|Title:||Testing the barriers to digital libraries: A study seeking copyright permission to digitize published works|
|Citation:||George, C. A. (2005). Testing the barriers to digital libraries: A study seeking copyright permission to digitize published works. New Library World, 106(7/8), 332-342.|
|Link(s):||Definitive , Open Access|
|Key Related Studies:|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||A statistically significant random sample of publications was drawn from the Carnegie Mellon Libraries’ collection. In order to determine issues related to digitization of diverse library collections, a random sample was considered to provide the best representation. After eliminating duplicates, technical reports, dissertations and theses, and missing books, a total of 337 titles remained. At the onset of the study, the initial sample was reduced from 337 titles to 273 titles – for a variety of reasons.|
|Data Type:||Primary and Secondary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:||
Carnegie Mellon University Libraries conducted a two year study to explore the issues related to acquiring permission to digitize copyrighted material and provide digital access via the internet. The goal of the study was to determine a realistic estimation of time, complexity, and issues related to this process. Based on a random sample drawn from library shelves, 273 titles were the focus of efforts to acquire copyright permission. The study provided insight into the process, problems, and obstacles confronting libraries seeking to develop their digital collections. However, the study yielded some discouraging results. Less than one-fourth of copyright holders granted permission to digitize their books. Nearly one-third of copyright holders did not respond to queries, even after diligent follow-up. Addresses could not be found for about 11 percent of the copyright holders. However, the study also yielded valuable strategies that have made subsequent copyright permission projects quantifiably more successful. In the long run, this and other projects will be rewarded by the development of robust digital libraries.
Main Results of the Study
- About 52 percent responded with a yes or no with 24 percent yes responses.
- Nearly 25 percent never responded
- Addresses were not found for about 16 percent
- Approximately 7 percent were too complicated to pursue and response time averaged about three months.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
- The low rate of positive responses indicates the need to focus on publications and publishers most likely to provide permission: older and out-of-print materials, non-commercial publishers, special collections
- Using designated staff and personal contact to improve effectiveness.
- Few previous studies exist in this area. This study might benefit other libraries with respect to planning, defining procedures, and improving results.
Coverage of Study
|Level of aggregation:||Books|
|Period of material under study:||2005|