Is Copyright Piracy Morally Wrong or Merely Illegal? The Malum Prohibitum/Malum in Se Conundrum

Is copyright infringement malum prohibitum (wrong only because it’s prohibited) or malum in se (morally wrong in and of itself)? Interestingly, scholcomm commentators and legal reference materials often characterize it as the former–while both statute and case law treat it like the latter, classifying it as “property theft” and regularly awarding its victims both statutory and punitive damages.

Why are Authors Citing Older Papers?

Scholars are citing an increasingly aging collection of scholarship. Does this reflect the growing ease with accessing the literature, or a structural shift in the way science is funded–and the way scientists are rewarded?

When a Scholar is One Among 500, What Does it Mean to be "An Author"?

Last week, an editorial in Nature highlighted the problem of the proliferating number of authors on papers. Following a 2012 symposium at Harvard University, a small group has proposed a taxonomy of contributor roles that would add details to an author list and have tested that among a group of authors. Scholarly publishers should consider adopting this taxonomy to improve the accuracy and granularity to improve attribution and the assignment of credit.

Name identification using the ISNI: An interview with Laura Dawson

As online systems for discovering and distributing content have grown, so too has the need for unambiguous identification of people and the parties exchanging that content. Several systems have been in development in the past couple of years, notably the Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) and the International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) system. How these two systems relate, engage each other, and serve community needs isn’t always clear. In hopes of alleviating some of the confusion, I sat down with Laura Dawson from Bowker to discuss the International Standard Name Identifier, how it relates to ORCID, and other issues surrounding identity management systems.