Blog – Copyright Clearance Center Rights Licensing Expert Thu, 22 Oct 2020 20:40:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Blog – Copyright Clearance Center 32 32 Using a Knowledge Graph for Peer Review Fri, 23 Oct 2020 09:22:24 +0000 With vastly more data being collected and analyzed all the time, data scientists have developed a tool for representing their insights in an easy-to-comprehend manner, which enables a user to identify significant relationships in and among the data presented in visual form.

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“Data! data! data!” [Sherlock Holmes] cried impatiently. “I can’t make bricks without clay.” – The Adventure of the Copper Beeches, Arthur Conan Doyle (1892).

Even a data dinosaur like me — I completed my graduate work in 1982, in the days when acoustic couplers were plopped into modems — is having to learn more and more about data applications for scientific research, i.e., for submitting manuscripts on the front end, and for text and data mining (TDM) of aggregated articles on the back end. More and more, such research outputs require the inclusion of the underlying data, as well as representations of that data in new and more informative ways.

If we think about the richly deserved praise heaped upon the data scientists at Johns Hopkins University for their work in tracking COVID-19 occurrences, we immediately see the explanatory power of a great interface — one that is backed by multiple data sources — to illuminate rich, voluminous and dynamic data. Data visualization is a much-studied area in computer science, and it appears to be taking its star turn before our very eyes. So, many of us — certainly me and perhaps you — have set about learning what we can about the topic with some urgency. Knowledge graphs, which we are going to look at in this and upcoming blog posts on Velocity of Content, are a rising example of these innovative data display techniques.

What are knowledge graphs?

With vastly more data being collected and analyzed all the time, data scientists have developed a tool for representing their insights in an easy-to-comprehend manner, which enables a user to identify significant relationships in and among the data presented in visual form. So — although there are various definitions out there, knowledge graphs are created by processing large volumes of data from diverse sources and information types and can produce two- and three-dimensional visual representations of those data in all their complexity and interconnectedness.

Here’s some helpful information about how knowledge graphs are put together, what they are used for, and what might be coming for their future application. I’ll provide a few representative examples along the way.

Visual data representation in the form of knowledge graphs differs from other kinds of data displays that readers of this blog may be more familiar with — for example, a simple spreadsheet or table (rows and columns) or a pie chart.

A spreadsheet is, at bottom, simply a table that is arranged for ease of entry and optimal storage and programmed to enable certain pre-set means of manipulation. It’s nice and orderly. What a spreadsheet doesn’t optimize for is asking questions of your high-volume data and retrieving answers to those queries in an efficient manner. Not that you can’t somehow represent relationships in a table – of course you can – but, from a computing speed perspective, getting the answer out may not be at all easy, especially for large interconnected datasets. It’s a matter of using the right tool for the right job. In other words, a knowledge graph unifies data, creating a flexible data layer “on top” of multiple data sources.

One way to distinguish between how a spreadsheet or relational database store data and how a graph database does, is that graph databases make relationships between entities explicit, compared to the more implicit connections made in other data stores. The advantage of this is it allows us to traverse these relationship in much more efficient ways. Since data visualization tools can accelerate and make easier the analysis of large amounts of information, they have great explanatory power when used appropriately. Additionally, the act of building a knowledge graph can have benefits well beyond the visualization it produces. For example, search improvements or advanced analytics can be constructed based on the learning that goes into building the graph, as well as on the graph itself or the graph and other data.

One way to explore knowledge graphs is through a visualization. The following is a handy example that I think most of our readers can understand at a glance:

As an exercise, open up a browser and run any garden-variety Google search — my example is the simple query, “What bands are hard rock?”

That little box (created on the fly by Google as a result of my query) shows various clusters of information about hard rock, which have been collected from multiple, independent sources and boxed up nicely for us. That’s a good example of the basic form of a knowledge graph.

Essentially, what you will see as your top set of results are this kind of “info cards” along the side, which imply some behind-the-screen categorization Google has helpfully whipped up for us. In other words (Google’s words) — knowledge graphs.

The data behind each of those little cards is actually graph data — which is to say, it is data represented by showing entities and relationships (“things not strings” in the slogan). While Google has opted to visualize that in a series of little text- and image-based cards, we should bear in mind that how we store data and how we represent it are two different things.

Creating a knowledge graph to compose a response to that query (“Tell me about hard rock music”) was computationally easy because Google has a good design for this purpose, and handy access to all the people nodes connected to a describable set of musical characteristics (‘hard rock’), albums and singles, labels, and so forth.

Next, we’ll look at an example of knowledge graph, one that CCC has developed in the context of the scientific publishing ecosystem, specifically focusing on its potential use in aiding editors in moving along the peer review process.

CCC COVID Author Graph: an implementation of this representational technique

CCC, as a technology leader in scientific publishing and research, is constantly in conversation with publishers and researchers, and one of the things our data experts have been exploring recently is a knowledge graph that shows relationships among researchers writing about COVID:

The CCC COVID Author Graph helps illustrate the power of visualization of a publisher’s data, given the current set of challenges in peer review. For that use case, CCC’s metadata experts created an aid for editors working in the COVID-19 space who are responsible for identifying and selecting high-potential peer reviewers for articles that have been submitted to their journals. In developing the COVID Author Graph, we extracted the metadata for more than 107,772 articles, using research articles on COVID-19, SARS & MERS for our dataset — representing the work of 400,299 authors — that are included in our graph. We further populated it with 29,102 articles that are unique to LitCovid, and 70,801 articles that are unique to CORD-19.

Basically, CCC created an intelligently filtered, visually clear, and accurate view of all those authors and the publications their articles have been published in, as well as other relevant data points, such as co-authorship as well as other relationships among authors, institutions and publications.

“Think of a knowledge graph oriented by article (i.e., the node is the article and not the author) and showing citations of articles (i.e., the edge in the graph is a citation and not an author collaboration like we do in the author graph) is another very useful graph to explore.”

– Stephen Howe,  CCC Senior Product Manager – Analytics

The main point of illuminating datasets through a knowledge graph is that it provides the user with immediate access to new and powerful perspectives on the underlying data. With the COVID Author Graph, we’re focusing on facilitating peer review for scientific authors and editors, but it’s clear that a knowledge graph approach could be applied to many other sorts of entities, such as those in the financial or chemical domains.

CCC experts are speaking about our work with knowledge graphs at the Outsell Signature Event panel on “Using AI to Create Collaboration, Partnership, and New Business Opportunities: Launching the CCC Knowledge Graph “ and at Innovation Panel 1 at the Charleston Conference. Click the links to register to watch them live or to receive a link to the recording.

