UPDATE (3/25): The Editorial Board of the Journal of Library Administration has resigned, citing the reason that “…the licensing terms in the Taylor & Francis author agreement are too restrictive and out-of-step with the expectations of authors in the LIS community.” 

Read more about it on The Chronicle of Higher Ed, on Chronicle Blogs here, from one of the Editors, and from a fellow librarian who also stood his ground on licensing his work. 


Brief: I published an article. But before all that, I negotiated my publication contract and had a really great experience doing so. This is the story. 

Journal of Library Administration. Special Issue: Digitial Humanities in Libraries – New Models For Scholarly Engagement. 

Versions of Scholarly Record available at –

alt/OA Table of Contents (Links to peer-reviewed open access versions of the articles)

I have previously written about the opportunity I was presented with, when invited to include an article in the Journal of Library Administration’s special issue on Digital Humanities. It was extraordinarily important for me to slowly walk through the process of publication. As the Scholarly Communication Librarian at Florida State University, I am constantly challenging and prodding faculty members to investigate their publishing practices and understand what is happening, especially in the Publication Agreement. So when I was presented with a similar agreement, I took it as an opportunity to practice what I preach. 

Some quick details:

1. The journal is published by Taylor and Francis. In Nov. 2011, T&F adopted new author rights policies for all their Library and Information Science journals, basically changing from the standard Copyright Transfer to an Exclusive License to Publish. I think this is a great example of a publisher working diligently to meet the evolving requests of the scholar by adapting their way of doing things. So already, by publishing with this journal and this publisher, I was a step ahead of most faculty authors who are “required” to sign full transfer of copyright to the publisher. So this was a contract negotiation rather than a negotiation for copyright.

2. I had the pleasure of working with an Editor and Guest Editor who were supportive of my many questions and went to bat for me over the rights negotiation with the publisher. I am sure the negotiation would have gone very differently if Damon Jaggers and Barbara Rockenbach had not done the leg work of translating between me and the publisher.

3. This was the first publishing contract negotiation I have ever done.

I was more surprised than anyone when after writing an audacious email stating that I refuse to sign the contact as is, and sending around a “Here are my demands Mr. Publisher” addendum to the contract, that Taylor and Francis responded, line by line, to my proposed amendments. Here’s what they had to say, interspersed with my requests (in bold) corresponding to specific line items on the orginal contract.

Win #1


The contract doesn’t use the language “exclusive license”, but implies it. I’d like clarification. 

>>> Our license to publish is not exclusive, and does not use the term.

“Full term of copyright” – dependent on the law at this time? Can I choose a different term? If so, I’d like to. (Life of author + 70 years is unreasonable in my opinion.)

>>> Yes, full term of copyright by US law in the year of execution.

“right to supply the article in electronic and online forms and systems” – is this exclusive? Would it hinder my rights to do the same?

>>> The form does not claim exclusive rights.

Appendix 1

1.3 – if right to publish is exclusive I don’t agree with 1.3 in this section. I want the right to sublicense these rights to other also.

>>> The form is not exclusive, and no one we sublicense to (Ebsco, Google Scholar, etc.) accepts individual sublicenses.  Such a striking would actually mean we could not distribute the article to many third parties who index and provide search functions.  No author wants this.  Every author I have ever spoken to wants maximum distribution of their content.

 2. Strike the sentence about addendum or memorandum. Many institutions are asking faculty to use addenda to negotiate their rights and I want to preserve that for faculty and colleagues. 

>>> While we in some cases do agree to addenda, we will never recognize an unsigned or unilateral addendum.  Such addendums are not fair to both parties.

5. Strike the sentence about these rights not being transferrable to others. If they’re allowed to do it, I want to be able to also. 

>>> We retain right to license.  We do not restrict author licensing.

