In the 20th century, a scholar built his or her academic status almost exclusively through citation. This model is no longer tenable for several reasons. Where formal journal citation used to be the way a scholar built prestige in the 20th century, scholars now build their standing as much through reputation across a variety of professional and electronic networks as they do through formal citation. This new model of scholarship has important implications for a scholar's intellectual property rights, most notably for copyright. To this end, it is instructive to return to the origins of US Copyright Law: According to the US Constitution, the primary purpose for having copyright is to encourage learning.
18 InformationToday January 2010 www.infotoday.com Intellectual Property Brief Thoughts on the Changing Nature of Scholarship by K. MATTHEW DAMES | rent Copyright Act, these rights always A s we enter the second decade of include reproduction, the 21st century, we continue creation of derivative to witness how the digital, net- works, and distribu- worked ecosystem we inhabit disrupts tion, and they may traditional ways of communicating in in- also include public formation-intensive industries. Scholar- performance and pub- ship is no different. Yet, academics them- lic display depend- selves seem not to realize how these ing upon the type of K. Matthew Dames changes are affecting their research, work. This system their writings, and ultimately, their route where authors surrender their rights in to tenure. exchange for citation rarely was chal- lenged, partly because few alternative avenues existed for distributing scholar- Reputations at Stake ship to the public or an author’s profes- In the 20th century, a scholar built sional network. Under the traditional sys- his or her academic status almost ex- tem, the creator of the scholarly work and clusively through citation. Publication in owner of the rights in that work rarely select journals not only was promoted, it were the same person. was expected. The tenets of this model of However, in the new model of schol- scholarship are that the work is bound, arship, scholars are more likely to retain made available exclusively in print, and many of the rights to their work for con- the author cedes rights to a publisher as siderably longer periods of time. By mov- a condition of publication. ing formal journal publication and cita- This model no longer is tenable for In short, building a vibrant reputation In this new model, publication in a tion to the end of the scholarship pro- several reasons. First, the traditional within several networks (the World Wide print journal moves from a primary step duction cycle, a savvy scholar uses his journal publication process takes too Web, listservs, social networks such as in the production process to one of the last or her retained rights to make multiple long, given the speed with which con- Twitter and Facebook, blogs, and profes- steps in the production process, one that copies of his or her work available, cre- sumers expect information to travel. In sional networks that cater to one’s spe- is taken pretty much to appease the de- ate adaptations of his or her work to fit fact, a submission to a traditional, peer- cialty) is as important to 21st-century mands of tenure committees whose mem- different audiences, and distribute those reviewed, print journal may not get pub- scholars as citation in print journals. bers still consider traditional journal pub- multiple copies or adaptations to a vari- lished for 18 months. In an analog world lication the ultimate measure of scholarly ety of applicable fora. This means that where information was subject to gate- credibility. (If print citation is not desired authorship and copyright ownership re- keepers and production resources were Publication, Anyone? or required, it is possible for a schola
Pages to are hidden for
"Brief Thoughts on the Changing Nature of Scholarship"Please download to view full document