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OPEN ACCESS WEEK 2020: CCC Celebrates Open Access Week with OA Workflow Services Thu, 22 Oct 2020 11:37:21 +0000 Copyright Clearance Center launches #OpenAccess Workflow Services. Expanded consulting services for scholarly publishing ecosystem part of CCC’s suite of Content and Knowledge Management Solutions. #OAWeek

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As International Open Access Week 2020 comes to a close, in support of this year’s theme, Open with Purpose: Taking Action to Build Structural Equity and Inclusion, CCC is launching its Open Access Workflow Services, a comprehensive consulting practice that offers strategic Open Access (OA) and Transformative Agreement workflow support to publishers, funders, institutions and other stakeholders in the scholarly communications ecosystem.

CCC’s consultants draw on first-hand experience in implementing OA agreements with more than 400 institutions through its RightsLink for Scientific Communications platform, which offers insights on how to set up transformative agreements that are supportable and sustainable.

Besides helping advance copyright, accelerate knowledge, and power innovation, CCC’s Open Access Workflow Services help organizations build diversity and inclusion strategies within their OA and digital transformation workflows.

“Funding communities, government agencies, and research institutions are mandating that more journal content is published Open Access,” says Emily Sheahan, Vice President and Managing Director, CCC. “But openness can also be a powerful tool for building more equitable knowledge-sharing systems.”

In conjunction with equitable knowledge-sharing, OA Workflow Services from CCC help publishers and their partners identify and implement strategies that accelerate progress, advance organizational objectives, improve workflow design, as well as analyze and optimize metadata:

  • Accelerate progress — Through workshop facilitation among stakeholders — including institutional and funding partners — CCC helps articulate current challenges and offers guidance and tools that lead to building strategic, scalable transformative agreement workflows.
  • Advance organizational objectives — Through education about the shifting market landscape and insights into transformative agreement workflows, CCC helps clients conduct organizational audits and create prioritized action plans that support building workflows to manage transformation.
  • Improve workflow design — CCC’s expertise in workflow design helps develop sustainable, adaptable workflows through analysis of supporting systems, data gaps, and agreement attributes.
  • Analyze and optimize metadata — Standardized, persistent metadata is a key component to successful and compliant transformative agreements. Through data gathering and analysis, customers can identify what is working, spot gaps, and fine-tune data to support business strategy.

An initiative of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), Open Access Week is an opportunity for the academic and research community to learn about the potential benefits of Open Access and to share insights with colleagues from around the globe.

As Open Access 2020 continues, CCC encourages inclusion and engagement through its ongoing series of roundtables, panel events, webinars and podcasts. Recently, CCC hosted a virtual Town Hall to review the latest developments in Transformative Agreements and to discuss how innovation is rising to the Open Access challenge.

Publishers racing toward Plan S-compliance can rely on CCC’s Open Access Workflow Services to improve the management of data, content, and processes, to develop workflows, new business models, products, and services to their constituents, and to unlock the value of their content and data.

For additional insight into CCC’s expertise in Open Access, please check out our previous OA Week blog posts:

OPEN ACCESS WEEK 2020: Top 5 Insights in Open Access Publishing on Velocity of Content

OPEN ACCESS WEEK 2020: Test Your Open Access Knowledge with These True or False Questions

OPEN ACCESS WEEK 2020: Open Access Resources You Should Know About

To learn more about our Open Access Workflow Services, read our recent press release here.

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OPEN ACCESS WEEK 2020: Open Access Resources You Should Know About Wed, 21 Oct 2020 17:33:25 +0000 For Open Access Week this year, I thought I’d share a list of my go-to resources for staying current on… Read more

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For Open Access Week this year, I thought I’d share a list of my go-to resources for staying current on OA topics.

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OPEN ACCESS WEEK 2020: Test Your Open Access Knowledge with These True or False Questions Tue, 20 Oct 2020 15:58:07 +0000 In honor of OA Week 2020, we’ve rounded up some of the most-asked OA questions into a True or False quiz. It’s time to test your open access knowledge!

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Open access (OA) is here to stay, but with different publishing models and evolving rules and regulations, it can be hard to separate fact from fiction.

In honor of OA Week 2020, we’ve rounded up some of the most-asked open access questions into a True or False quiz. It’s time to test your OA knowledge!













How’d you do? Let’s compare your answers:

  1. True.
  2. False. Open Access may still feel new and revolutionary, but it’s been through decades of experiments and real-world implementations. You can learn about the history of OA (dating back to 1971!) here.
  3. False. Open Access content is subject to licensing terms that apply to the use of the content, and thee author/rights owner still holds copyright rights in the content, whereas Public Domain content is not subject to copyright protection. You can learn more about What is Public Domain in this video from the U.S. Copyright Office.
  4. True. When authoring an OA article, the decisions you make — which publisher to choose, whether the work will be made available in a subscription journal behind a paywall or as OA, and when your work will first be made available to the public — have a greater impact on the global reach of your work than ever before.
  5. False. While many Open Access resources follow the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association’s code of conduct, there are still predatory journals that undermine the good work done by most. In fact, back in March 2017, The New York Times reported on a sting operation organized by a researcher whose assumed name translated to “Dr. Fraud.”
  6. True. Green road refers to an article that has been placed in an open repository where it is freely available. Typically, the green road version of an article is not the final version of record. Instead, it is the version of the article originally accepted by the publisher prior to formatting, copyediting, and other finishing services. As a result, you cannot always be sure that what you are getting is the most accurate, up-to-date information available.
  7. False. The ‘Open’ in OA content refers to your ability access and read it for free, not to share, distribute, or reuse it without any restrictions. Because each type of OA license has different terms and conditions, it’s important to understand the different license terms before copyright, sharing, or making other uses of OA articles – particularly for business purposes.
  8. True. A publisher will typically publish an article under one of six different commonly used Creative Commons (CC) OA licenses, each of which grants a different set of permissions for reuse Some Creative licenses allow reuse for commercial purposes; others allow reuse only for non-commercial purposes; and some prohibit the creation of derivative versions of the content.
  9. False.  Publishers often make content “free to read,” without more specific license terms, often for promotional purposes or in furtherance of a public good, such as maximizing the availability of COVID-19 related content to researchers in pursuit of the development of vaccines or treatments.
  10. True.  The model is simple: An author pays a fee to a publisher to make the article Open Access.
  11. False. As of 2018, Open Access publications accounted for 36.2% of all publications, according to The European Commission.
  12. False. While the author may choose to pay an Article Processing Charge (APC) to a publisher to publisher her article in a hybrid journal or gold OA journal, the author or publisher may also publish the article under a more traditional subscription or license agreement. The depositing of the article on a preprint server prior to publication doesn’t directly impact the terms under which the final print is made available.


