librarian photo
Maria Gould (L), Scholarly Communication and Copyright Librarian, and Rachael Samberg (R), Scholarly Communication Officer, in Doe Library.

This October, the Library’s Office of Scholarly Communication Services (OSCS) will offer a series of three workshops on scholarly publishing and professional development for graduate students. This series, now in its third year, includes the following events:

  • Copyright and Your Dissertation, Tuesday, October 23, 1 – 2:30 pm, 309 Sproul Hall
    Learn a practical workflow for navigating copyright questions for your dissertation or thesis.
  • From Dissertation to Book: Navigating the Publication Process, Wednesday, October 24, 1 – 2:30 pm, 309 Sproul Hall
    Hear from an acquisitions editor, a first-time author, and an author rights expert about revising your dissertation, writing a book proposal, approaching editors, signing contracts, and more.

“These workshops are designed to equip grad students with practical and useable publishing skills,” said Maria Gould, Scholarly Communication and Copyright Librarian. “Graduate students don’t normally learn how to pitch an editor or navigate copyright as part of grad school, but these are crucial skills in building an academic career.”

OSCS supports scholars year-round in creating and publishing their scholarship. They handle everything from copyright and authors’ rights in research, publishing & teaching, to guidance on open access options for scholarship and research data and more. “Copyright questions are the ones we get asked the most,” said Scholarly Communication Officer Rachael Samberg, who leads OSCS. Samberg and Gould assist scholars grappling with questions such as:

  • If I’m using someone else’s content or photos in my dissertation or journal article, do I need to get permission first?
  • What are my rights to display or distribute copyrighted material in my classroom, on my website, or in my research project–and when do I need a license?
  • I’m about to start a large text mining project using materials I need to digitize, or a collection of items from a database. What issues do I need to consider?

Samberg explained that these questions require some thought for the scholar, because they “often depend on balancing factors to determine whether a use is ‘fair’ under copyright law. There can also be publishers’ policies and other legal issues that come into play, even if a use is fair,” she said. “It’s complicated, because scholarship by definition means building on other people’s contributions,” Gould added.

When Samberg and Gould meet with scholars, their goal is to empower them to exercise their authorial rights. “The final decision is always up to the researcher,” said Samberg, “but we can help you understand the copyright landscape so that you can make an informed choice. We always want to help people understand what they can do.” Gould put it this way: “People might expect that we’re going to be the copyright police, but we’re really more like the copyright fairies.”

In advising Berkeley scholars, Samberg and Gould draw upon their rich joint expertise in law, librarianship, publishing, and authorship. Samberg came to Berkeley after practicing as an intellectual property attorney, and teaching at the Stanford Law Library. In addition to being a copyright expert, she is also a photographer – and, of course, her photographs are licensed under the Creative Commons. Gould came from the worlds of nonprofit literary publishing and Open Access science publishing; she acquired a Master’s in Latin American Studies along the way, researching and writing a thesis on the history of the avocado trade between Mexico and the US.

Today, Samberg and Gould run the Office of Scholarly Communication Services from the top floor of Doe Library. Check out the Scholarly Communication Services website, follow them on Twitter, and don’t miss their upcoming workshops this October!