7. My piece is based extensively on an article published in a important journal in my field, indexed, with an ISSN. Additionally, it was published originally under a CC-BY-NC license. I can only agree with the last sentence in this paragraph. I’d like this language to be adapted to say that “I warrant that the Article is my original work, which has been substantially revised, rewritten and adapted under a the terms of a Creative Commons license. The work published here is based on, but different from, that original piece.” Or something. 

>>>> This sentence is not at contradiction with our clause 7, which is a warranty that work is not infringing on others.

Appendix 2

3. “Systematic basis” – please remove or clarify. This language is not conducive to the culture of sharing that is developing in academia. 

>>>> We could agree to strike this via addendum.  It is meant to convey that distribution should not be via commercial channels.

In light of the recent GA State case, I’d like the right to share to include the word “Students.” It is important to me that this article be allowed to be used, without cause for legal recourse, in course packs and in CMS systems like Blackboard and Moodle.

>>>> We would agree to this

4. “the right to post the preprint…” in my institutional repository. 

>>>> The term institutional repository could be added via addendum.  That is what is meant by this clause

5. Strike the phrase “or such other acknowledgement as we or Taylor &Francis may notify you.” I’ll agree to adding the statement as supplied in the contract, but not that they can change that statement at any time.

>>>> We would agree to strike this.

6. “institution’s network or intranet or website…” Please add “or institutional repository.” We all know what they’re called, lets just say it. 

>>>> The term institutional repository could be added via addendum.  That is what is meant by this clause

“systematic external distribution by a third party…” Please clarify. Does this mean I cannot post it on my profile? If so, I’d like this removed.

>>>> This means that you could not post to another site that distributes the content systematically.  A profile page with a link a store of published works would not be considered this.

Please adapt the statement for the post print to read: This is the peer-reviewed version of an article publishing in…” It’s important to me that readers know this fact about my work. 

>>>> We would agree to the author adding this term to the statement

Strike the language about embargos that Taylor and Francis has now, or may at any time in the future decide to create.

>>>> [no response]

In light of recent changes by NIH to cut funding for authors who do not comply with their public access policy, please remove the language that states “You must not post manuscripts directly to PMC, or other third party sites.” If the company fails to do so, authors may lose funding. Also, I don’t like the inclusion of “other third party sites.”

>>>> Taylor & Francis actually handles deposits on author’s behalf for the NIH.  We cannot strike agreement to our embargos, although we could strike the term “in the future”.

7. add “students.” 

>>>> We can clarify that distribution to students is fine.

Systematic basis? please clarify or remove. 

>>>> We can clarify that distribution to students is fine.


Win #2

Following this response, I decided in consultation with the Editors, to not push it anymore and claim it as a victory. Weeks later I received an email saying that my proofs were ready and that the Copyright Transfer agreement had to be signed in as part of the proof approval process. Queue another flurry of emails full of my righteous indignation saying “I have only just begun to fight!” At the turn of the year, T&F graciously agreed to extend the addendum to ALL articles published in this issue, meaning that ALL authors would retain rights, be able to post the peer-reviewed version immediately upon publication, have greater clarity of their rights to the work etc.

Win #3

Two weeks before the issue was to be published, Barbara, the Guest Editor, informed me and Stewart Varner (co-author) that T&F wanted to make one article from the issue open access (for publicity), and they’d like it to be ours.

Loss #1

A week before the issue was to be published, imagine my surprise when I got an email saying the final proof was ready for my approval and I discovered that conveniently, in the top left of the page, the citation information included a nice big “Copyright © Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.” Needless to say, after all the negotiations, I was pretty unhappy to see that. And I told them:

The proof looks fine with the very blatant exception that I do not support the inclusion of the Copyright statement in the header, since I did not sign over my copyright to Taylor and Francis… including that “Copyright © Taylor and Francis Group, LLC” is the exact opposite of the License to Publish that you originally sent to me, and the agreed upon addendum that we negotiated through the Editor. Having that included on this article is confusing as to the copyright status of the piece, and if there must be a copyright statement there I want it to read “Copyright © The Authors.”

