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Musings of a librarian, former archivist, musician, bibliophile, and tech-obsessed.

Entries in Dissertation (2)


Copyright Issue Update

This is an update from yesterday's copyright issue.

After talking with a lawyer in the General Cousel's Office, we decided that digitizing and providing a digital copy via ILL for research purposes only was a permissable use of the dissertation recording under the contract doctoral students sign for their dissertation (according to a university policy), and fair use laws. The lawyer also said that the policy we consulted for the use of doctoral dissertations was a bit ambiguous, had not been updated in a few years, and she would work with the Dean of Graduate Studies to update this policy to account for the advances in technology and the University's use of technology to distribute dissertations.

Our Archives will have to work on a new policy for this new procedure.


Copyright Issue

One of today's big issues was a question concerning a lecture recital dissertation from 1976 from the CUA School of Music. (The Archives holds the record copy of the School of Music's recordings from the 1930s to the present.)

The ILL department from a university in Dublin, Ireland contacted us on behalf of a student to try and acquire this dissertation, not immediately knowing what the format was. International ILL has been performed for printed dissertations in the past. The university was still interested in receiving a copy of the reel-to-reel dissertation recording, and I have recently set up an in-house digitization station for this size of reels, so I was anxious to complete this request.

However, at CUA students hold the copyright to dissertations, unless stated otherwise. We have recently started to share textual dissertations in an online institutional repository (as PDFs) so this request would not be much different. I had to contact out University General Counsel Office to find out if I could create a digital copy of this tape.

Currently, the Archives allows researchers to use originals of dissertations (textual, and the audio for which we have playing equipment). This is not an archival quality practice, but a practical one that involves the least amount of work; we were also not able to digitize reels until recently. We are also re-thinking a lot of our current policies to include advances in technology.

Is it possible to create a digital copy of this tape for international distribution (sort of like creating a PDF of a paper dissertation)? Is there a specific date that unpublished dissertations become public domain? What steps do we need to take and what sort of permissions would we need to acquire to create a digital copy if we are not immediately able to?

The answer is pending...