Interested in learning more? Check out:

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OPEN ACCESS WEEK 2020: Top 5 Insights in Open Access Publishing on Velocity of Content Mon, 19 Oct 2020 12:34:54 +0000 For Open Access Week 2020, CCC is sharing unique perspectives and resources all week on Open Access. Today, we are happy to share our Top 5 recent insights on Open Access Publishing from the past year.

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For Open Access Week 2020, CCC is sharing unique perspectives and resources all week on Open Access. Today, we are happy to share our Top 5 recent insights on Open Access Publishing from the past year.


5. Making Open Access More Approachable for Researchers in the Chemistry Setting

By Molly Buccini, Marketing Communications Manager for Copyright Clearance Center, 15 September 2020

For many researchers looking to become authors in Open Access journals, questions remain. Thus, the inception of ACS’s Open Science Resource Center.


4. Getting the Combination Right For Transformative Agreements

By Christopher Kenneally, Director, Marketing for Copyright Clearance Center, 19 March 2020

Copyright Clearance Center brings together leaders from across Publishing to discuss the transition to Open Access.


3. Publishing & The Pandemic

By Christopher Kenneally, Director, Marketing for Copyright Clearance Center, 3 April 2020

In a special report for Beyond the Book, CCC’s Christopher Kenneally visits virtually with journalists, publishers and industry analysts in France, Italy, Spain and Mexico to examine the impact COVID-19 has had on the publishing industry.


2. Publishing in an Open Access Journal: How Do You Maximize Reach?

, Head, Global Stakeholder Engagement at Cactus Communications,

One of the main reasons to publish in an Open Access journal is to ensure the largest possible societal impact of their research findings through availability to peers, the public, and to policymakers. The ability to expand an article’s reach and readership resides in the article’s visibility.


1. White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Opens Inquiry into Open Science

By Roy Kaufman, Managing Director, Business Development and Government Relations for Copyright Clearance Center, 18 May 2020

The meaning of “open science” is in the eye of the beholder. In other words, everyone favors more openness in science, but there are many views on what “openness” entails and how scholarly and scientific publishing should get there.

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Scholarly Communications Ecosystem Fri, 16 Oct 2020 09:10:03 +0000 The scholarly communications space is changing rapidly given the needs of funders and researchers, the desire for more open science and open access, and so much more.

The post Scholarly Communications Ecosystem appeared first on Copyright Clearance Center.

Last year — which seems a lifetime ago — we partnered with Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) to co-produce an event in London, our second together, on the changing nature of the scholarly communications ecosystem. We brought stakeholders together to discuss all facets of the sector and to discuss indelible changes underway.

In preparation for our second meeting, we codeveloped a detailed review of the ecosystem. Recently CCC brought it to life, publishing an interactive version on their website. This is the most comprehensive look at all facets of the ecosystem, its facets and players, and the needs of each part of the sector and how they do and don’t align.

The needs of researchers are suddenly front and center. Overlay COVID-19 and the need for speed in discovery has accelerated at a crazy pace. Preprints have taken on new meaning. The need of researchers to collaborate across and between firewalls has become abundantly clear, and the global nature of the pandemic and the need for science to respond also took center stage.

The scholarly communications space is changing rapidly given the needs of funders and researchers, the desire for more open science and open access, and so much more. Pressure on publishers persists. To get a handle on who’s who in this sector and what’s happening, take a look.

And if you’re interested in how to grow, respond, and manage, we are here for you. We did a study on the levers that societies can pull to drive growth in response to changing revenue streams. New adjacencies abound. One thing is for sure: The sector is changing. This was a great collaboration, and the ecosystem map lives on. Give it a visit.

Re-published with permission from Outsell, Inc.

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ICYMI: COVID-19, Copyright and the Creative Economy Thu, 15 Oct 2020 11:30:17 +0000 In case you missed it, today's edition of the Velocity of Content Blog is a full transcript of the "COVID-19, Copyright and the Creative Economy" session during the Frankfurt Book Fair which occurred on 13 October 2020 at 9:00 EDT/ 1500 CET.

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In case you missed it, today’s edition of the Velocity of Content Blog is a full transcript of the “COVID-19, Copyright and the Creative Economy” session during the Frankfurt Book Fair which occurred on 13 October 2020 at 9:00 EDT/ 1500 CET. To watch the session, please visit CCC’s Frankfurt Book Fair 2020 page.

Moderator: Michael Healy, Executive Director, International Relations, CCC


  • Bodour Al Qasimi, Vice President, International Publisher Association; Founder and CEO, Kalimat Publishing Group
  • Tracey Armstrong, President and CEO, CCC; 2nd Vice President, IFFRO
  • Fathima Dada, Managing Director of Oxford Education, OUP

HEALY:  Hello, everyone.  I’d like to welcome you all to this discussion, which is presented as part of the Frankfurt Book Fair’s 2020 Frankfurt conference.  My name is Michael Healy, and I am the executive director for international relations at Copyright Clearance Center.

Most of you, like me, would have expected now to be walking the aisles of the Frankfurt Book Fair at this time, meeting old friends, making new ones, doing the business of publishing.  The fact that we’re not, the fact that we’re having this conversation in this way, is another small example of the massive disruption we’ve seen to our world and to our industry in the past nine months.

So much has changed in that time, and so much has been lost.  But it’s one of the many paradoxes of this time that amid all this disruption and amid everything that’s changed, one constant has been the essential value of publishing.  It’s publishing that supports creative expression.  It’s our industry that fights to protect that expression.  It’s publishing that puts information into the hands of teachers and students and that enables the sharing of essential research.  It’s hard to imagine a more important mission in these days.

COVID-19 is teaching us a lot, and it reminds us that what we do really matters.  It may have exposed shortcomings and gaps in what we do, but it’s also pointed us to opportunities.  It’s those gaps, those lessons, and those opportunities that I hope to explore in today’s short conversation with three highly respected, highly experienced publishing leaders.

The first of my guests today is my friend Bodour Al Qasimi.  For those who don’t know Bodour, and there can’t be many of those, she is, among other things, vice president of the International Publishers Association and the chief executive and founder of Kalimat, a group of publishing companies based in her home, the United Arab Emirates.  Welcome, Bodour, and thank you so much for joining us.

AL QASIMI:  Thank you, Michael.  And I’d like to also thank Copyright Clearance Center and Frankfurt Book Fair for putting together this event at a really critical time in our industry.  So I’m looking forward to all the insights that come out.

HEALY:  Well, thank you so much for that.  Bodour, the IPA has organized quite an ambitious set of programs for this virtual Frankfurt Book Fair – great sessions on diversity, freedom of expression, and so on.  From your vantage point – which is global, I suppose, because of your role with the IPA – how do you assess the state of international publishing in 2020 in the midst of this global pandemic?