At this point, a week away from production, I was actually contacted by the VP for Production at Taylor and Francis. (You know you’re doing something right/wrong when you get the attention of a VP.) The response was coridal, and enlightening.

The copyright line is present with the Taylor & Francis name because you have granted Taylor & Francis license to publish, and also to grant permission on your article.  The presence of the line does not in any way change the agreement you have with us. The statement is in a standard place that alerts parties that seek permission as to who they may contact.  Based on the agreement you signed, our assumption is that you wish for Taylor & Francis to grant such permissions.  We thus include the line it as you see it for all authors that we receive licenses such as the one you have signed.

I agreed, bugrudingly, and with much consternation, to let this last issue go, and the VP for Production indicated that they know this is an issue and plan to look further into adapting it. I plan to hold them to that, if ever publishing with them in the future. Needless to say, immediately upon publication, a colleague of mine at FSU noticed the fancy “© Taylor and Francis” and called me out on it. So, already, I have proof that regardless of all the work I did fighting for copyrights, the simple inclusion of that symbol confused a reader as to the truth of the matter, that I OWN THE ARTICLE and that I GRANTED to the publisher A LICENSE TO PUBLISH. Still not too happy about that one.

TIE #1

Two of the authors of articles included in this issue do not have access to the published version, as their institution doesn’t subscribe to the journal. Elated as I was, I sent the link to my wife and my best friend – it asked them to pay $35. Based on the terms of the addendum, ALL authors had the right to post the peer-reviewed version of the article in their institutional repository or on their website. So, Taylor and Francis has the final Version of Scholarly Record hosted on their site, and each author is posting the post-print version (exact same text minus all the fancy layout and insignia). Win – Win. Or Tie.


After approving proofs, way back in December, I was offered the option to make my article open access… for the tasteless price of $3250. I took a screen shot to share.


I understand that publishers are fighting for ways to keep their revenue alive, but seriously? I made it open access immediately for free by amending my contract.

All in all, I feel really good about the process. I thought all the people I interacted with at T&F were very kind and patient. I am really pleased to be published with Stewart, a friend, colleague and professional I respect immensely. But most of all, I am amped, excited and chomping at the bit to run around campus saying to all the faculty I’ve worked with and will work with, “Scholarly communication is changing, and I have proof.”

See the final approved addendum that we used as an additional file at the bottom of the page here.

Digital Humanities (potential) at Florida State University

Working up this list for a LibGuide I’m co-working on with my colleague and Humanities Librarian Abby Scheel. Sometimes I’m bummed at how slowly FSU seems to be making the DH turn, but when I see this list and the great potential we have here, it is really encouraging. I’m sure there’s more that could be added here that I am not yet aware of. Work to be done. 

Digital Humanites (potential) at FSU

History of Text Technologies (HOTT) is an interdisciplinary certificate program which combines studies in the history of the book and media cultures. The curriculum explores the changing material and aesthetic technologies of cultural transmission in scribal, print, visual, and digital forms. Affiliated faculty from English, History, Art History, Modern Languages, Religion, Information Studies.

Program in Interdisciplinary Computing (PIC) develops, supports and promotes a comprehensive range of application-oriented classes focusing on current and emerging computer and information technology needs and trends. They also host DigiTech, an annual campus-wide program of events showcasing digital projects.

University Libraries is building its infrastructure to support digital scholarship, including the recent hires of an E-Science Librarian, a Scholarly Communications Librarian, a Digital Archivist, a Humanities Librarian with digital interests and two Developers.


Paul Fyfe (English) hosts an interdisciplinary Digital Scholars reading and discussion group devoted to digital humanities, instutional technologies and electronic and online scholarship. Recent discussions have focused on digital work being done by faculty at FSU including Dr. Silvia Valisa (Modern Languages), Dr. Will Hanley (History), Emily Gore (University Libraries) and Owen Mundy (Art). 

Will Hanley (History) received a National Endowment for the Humanties Digital Humanities Start-up grant for his ongoing work on Prosop, a “social networking tool for the past.”

