Catalyst Fund 2018: University of Hawai’i at Mānoa (UHM) Hamilton Library

Submitting Organization: University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM) Hamilton Library

Idea Title: Roundtable on Rights Management Systems and Rights Metadata

Idea Statement of Purpose: To research standardization of rights metadata to create interoperable access. Rightsstatements.org has developed international standards for outward-facing metadata, but there is far less research concerning inward-facing statements and necessary fields of information. Such research is needed for opportunities to enhance the public domain thereby enhancing scholarship and innovation.

Describe the problem, need, issue or challenge that will be addressed and how addressing it will benefit the LYRASIS community. Include, if relevant, references to any studies or reports that can further elucidate the issue, models from other fields, or existing work in related areas.

There is a need to research how to standardize rights metadata as it is the only way to create interoperable access from a rights perspective—that is, a rights certain statement, if standardized will have clear rights meaning and define clearly access terms. Defined statements about rights that are standardized can be outward-facing and inward-facing. Outward-facing rights statements provide users with an understanding of the limitations or lack thereof in re-using materials. Inward-facing rights statements comprise a taxonomy of information falling into distinct fields of information that provide greater detail about rights, limitations, risks and rights ownership. Taxonomies are not only required for the statements themselves but standardized fields of information for the information is also required to provide collections managers and professionals with clear access perimeters.

RightsStatements.org has taken the initial steps in developing international standards by creating outward-facing metadata. There has been far less research undertaken concerning inward-facing statements and necessary fields of information. Research on such issues can lead to real opportunities to enhance the public domain thereby enhancing scholarship and innovation. For example, there is a need to create an open tool/s that will allow institutions to step through a decision-making matrix (such as the one developed by the Orbis Cascade Alliance — https://www.orbiscascade.org/rights-statements-decision-matrix) and automate the standardized statements generated based on back end information gathered during the copyright research process. As research in the field continues to develop, non-intellectual property issues can also be tracked. For example, publicity and privacy issues can affect access. Depending on the nature of the collection and the collections management practices in various fields, the treatment of such issues may be paramount. So too about contractual limitations found in gift and acquisition agreements. This is also the case with collections that include materials, objects and information related to Traditional Knowledge. How do we create systems that are scalable and customizable? How do we create standardized taxonomies to meet these specific needs?

A number of institutions have been working on these issues and the interest in standardized taxonomies and fields of information are becoming much more apparent. However, before anyone can work on standards there is a need to bring researchers together that have been working on these issues to compare and contrast findings, and to collaborate to define next steps.

We propose a roundtable discussion with partners who may include University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM) Hamilton Library, the University of Alaska, DPLA, the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums, Indiana University, Columbia University Libraries, the New York Public Library, Orbis Cascade Alliance and representatives from Digital Humanities Community.

The outcome from the Roundtable would be to create a working group and define next steps, including specific research requirements in the development of standards-based rights statements and rights management systems for years to come.

Are you interested in working with LYRASIS to further define the scope of work to test your idea?

The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Hamilton Library is interested in working with LYRASIS to further define the scope of work and create the Roundtable meeting.

If relevant, list other organizations, besides LYRASIS, that you recommend as potential partners in implementing the idea.

  1. We have already contacted Columbia University, as the LYRASIS 2017 Catalyst Fund awardee for their proposal on Copyright Education for Libraries, Archives, & Museums and they are interested in working on this project with us.
  2. Other organizations that we think would be valuable partners in this roundtable include, the University of Alaska, DPLA, the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums, Indiana University, Columbia University Libraries, the New York Public Library, Orbis Cascade Alliance and representatives from Digital Humanities Community. (Note, we have not spoken with all of them yet.)
We encourage constructive comments that would help define solutions to the issues raised by the ideas and/or provide context for how these ideas impact your organization.

2 Comments

  1. Lauren says:

    This seems like a concrete step, building on an existing foundation, for something with broad reach. The orientation of working towards a standard is compelling.

  2. Hannah Rosen says:

    I think this is a smart idea, because outward rights metadata is usually linked to internal, backend metadata fields. Since there is little consensus between libraries and archives about metadata to begin with, starting with a subset of rights metadata is a good place to start, and could result in actual recommendations. I think they have a good mix of people, but they should also add a couple of museum groups in there as well, to round out the cultural heritage space.