AL QASIMI:  We’re really grateful for the opportunity to present so many different panels in Frankfurt Book Fair this year.  We have 11 panel discussions, as you mentioned, Michael, and we’re really so grateful for the opportunity that we’re given – this huge platform to be able to showcase different voices within IPA.

In terms of my experience in IPA, post-COVID-19, I want to share a little secret with you, Michael.  Before COVID-19 crisis came onto our radar, I was reflecting on my journey as VP of IPA, and I was trying to imagine the kind of challenges and the scenarios I could face as IPA president and how we could all collaborate together and turn them into opportunities.  I never imagined a challenge in the magnitude of COVID-19, and I think I’m not the only one.  I don’t think any of us have ever imagined something like this in our wildest nightmare scenarios.

And where we are today, seven months into a history-making crisis that is changing and will continue changing the face of many industries, including the publishing industry, I think it’s the right time to give an assessment, perhaps, after the last quarter of this year.  As you know, a lot of sales happen around the Christmas period, where publishers get around 20% to 25% of their sales in December only.  So we’ll wait and see.

But overall, as I usher in the IPA presidency next year, we’ll most likely be dealing with the ramifications of this pandemic on our industry and our business, and we’ll have to work closely together to make sure that we come out of this crisis with fresh, sustainable business models for the future.

HEALY:  You mentioned becoming IPA president, Bodour.  You’ll be the first IPA president from the Middle East.  I’ve had the great privilege of being in your home in Sharjah and working with you there, and I know how much the IPA has focused its efforts in places like Africa.  Tell us a little bit about what perspectives you think you’ll bring to that new role, which in some way might be different from past presidencies, and tell us a little bit how the Middle East and Africa is faring during the pandemic.

AL QASIMI:  Sure.  As you mentioned, Michael, yes, it is the first time somebody from the Middle East will be the president of IPA.  It’s a huge honor for me to be representing the Middle East and also to be a woman in this position.  We’ve only had one other woman – as you know, Ana Maria Cabanellas – in the history of 125 years of IPA.  So it’s a huge honor and privilege for me to be in this position.

Working at the international publishing level has given me a deeper appreciation of the role that publishers play in developing the soul and the spirit of nations, so it’s an enormous role and one that has a lot of challenges.  And after working closely with colleagues from five continents for many years now, I realize that publishing has a significant role in building cultural bridges at a global level, upholding universal human values, such as freedom of expression, through publishing and supporting oppressed and voiceless minorities.  My work in IPA has also allowed me to understand the publishing world’s systemic challenges, while also appreciating the emergency – sorry, the tremendous opportunities that can emerge from global partnerships and the impact on the development of local publishing industries.

You mentioned my work in Africa and in the Middle East.  One of my missions when I became VP of IPA was really to shed light on emerging markets, and the Middle East and Africa are emerging markets that have untapped potential.  And I felt that it was important for us to showcase the untapped potential in both of these markets, so I organized seminars in Lagos and in Nairobi and in Jordan as well.

HEALY:  Indeed.  Just one final question in this segment, Bodour, if I may.  You mentioned there in passing that you’ll be the second only woman to lead the IPA.  You’ve been a prime mover in this initiative called PublisHer.  And I remember you talking about that last year as a call to action by female publishing leaders to address the industry’s gender imbalances.  Can you tell us what plans you have for that particular initiative going forward?

AL QASIMI:  Sure.  Thank you for that question, Michael.  You know, I’m very passionate about PublisHer.  I won’t go into the details of the nature of struggles that women in publishing face based on their gender.  I think we’re all familiar with them, and they were the reasons why I founded PublisHer.  PublisHer essentially is a global community initiative designed to support aspiring women publishers in their path to leadership positions in the publishing world.

I just want to highlight that when the crisis hits, usually the most vulnerable categories in society are the ones that are most affected.  Although at the outset of the pandemic, some people said that this would be the great equalizer, in fact, I believe it’s been anything but equal, especially if you’re a woman, from a minority race, or someone with low literacy skills.  The UN estimated that on a global level, women will disproportionately be affected by the pandemic, and this is true in the publishing industry as well, when we look at how people have had to work from home, and a lot of women suffered from these work structures and the commitments, especially if they had young children.

There’s also the issue of diversity and inclusion, which has been simmering before COVID, but it’s been magnified now.  Many publishers – publishing companies started taking cost-cutting measures.  And the ones who didn’t really have any diversity and inclusion policy discriminated against women, people with disability, people of color, and other minorities.  It’s important for us to bring these issues to the forefront.  So we’ve been very active in PublisHer.  We’ve been organizing many virtual events.  We’ve had a series of video interviews called Unmasked, which we’ve shown on our social medial channels and our YouTube channel.  We’ve also launched a mentorship program, which I’m really proud of, because I believe so strongly that it’ll create the right support network for female publishers wishing to go far in their careers.  And we also launched a survey to assess the real pulse of the situation on the ground in many markets, and we launched a set of guidelines for gender equity at the workplace.

There is still more to come, and it’s exciting to see a lot of changes happening.  In the past few weeks, we’ve heard of new female executives leading globally known publishing houses.  We’ve seen winners of the shortlist for the Booker Prize, where there are a lot of women who were shortlisted, and today’s announcement of the Nobel Prize in Literature as well was a great achievement for women.

HEALY:  Many thanks, Bodour, for those insights.  I hope we’ll be taking again towards the end of the broadcast.  But now, our next guest today is Fathima Dada.  Fathima is managing director of Oxford Education, which is part of Oxford University Press, and Fathima has global responsibility for OUP’s products and services for schools.  Before that, she worked for many years at Pearson.  She’s been a successful author, a teacher, and an examiner, so she brings an extraordinarily wide perspective on all things educational.  Welcome to the program, Fathima.

DADA:  Thank you.  Thank you, Michael.

HEALY:  Let me begin, if I may, by asking you about the COVID-related disruption to traditional educational models.  Can you tell us a little bit about the way, perhaps, it’s changed Oxford University Press, and perhaps even other academic and educational publishers and how they see their roles?

DADA:  Well, I can speak from more direct experience at the press.  I think the change, in many ways, was unexpected and unprecedented.  You can imagine 6,000 people who had previously largely worked office based, and we all had to be put on remote working within the space of two weeks.  So it was rather dramatic at the beginning.  I have worked remotely on and off for about 10 years, so I was one of the more experienced leaders in the organization and able to really support a lot of colleagues.

But I have to say it went very successfully.  And maybe that encapsulates the general experience when it comes to technology.  I think the world just changed between March and April in terms of our use of technology, how dependent we became on that, and how it managed to give us the flexibility that had been spoken about for quite a long time.  So I think physically Oxford University Press changed very dramatically, and our UK business offices are still not open, and that’s where I’m based.  I haven’t been at the office for seven months.