Jennifer Koslow (History) directs the Historical Administration and Public History Program. She is teaching a course on Digital History in the Fall of 2012. She also works closely with the Museum Studies program. 

Owen Mundy (Art) teaches and works in the intersection of data, design and public space. His technical and aesthetic skills combine in a variety of projects including data vizualizations and manipulations.

Richard Urban (Information Studies) researches in metadata, knowledge representation, and human-computer interaction for cultural heritage collections and materials. His is actively involved in projects related to the semantic web and Linked Open Data for Libraries Archives and Museums (LODLAM).

John Corrigan (Religion) teaches American religious history and also works in the emerging area of Spatial Humanities. He is a co-editor of The Spatial Humanities: GIS and the Future of Humanites Scholarship


Digital Humanities Fellowships for Librarians

Normally I wouldn’t be blogging during work hours, but this couldn’t wait.

To those who are familiar with my professional profile, it should be no surprise that I’m interested in digital humanities. I discovered it as I was finishing my first grad degree in American Studies and it made perfect sense for the type of work I could see myself doing in the future, combining my interests in cultural heritage with technology. Through my subsequent degree in Library and Information Studies I followed the DH community closely and had some great interactions with peers and colleagues, who all encouraged me to dig deeper (into data (woah, DH inside-joke…)) and participate to my fullest potential. So far this has all been well and good. 

However, now I’m on the other side of graduation. I have a job I love working in Scholarly Communications, but it is with a task force and has an end date. I’m just starting to survey job postings, and there are some great opportunities out there. But you know what I want to do… what I think I’d really excel at? I want a Digital Humanities fellowship. I want to get involved with a project and build it from the ground up. I want to be on the cutting edge of DH scholarship, reading, writing, thinking, talking, conferencing, speaking and doing DH work. I’m interested, engaged, and ready to work. But, the majority of the fellowships I’ve seen require a PhD. Which I do not have. 

There’s a lot of talk around the DH-tubes about collaboration and involving different “types” of practicioners in the work of digital humanities, discussed so eloquently in terms of authorship recently by Bethany Nowviskie. Here’s my question: what support/development systems are there in place to build collaborative partners from OUTSIDE the PhD? What is being done to allow recently graduated librarians to join the DH party and get to work utilizing tech/info skills and good, solid creative ideas in collaboration with digitally-inclined faculty and grad students? How can I contribute when the money is being pumped into post-doc programs? Where are the Digital Humanities fellowships or opportunities for new librarians?* 

To be honest, I haven’t spent a ton of time seeking out every single fellowship possibility, but this was partially inspired by this tweet from Kathleen Fitzpatrick today about the upcoming deadline for the ACLS Digital Innovation Fellowships. Of course, I will continue to seek out the opportunities to contribute and be involved in DH projects, but am just feeling discouraged at the prospects right now. I swear, I would own a CLIR Fellowship like no one’s business. Guess I’ll just be patient and keeping applying for Digital Librarian-ish jobs and hope that I can roll some DH work in there. 

*NB: I know there are post-MLIS fellowships but I’m not sure if they are necessarily for me. 

Information Professional as ‘curator’ = #alt-LIS


Thinking lately about my role in the information professions and I’m grow more and more convinced that due to my interests and the changing roles of professionals in the networked world, my “career” will end up being a combination of many things, and across my many interests – to re-purpose a digital humanities term, I see myself creating jobs/titles for myself in and around the library, archive, museum world that can only be called “alt-LIS.” 

