These links are extremely helpful. Thank you so much. I am in the process of developing a metadata service arrangement with a clinical research unit on our campus. I'd be interested in if anyone has had a similar experience or other wisdom to share.


-----Original Message-----
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Sarah Melton
Sent: Wednesday, May 03, 2017 10:58 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] memorandums of understanding, copyrights, & acknowledgements

Hi Eric,

These are big, important questions! Collaboration is a giant topic in digital scholarship, so I'll just offer a few brief thoughts.

I would say that part of it depends on the kind of work. Is it a one-off consultation? An ongoing project? Is the library offering long-term support, whether through storage, labor, or other expertise? As Kari mentions, the question of copyright is likely a question of institutional policy. But the other elements you mention—MOUs and attribution—get a little murkier.

For ongoing projects or larger-term investments, at least, I think MOUs are a great idea. They help define the scope of the collaboration, in addition to outlining roles and responsibilities. UT-Arlington has a nice collection of MOUs:

My view is that if you want to create a culture of collaboration, it helps to be explicit about it. As such, I like TaDiRAH's taxonomy of digital humanities scholarship activities, objects, and techniques:

I'm happy to chat further—I love this topic!


On Wed, May 3, 2017 at 12:04 PM, Eric Lease Morgan <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> To what degree do any of you enter into memorandums of understanding 
> between yourselves and the people for whom you provide services? 
> Similarly, are the products of your services copyrighted, and if so, 
> then by whom? And finally, if you provide services to your 
> constituents, then to what degree do you require copyright statements and/or acknowledgements?
> I work in a digital scholarship center with a number of other people. 
> [1] As a group, we provide sets of different value-added services to 
> students, faculty, and staff. These value-added services go beyond the 
> packaging and re-packaging of data/information. Instead, our services 
> are analysis against content. We evaluate data given to us and answer questions like:
> what trends can be gleaned from this data, what are the anomalies, 
> when & where did given events occur, what are some of the possible 
> reasons why, etc. In this way, we act more akin to “special 
> librarians” where we essentially "give them the fish as opposed to 
> teaching them to fish." These value added services often manifest 
> themselves in the forms of software systems/scripts, indexes, 
> datasets, as well as charts/graphs. Many of our constituents are 
> humanities and social sciences scholars. As such and in general, they 
> do possess the skills necessary to some of our text mining, GIS, and 
> statistical analysis. Additionally and unlike the hard scientists, 
> they often work in very very small groups of single individuals; co-authorship is uncommon.
> The center’s services are free, as in free beer. But the services 
> represent real scholarly effort. As such there is a desire to make 
> explicit our contributions. Such is part of the academic tradition. 
> After all, our intellectual capital is all we have. To resolve some of 
> these issues, or to bring them to the fore, there is some desire to 
> enter into memorandums of understanding — a sort of contract outlining 
> different party’s roles & responsibilities. There is some desire to 
> add copyright attribution statements to charts & graphs. There is some 
> desire to ensure, at the very least, acknowledgements in articles & 
> presentations. Heck, if we were to go the whole nine yards, then there 
> are also desires to have the whole kits & caboodles deposited into local repositories.
> On the other hand, much of this flies in the face to traditional 
> librarianship, and after all, library services have always been free, 
> and if we require memorandums, copyright statements, and/or 
> acknowledgements, then the scholars may simply do without.
> How might some of y’all be dealing with these changing roles in your 
> libraries?
> [1] center -
> —
> Eric Lease Morgan, Digital Initiatives Librarian Hesburgh Libraries 
> University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN 46556
> [log in to unmask]
> 574/631-8604

Sarah Melton
Head of Digital Scholarship
O'Neill Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Ave.
Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts 02467