We found similar trends across the globe.  And as we know, it comes and goes in waves now, so it’s something that I think we’re going to have to live with for a long time.  For that reason, I think it’s changed the way we do business and the way we work forever.

If I think about it from our product and market perspective, it’s changed a lot as well.  We found that teachers who had never really had to work remotely – there have always been the teachers who took up technology with relative ease and managed to adapt and really enjoy digital and blended products and services.  They took to the changed atmosphere and circumstances quite easily.  But there were a large number of teachers, particularly in emerging markets, where they had never really been called to work in that way – had to make quite rapid changes.

Well, I can speak about this for a long time, but in essence, OUP responded really quickly.  Our teams put together enhanced digital propositions for places like Pakistan and Kenya, where there was very little in the market from competitors or ourselves.  We offered a lot of online.  We literally trained hundreds of thousands of teachers over the last seven months on teaching remotely, using digital products and services, but also just general pedagogy.

And then finally, something that changed very quickly as well was that hundreds of millions of parents found themselves with their children at home – Bodour mentioned this earlier – where they had to really teach their children, keep down their own work, and cope with managing a household.  So we provided a lot of support for parents.  And a lot of what I’m describing we have been providing free to help everyone.  This is a crisis that I think has brought us together collectively.  And I think there’s been a lot of goodwill, not only from Oxford University Press, but also from competitors and other players, like digital startups.

HEALY:  You’re very clear, Fathima, that the COVID-related changes are most likely permanent.  And you know, Oxford University Press is one of the world’s oldest – one of the great ancient publishing houses of the world, and it’s seen a lot happen in its history.  So do you sense, in any way, that you will ever go back to business as normal or business as it used to be?

DADA:  Yeah, really great question, and one that the executive team at Oxford University Press discusses every week on a Monday morning.  I do not believe the world will go back to the way it was.  And I think it came as quite a shock to OUP in particular.  It’s an institution in the industry – been there for over 500 years, planning to be there for another 500 – very office-based.

However, that’s the external view of OUP, perhaps, and that’s our superficial history.  In reality, we’re quite a diverse business.  We have a very, very balanced portfolio.  We’re the world’s leading academic publisher, and 70% of our academic business is digital.  So I think internally, we have a lot of best practice to learn from, and the balanced portfolio has given us a lot of stability, and we’re very grateful for that.

However, it has also given us the opportunity to make innovation embed itself in the organization more quickly, particularly in the two education businesses.  So in my business in particular, which is very spread out – I have large branches in India, Pakistan, mainland China, Hong Kong, Australia, parts of Africa, etc. – they were all at different points on the digital continuum, so we’ve had to think long and hard about how we accelerate everyone.

The technique I used to really get a grip on what was going on – because I’m making it sound as though we got on top of it quite easily, but it was extremely challenging and continues to be so for a lot of people – is that the leadership team and I got together very early on and conducted a lot of strategy work, scenario planning, and building innovation.  So we’ve built a whole lot of accelerators in every aspect of our business – sales, marketing, product – and we continue to do a lot of work there.

We also looked at more rapid development approaches.  The publishing industry, as I’m sure my two colleagues here on the team will attest, can be a slow industry in terms of our cycles – our product lifecycles.  I’ve really forced myself and my team to learn to work much more quickly to put in minimum viable products into the market, to think about prototypes, and to deliver really quickly for teachers, learners, parents, and schools.

HEALY:  You mentioned a moment ago, Fathima, that your responsibilities are global, but anyone listening to your accent knows that you’re a native of South Africa.  I know you’ve taught there.  I know you’ve developed curricula there.  It’s a place very dear to my heart as well.  This pandemic has affected the world quite unevenly in some respects.  How are things in southern Africa, and how are they responding to the impact of the coronavirus there?

DADA:  Many parts of Africa – and I hope it would remain like this – have been less hard hit by the pandemic than maybe the rest of the world, although South Africa was relatively hard hit.  So in the regional countries outside South Africa, they’ve had minimal numbers.

Two of OUP’s large markets in Africa where I work quite significantly are Kenya – east Africa, but mostly Kenya – and then South Africa.  Well, in Kenya, because of the large degree of poverty, because so many people live in slums, government took a decision very early on to go into a very hard lockdown that they still haven’t really emerged from.  And then several months ago, a decision was made by the ministry of education to stop the school year in its entirety.  Now, they’re speaking of maybe opening earlier than they had originally thought, but that sets an economy back significantly.  And they did it, really, to protect people.  So I think what the virus has really highlighted is one can’t be judgmental about actions around how to cope with it, because perhaps that was the best thing they could do.

Now, fortunately, east Africa, and Kenya in particular, put a lot of value in education, so I’m sure they will make a good recovery.  Also, last year, Kenya put a lot of learning material into schools.  I think they had universal provision for most grades.  And I think one of the things we can learn is that it’s important for education systems to keep well informed, to be current in terms of curriculum policy, access to resources, so when a crisis like this hits of such gigantic proportions, one is more ready for learners and teachers and parents to support.

South Africa – I think it’s difficult.  South Africa tried to open schools relatively early on and had to close again, but we’re slowly getting back to normal.  The high-stakes grade 12 exams will proceed just a couple of weeks late, and we wish the students there well.  South Africa has excellent education policies.  I think it’s about provision and quality in the system that now needs to be addressed, and the virus will have set us back from that point of view.  But I’m hopeful for the future.

HEALY:  Thanks so much, Fathima.  Looking forward to catching up on some of those themes towards the end of the broadcast.  Our final guest today is Tracey Armstrong.  Tracey is president and chief executive officer of Copyright Clearance Center.  As well as leading a global licensing, content, software, and professional services business, Tracey plays a major role in the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organizations.  It’s that combination of roles and her experience that gives Tracey a global vantage point from which to look at developments not just in the content industry, but in the wider world of research and development.  Welcome, Tracey.  It’s great you can join us today.

ARMSTRONG:  Thank you very much.  Pleasure to be here.

HEALY:  Thanks, Tracey.  If it’s reasonable at all to talk about this pandemic having a silver lining, it’s possibly the opportunity to provoke far-reaching change in our industry.  I’ve heard you say to me privately and to others that these times we’re living in, these strange times, call for new ways of looking at the world, new ways of working, new ways of learning, new ways of interacting with people.  Could you say a little bit more about that for this audience?

ARMSTRONG:  Absolutely.  Silver lining?  Tough to say.  But has it created these new ways of working, learning, and interacting?  I think it certainly has.  One thing I would say, which I think echoes some of the comments made previously in this program, is that this is a time – I would call this a radically human moment.  At the essence of this crisis, this coronavirus crisis, is we’re all people, no matter what we do, no matter where we live.  And I think for CEOs and for leaders, we find ourselves now – and where we, I think, are coping well – coping better – leading communities, not just companies.  I think that that is really one of the essential tenets of where we find ourselves today.

I think that this disruption has provided an opportunity for transformation and reinvention, redefining things like, for example, how we cooperate, how we compete.  And I think that there is – as has been already mentioned, as leaders, I don’t think we foresaw that we would be facing – nobody foresaw that we would be facing this global pandemic or the resurgence in the movement globally for racial diversity and equity and justice.

I think from a publishing perspective, we find ourselves – really, this is our moment.  This is our moment in the information industry.  This is our moment in publishing.  Never has authoritative content been more essential.  Never has fake information been more potentially harmful and disruptive.  And I think what we see happening in our social media platforms and in our news outlets, in books, in all forms of publishing, the volume and speed at which content is being created – it’s truly unprecedented.

And I think what is happening in education, how we’re all transitioning either to a – we’re living where we learn, we’re living where we work and working where we live and all of this.  All of this transition – the business process transformation, the digital transformation, things that we have been talking about for more than a decade – it’s all coming home to roost.  I think that we are seeing really epic challenges being met with, in some cases, true humility and grace in the publishing industry in ways that really only a crisis could spur on.  And I hope we take lasting lessons away from this and come out with more sustainable models going forward.

One thing is for sure.  There’s no going back to normal.  There’s no going back to the way it was before.  We are where we are.  And from here, we will redefine what normal is.

HEALY:  You talked, Tracey, there for a second about the importance of community.  And you and all of us at CCC – we’re deeply immersed in a couple of communities particularly, especially the research community right now.  The global research community has never, perhaps, been in the spotlight more than it is right now.  And you talked about some of the challenges that community’s facing as it really drives forward to fight COVID-19 and find a cure and so on.

We’ve looked at things like this huge increase in submission of articles to journals and challenges of identifying quickly the appropriate peer reviewers and so on.  Perhaps you could say something about your experience of watching publishing interact with the research community in the last few months and what that’s been like.

ARMSTRONG:  Absolutely.  Hearing from editors at journals who have been working 15-hour days for six, seven months now nonstop and reviewing these enormous amounts of manuscripts that are coming in, and reading, even in the general press, in the media, about the differences in determinations on what’s submitted for peer review, how that’s done, etc. – at Copyright Clearance Center, we are an industry partner of these institutions and multiple stakeholders in the scholarly review process.  We do have some workflow services and support transformative agreements.  We have rules engines that help support those types of things.

But beyond that, one thing that we did at Copyright Clearance Center in response to the COVID-19 crisis was to develop an author graph in response to the increase in manuscripts submitted to peer-reviewed journals.  This graph enables examination of a collection of authors and analysis of the interconnections between them and their publications and areas of interest, and it aids in identification of peer reviewers, which is essential right now, since there are an unprecedented number of manuscripts to review.  And it helps in the understanding of the landscape of coronavirus-related – it’s much broader than just this novel disease – coronavirus-related research.

We’ve offered this as a pilot.  We’ve received very positive feedback from the publisher partners that we’ve been working with so far, and we’re rolling it out into the research partner community.  This is an example of the importance, I think, of having a very, very strong, robust data pipelines, so that your data is clean, it’s semantically enriched, and it’s structured in a way that you can receive this kind of value from it.  In other words, if you are trying to formulate using any type of technology like this graph on data that is not well cared for and curated, the results will be lacking.  So we were very fortunate to have quite a robust data pipeline, and this is an area where I think as an industry, there’s a lot of opportunity for cooperation and collaboration with publisher partners.

HEALY:  Tracey, it would be unforgivable, I suppose, to interview the president of Copyright Clearance Center publicly and not talk about copyright.  One thing that people talk about a lot is whether there’s any risk that changes in the way that we’re all sharing information now, the shift to more digital exchanges of information – all of that positive stuff will or might give rise to demands to weaken copyright protections traditionally that we’ve had.  How do you see that?  Do you see that there might be a move towards weakening copyright in this pandemic?

ARMSTRONG:  Actually, I think what we’ve seen with some of the large tech platforms are partnerships with publishers so that they can ensure that the content is accurate.  And I do think with the – oh, how do we even say – the rampant presence of misinformation on these platforms, that is a real challenge for these players in the market.  So I actually think that as far as curated content, we see a very strong future.

I think as far as educational content, this is essential and is very, very important.  One of the things that we’re seeing now is the challenge in reaching communities where there isn’t Wi-Fi in the home, or there perhaps isn’t a home, and we have students trying to learn in less-than-ideal circumstances, and these cavernous issues – societal issues – are magnified by this crisis.  In response to that, organizations and nonprofits, such as EL Education, which CCC recently partnered with and publishers are partnering with – these organizations are providing schools language arts curriculum and other curriculum.  We need to foster permissions and copyright licenses so that these organizations can easily get the permission to use the grade-level texts for distance learning during the pandemic.  That’s something that we and others are focused on.

I would also point out that we have run several programs, as everyone is running virtual programs, on the effects of the pandemic on education and other sectors of the copyright industries.  I think there is a lot that can be done there to facilitate access to content at this time.  Certainly, we see a lot of partners doing that.  We are collaborating with a lot of institutions to do this as well.  And I think publishers have done a remarkable job – for example, in the research community – of making the COVID-19 and coronavirus-related research accessible and open to everyone.

HEALY:  Well, thank you so much, Tracey, for that feedback you’ve just given us and those insights.  We’re now at that stage of the broadcast when we’re going to move into a short group discussion, and I’ve prepared a couple of questions that I’d like the entire group to respond to.  The first is about optimism – namely, how optimistic do you all feel that publishing will emerge from this pandemic stronger and better equipped than it was to respond to this changed world?  Maybe we could start with you, Bodour.

AL QASIMI:  Thank you, Michael.  I think I’m quite an optimistic person in general.  But when the pandemic hit, my first reaction as a publisher – when we were dealing with lockdowns, closures, restrictions, I was deeply concerned about the future of our business.  And I was worried about distribution channels and all of that chaos.  But my concern faded.  Despite the challenges, I know that we’re a resilient industry.  We’ve been around for centuries.  We’re resilient.  We’re adaptable.  Not to mention we’re very economically, culturally, and politically and socially important.

However, we have to focus right now maybe not on expansion and development but focus more on survival.  And I think we have to take an honest look at our existing business models and decide whether they are good enough or they need to be transformed completely to catch up with this changing world.

HEALY:  Thank you so much for that, Bodour.  Tracey, if I can put you on the spot next, optimistic or not?