To that end, I was inspired by Kim Dority’s recent post on the new book “Curation Nation” and how people trained in librarianship will fill the roles of content and data curators. My thoughts below – 

You know, I think there is more to this than we may think. The way I am seeing it, reading lots of tech blogs and emerging tech/digital humanities stuff, is that content curation is absolutely a skill that is married to the social and semantic web. Thinking about, and being involved in those areas is key to content curation. I also think there is a important distinction between content and data here: curating data often requires more CompSci skills whereas content seems to be more LIS or humanities based. (This goes back to a core Library School discussion of data vs. information). Right now, I think it is fair and accurate to say that no one has any idea that people trained in librarianship are perfect candidates for the emerging curation field. As for you question of additional skills? I think coding is a must and a deep understanding of networks, Information Technology and databases (all part of my post grad personal goals). To be perfectly honest, in my mind the quintessential Information (data+content) Curator would have a humanities background, with graduate degrees in CompSci and LIS.

I’m incredibly interested in this topic too, and really excited to see how I fit into the growing field in the future. Thanks for this post Dr. Dority. I plan to pick up and read this book the day after classes end!


The Digital Humanities

As a student at FSU the past few years I have become more and more obsessed with technology and very un-arty things like RAM and HTML. Yet, I had a nagging feeling of rootedness in the humanities (my undergrad degree); I am a music-snob of sorts, 70% of my tattoos are of Renaissance art pieces, and I can have a mildly cogent conversation about Foucault and Barthes. So how to bridge the great divide between techy geekdom and arty geekdom? Why, the Digital Humanities, of course! (I stole that last sentence from the Ben Franklin episode of The Office… “why the tyrant King George, of course!” HA!)


What, you may ask, are these digital humanities and how might one become involved in them? Below is a short article I wrote for my Digital Media Conceptions and Production course, and I hope if it doesn’t answer some questions it at least will pique your curiosity and prompt further inquiry into this area, which could perhaps be the future direction of higher education. At least that’s what some scholars think!


As technology is rapidly and fundamentally changing the face of higher education, many disciplines are finding resourceful and interesting ways to adapt. The humanities – typically encompassing visual and performance art, literature, history, philosophy, religion, and more – have held a tenuous relationship with technology, perhaps encouraged by the core principles of critique and analysis that characterize the discipline. However, in recent years there has been a rising sense that technology as tool should be the next logical step for the Humanities.

The Digital Humanities are defined in complicated ways. Being true to the interdisciplinary nature of humanities, and reflecting the utility of Web 2.0, there have been many collaborative and collective definitions offered. Last year the Journal of American History sponsored and published a collaborative conversation piece between several scholars in the field titled, “Interchange: The Promise of Digital History.”  Perhaps most encouraging to proponents of the movement, The National Endowment for the Humanities recently opened an official Office of Digital Humanities, signaling an important acknowledgment. Out of that office, has come funding opportunities for conceptual spaces like HASTAC (pronounced ‘haystack’) which is a digital hub of scholarship, research, and projects seeking to answer the questions, “What would our research, technology design, and thinking look like if we took seriously the momentous opportunities and challenges for learning posed by our digital era?  What happens when we stop privileging traditional ways of organizing knowledge and turn attention instead to alternative modes of creating, innovating, and critiquing that better address the interconnected, interactive global nature of knowledge today, both in the classroom and beyond?”

Stan Katz, a leading voice in the crowd, claimed its ‘emergence’ (another culture studies buzz term) in an article for The Chronicle stating, “Much remains to be done, and campus-based inattention to the humanities complicates the task. But the digital humanities are here to stay, and they bear close watching.” In response to his quote, several questions arise for the field of Library and Information Studies. As information professionals how do we react to the traditional disciplines (English, History, Philosophy, ect.) going digital? How will this affect: the mindset of ‘customer/student’, the workspace we occupy, the skills needed to effectively capture and transmit desired information? Ultimately, in this age of connectivity, do barriers of discipline even matter? What will be the “Three R’s” of the Digital Humanities: RSS-ing (reading), microblogging (writing), and coding (arithmetic)?

For further research –

Delicious Search

Symposium at University of IL at Champaign-Urbana

Wikipedia Links for “Digital Humanities”


Post inspired by Lisa Spiro’s Digital Humanities in 2008, Part 1.

Image from Flickr user WordSendTHATCamp” has a Creative Commons License – Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic