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