ARMSTRONG:  Generally, it’s hard to be optimistic beyond publishing with everything that’s happening in 2020, so I’ll be optimistic to be having this conversation with you a year from now.  I do think publishing is a people business, and I think this has been very challenging for us to transform how we do business and finding new ways to connect with people.  I do think that the long-term outlook from these changes that we’ve been forced to undergo is quite positive, and I do think it has compelled meaningful and sustainable – what can transition to be meaningful and sustainable change in how we do business.  I think that’s quite important.

The other thing I would say is I do see publishing companies in a more essential role from a social responsibility perspective, and I think that that is hugely important and powerful.

HEALY:  Thanks for that so much.  Fathima, how about you?

DADA:  So I think I’m broadly optimistic, but like Bodour said, the industry has been through a lot of pain and will continue to be.  So if I have to project myself into the future two or three years down the line, I think we’ll be a smaller industry.  I do think, however, we’ll be more modernized.  We’ll have more modern ways of working.  I think we’ll be far more digitized than we have been.

And I think we have a critical role to play.  If I think about information and the way it’s been going with social media, fake news – and, you know, we are all about those – I think we have a really important curatorship to play, and I think we have a very, very important future.

HEALY:  Final question, and the most unfair one, probably.  I’m sure all of you, like me, miss the opportunities to meet face to face in places like Frankfurt.  And I hope we could regroup – do this again in 12 months’ time, if they’ll have us.  But if we do that, quickly, where do you think we’ll all be at that point in this journey that we’re all on?  Tracey, what do you think?

ARMSTRONG:  You mean physically, where will we be?

HEALY:  Yeah, yeah.

ARMSTRONG:  OK, here I’m probably not – I might be accused of being not too optimistic and more pragmatic and realistic.  But I think next year, we’ll be doing this the same way we’re doing it now.  One of the things that I do think is hugely valuable about this format is it levels the playing field for everyone.  And for those that are able to – or have, in the past, been able to hop on a plane and go wherever you need to go and be with whoever you want to be with, those resources are not available to everyone.  And in that way, this is a great equalizer.  I think we should take advantage of that and leverage that and bring more voices into the foreground.  So I hope next year, we’ll be able to see each other in person.  But if we can’t, then I hope our discussion next year can raise up even more important voices that aren’t being heard as often as our own.

HEALY:  Thank you.  Fathima, in 12 months’ time, will we be sitting around the table at the beautiful Printers House in Clarendon Street?

DADA:  (laughter) Well, I would love to be in Printers House right now.  Like Tracey, I think that the pandemic is still here for a while, so I wonder whether we will have something like the Frankfurt Book Fair in person next year.  However, I do think that we will have learnt a lot, and there’ll be a semblance of normality.  I also agree that it’s a great opportunity for global talent to work more closely together and for mobility, because it is a leveling of the playing field.  I’ve already seen that.  So I’m hoping that by next year, we’ll have a stronger organization and more kind of adjusted to the new normal.

HEALY:  And final word to you, Bodour.

AL QASIMI:  I also agree with both Tracey and Fathima.  I think we have definitely learned some lessons.  We’ve picked up some new skills during this pandemic.  We’ve all adapted, and we’ve all tried to be innovative in our own way.  I love what Tracey said about it being an equalizer.  Also, we’re able to connect with colleagues from around the world and see their faces and have discussions with them that perhaps would have been harder in the past, so it’s opened up new opportunities.

I think next year in Frankfurt, if things clear up, we might see a hybrid model, which I like, because we get the best of both worlds.  We get to have face-to-face interactions, but we also have the tools and the skills to be able to connect and get work done remotely.

HEALY:   As we approach the end of the program, I just want to thank Fathima, Tracey, and Bodour for their contributions today and to say on behalf of the Frankfurt Book Fair a huge thank you to them all for contributing to this year’s Frankfurt conference.  Thanks so much.

The post ICYMI: COVID-19, Copyright and the Creative Economy appeared first on Copyright Clearance Center.

Managing Scientific Literature Access and Copyright Compliance in a Remote Workforce Wed, 14 Oct 2020 20:46:55 +0000 While current circumstances may make it seem like it’s not an optimal time to throw something new at people, rolling out new literature management solutions that will make workers’ lives and managing content easier is a worthwhile venture – and a less daunting one than you may think. 

The post Managing Scientific Literature Access and Copyright Compliance in a Remote Workforce appeared first on Copyright Clearance Center.

Managing literature can be tricky for companies at the best of times, and especially so during a worldwide pandemic.  As a knowledge and information management consultant, I’ve seen various approaches to handling it – including a free-for-all with employees purchasing articles directly from publishers using their own credit cards or accessing subscriptions via personal accounts and academic affiliations. I’ve observed users storing PDFs on shared drives or SharePoint, emailing them around to coworkers, and posting and discussing articles on Yammer.  I’ve witnessed clients using both Excel files to keep track of the articles the company has purchased, and a point person within the organization as a gatekeeper of the literature.   All of these approaches have their issues, copyright compliance primary among them.  Add to this that many employees are now working from home, potentially no longer on the company network, and may not be able to seamlessly access the content they should have access to via their company’s subscriptions.

A literature management tool can enhance productivity by streamlining access to content and improving communication between collaborators, and many have evolved in the last few years.  They are no longer just document delivery services, but collaborative tools to enable discussions.  Now, with so many employees working from home, while others remain in the office or alternate locations, conversations that happened organically in hallways, conference rooms and labs are no longer occurring.  Workers may not have immediate access to their go-to co-worker who sat next to them in the office and must communicate using alternative online conversations.  The right information management tool can help improve collaboration, simplify workflows and save users time.

While current circumstances may make it seem like it’s not an optimal time to throw something new at people, rolling out solutions that will make workers’ lives and managing content easier is a worthwhile venture – and a less daunting one than you may think.

One of my clients recently initiated a literature deep dive project where they began reviewing over 50,000 articles pulled in from a literature alert.  To make this a manageable task, the citations were added to a shared library within the literature management tool and divided up between the group members.  A workflow was created to capture required information in the review process, where the fields are then filterable and searchable.  Without this resource, this task would be practically impossible.

Using a combination of built-in features, like automatic topic categorization, and highly customized fields, RightFind was able to support our unique workflow amazingly well. This allowed us to divide up the work while still maintaining a strong team collaboration despite the decreased touchpoints. I’m not sure how we could have done this without a literature management tool as adaptable as RightFind.”

Having a central access point for all your literature needs where users can search, retrieve, review, annotate, and collaborate takes the guesswork out of the equation.  The system automatically checks for copies available through subscriptions or covered under the company’s copyright licenses.  Copyright permissions are checked with each transaction, so risk of infringement is also lowered.  But most importantly, a proper literature management tool can make access to literature easier for researchers.  Faster research makes for faster discoveries and decision making.

