important given the number of researchers involved in CEML). It specifies where the data are stored, who should have access to the data (working together with researchers from outside Loughborough University required some thinking of how to set this up efficiently), and when the data can be shared publicly. The document also specifies how to document the data entry process and how to document data analysis to ensure analytical reproducibility. We also specify the process of creating backups and data sharing. 

The Data Management Policy refers to Variable Dictionary (see CEML Variable Dictionary https://doi.org/10.17028/rd.lboro.21820824) – a document providing detailed information on how to name and organise data files and how to name variables. We also provide a template for the meta-data file to be created for each study (see CEML Variable Dictionary Template https://doi.org/10.17028/rd.lboro.21820947).  

To make these materials more accessible to CEML colleagues, we prepared a short video highlighting the most important aspects of the CEML data management and justifying why such detailed guidelines have been prepared (see CEML Data Management Training Video https://doi.org/10.17028/rd.lboro.21820713). 

All these look quite elaborate and may not seem very useful for smaller projects. However, at least some of these points may be worth considering. It is worth remembering that “there will be at least two people working with your data, you and future you”. Thus, ensuring a consistent way of naming data files, their structure, variable names, the analysis code, and documenting the progress of data processing is a big favour to future you and, most likely, other researchers who may work with your data. Hopefully, the CEML documents linked may serve as a useful template on how to prepare a day-to-day data management reference for other projects.

The views and opinions of this article are the author’s and do not reflect those of the University…although hopefully they do reflect Loughborough University values.

A different kind of diversity

By Lara Skelly, Open Research Manager for Data and Methods

A few years ago, I submitted a methodological paper to a discipline-specific journal. The reviewers were not kind, one of them saying “There is no narrative of the findings.” Well naturally not, as the findings were the methodology I was describing. While entirely likely that I presented the purpose of the paper poorly, being a freshly minted PhD with limited publication experience, I remember the confusion I felt around the limited expectation of the reviewers.

Methodological papers are still a rarity, despite the slightly increased popularity that I saw during the COVID lockdowns. Most researchers that I encounter still see the typical paper of introduction-literature review-methods-results-discussion as the only format worth putting out into the world. And as is the case in any one-size-fits-all approach, much is lost by this homogeneity.

Research and the people who work in research are anything but homogenous. I have seen all manner of opinions of what counts for science, what data are, and ways of engaging with their craft. I’ve known researchers who are interested in the broad and the narrow, the individual and the collective, the future and the past. Boxing this variety into a homogenous communication is in this day-and-age, down-right daft.

We are in a wonderful age that strives to see diversity as a celebration. The time has come to celebrate the diversity in our research as well. To recognise that the typical paper format is perfectly fine, but researchers are not restricted to it. Sharing code, protocols, data, any of the ingredients of our research is one way that we can live our diversity, upholding a value that has become global.

Thanks to Katie Appleton and Gareth Cole for insightful comments on early drafts.

The views and opinions of this article are my own and do not reflect those of the University…although hopefully they do reflect Loughborough University values.