Additionally, literature management doesn’t have to be yet another technical hurdle, especially with an already overwhelmed IT team.  When I recently implemented RightFind for a client, they had nothing but positive feedback:

The implementation process was surprisingly smooth during a time when employees do not get the opportunity to see each other in person.  RightFind made the process easy by providing a single point of contact, an easy to follow interface, and offering training for end users via web conferencing.  We believe RightFind is a big step up from our previous literature management system and has thus far been well received by our R&D community.”

Peter McLaughlin, Senior Director of IT at Scholar Rock

Does implementing a new system seem overwhelming?  Hire a consultant to facilitate the process.  Aside from a brief call to integrate SSO, your IT group doesn’t need to get their hands dirty.  The efficiency you gain is surely worth the effort!

Interested in learning more? Check out:

The post Managing Scientific Literature Access and Copyright Compliance in a Remote Workforce appeared first on Copyright Clearance Center.

Knowledge Graphs: Connecting Your Data to Solve Real-World Problems in R&D, Business Intelligence and Strategy Tue, 13 Oct 2020 13:21:27 +0000 Join CCC and Double L Digital's Phill Jones on October 28 for an look at how knowledge graphs can solve real R&D business problems.

The post Knowledge Graphs: Connecting Your Data to Solve Real-World Problems in R&D, Business Intelligence and Strategy appeared first on Copyright Clearance Center.

The volume and types of information and knowledge that R&D intensive companies have to ingest, process, and synthesize is increasing super-exponentially. In the past, this has forced knowledge and information professionals to effectively silo information by subscribing to databases and content sources that contain specific types of objects or relate to certain subject areas. In response, many knowledge and information professionals feel that something was lost along the way; the serendipity of finding a piece of information in a place you didn’t realize you needed to look.

On October 28, join Phill Jones for a 30-minute webinar as he discusses the development and application of knowledge graphs and how they are helping knowledge and information professionals to solve real business problems.

Phill will share:

  • Real world examples of how knowledge graphs are already solving business problems such as empowering business intelligence, reducing costs of clinical trial design, identifying key opinion leaders, and more
  • A series of tips to help you develop your own knowledge graph roadmap
  • Advice on how to clean and map data and create a data processing pipeline

Register here. 

About Double L Digital  

DLD is owned and operated by Phill Jones PhD, who has a decade of experience bringing innovative products to market. Prior to founding DLD, Phill was the CTO at Emerald Publishing. He has had a series of roles at Digital Science (DS), including a senior role in the DS Consultancy. He also leads thought leadership efforts for publishers, and developed patron driven acquisition and article syndication business models. Phill was the first Editorial Director at Journal of Visualized Experiments and is an influential thought leader in the scholarly communications technology sector.

Start Learning Now

In May 2020, Phill Jones shared the results of recent interviews with individuals in the R&D information landscape during a 30-minute webinar. From knowledge managers to information scientists to senior research scientists, Phill shared perspectives and strategic advice for the future of data, knowledge and information management.

You can access the webinar recording here. 

In addition, Phill authored a white paper that is now available for download.

The post Knowledge Graphs: Connecting Your Data to Solve Real-World Problems in R&D, Business Intelligence and Strategy appeared first on Copyright Clearance Center.

IFRRO Addresses the Invalidation of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Fri, 09 Oct 2020 09:26:47 +0000 The Privacy Shield had been the four-year-old mechanism under the protection of which EU companies have been sending personal information about EU citizens to the United States for processing.

The post IFRRO Addresses the Invalidation of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield appeared first on Copyright Clearance Center.

At the end of September, the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organizations (IFRRO) hosted a webinar on the impact of the July decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), the EU’s highest court, invalidating the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. The Privacy Shield had been the four-year-old mechanism under the protection of which EU companies have been sending personal information about EU citizens to the United States for processing. The Privacy Shield was designed by the EU and U.S. governments to offer EU citizens the comfort of knowing that participating U.S. companies seek to provide a similar level of protection to their personal information to that afforded by the EU’s own General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The invalidation of the Privacy Shield is of importance to IFRRO-member Reproduction Rights Organizations (RROs) because of their mutual responsibilities under bilateral agreements.

IFRRO’s webinar was led by IP/IT partners at the European law firm Osborne Clark, which acts as one of IFRRO’s regular outside counsel. After reviewing the reasoning in the CJEU decision for invalidating the Privacy Shield – largely focused on the insufficiency of redress available to EU citizens under U.S. national security laws governing the interception of electronic communications – the Osborne Clark lawyers discussed the alternatives available to the EU RROs for complying with the GDPR while continuing their delivery of royalties and associated information to non-EU RROs. They also noted that the same concerns apply to EU RROs’ information transfers to almost all other non-EU RROs with which they have bilateral agreements. (Most RROs have such agreements with dozens of counterparts around the world.)

In the context of the relationships being discussed, the primary alternative available to the EU RROs (and most other EU businesses) is the use of Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs) published by the EU (and due to be updated within a few weeks) and then signed on a case-by-case basis by the EU and non-EU partners. And those SCCs need to be supplemented (not replaced) by specific terms unique to the relationship between the EU and U.S. parties involved. Those supplemental terms focus on the nature of the information transferred and the nature of the risk attached to the particular transfer. In the case of RROs, the lawyers leading the webinar focused on (i) the low level of risk associated with transferring information relating to the names of authors and publishers whose names are in fact printed right on the works earning royalties (they are printed there largely because those authors and publishers want to ensure that they get paid for the use of their works), and (ii) the reality that U.S. national security laws are not focused on matters such as these. Further, the lawyers recommended that EU parties create careful documentation to explain the decision to transfer the information (for example, by obtaining answers to data security questionnaires that explain a U.S. recipient’s practices).

CCC is a founding and active IFRRO member. CCC holds two data security certifications – (i) a formal certification under the international information security management standard known as ISO 27001 and (ii) a clean report (tantamount to a certification) under the internationally-recognized standard for internal organizational controls known as SOC 2 Type 2. It was pointed out by the experts leading this session that these certifications are an important element of any conclusion by an EU RRO that the level of risk associated with these data transfers to CCC is low; in effect, these certifications are the equivalent of full-scale answers to the types of questionnaires that an EU company would issue. During the webinar, CCC also made clear to all attendees its willingness to help those RROs document that low-risk assessment by providing proof of its certifications.

The Court of Justice’s decision to invalidate the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield has created a lot of burden on EU and U.S. companies across all industries. In the RRO-specific environment, this IFRRO webinar made clear that the nature of the information being transferred, plus the existence of CCC’s international-recognized data security certifications, make the necessary risk assessment more straightforward.

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