Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Explanation of copyright and fair use for our audio projects

There is a thorough explanation of copyright and fair use here, at Stanford University libraries, which includes this passage:

"The term "public domain" refers to creative materials that are not protected by intellectual property laws such as copyright, trademark or patent laws. The public owns these works, not an individual author or artist. Anyone can use a public domain work without obtaining permission, but no one can ever own it.

An important wrinkle to understand about public domain material is that collections of it may be protected by copyright. If, for example, someone has collected public domain images in a book or at a website, the collection as a whole may be protectible, even though individual images are not protected. You are free to copy and use individual images but copying and distributing the complete collection may infringe what is known as the "collective works" copyright. Collections of public domain material will be protected if the person who created it has used creativity in the choices and organization of the public domain material. This usually involves some unique selection process, for example, a poetry scholar compiling a book, The Greatest Poems of e.e. cummings.

There are four common ways that works arrive in the public domain:

expiration of copyright: the copyright has expired.
failure to renew copyright: the owner failed to follow copyright renewal rules.
dedication: the owner deliberately places it in the public domain.
no copyright protection available: copyright law does not protect this type of work.

Let's look at each of these routes into the public domain more closely.

1. Expired Copyright

Copyright has expired for all works published in the United States before 1923. In other words, if the work was published in the U.S. before January 1, 1923, you are free to use it in the U.S. without permission. As an example, the graphic illustration of the man with mustache was published sometime in the 19th Century and is in the public domain, so no permission is required to include it within this book. These rules and dates apply regardless of whether the work was created by an individual author, a group of authors or by an employee (the latter sometimes referred to as a "work made for hire.")

Because of legislation passed in 1998, no new works will fall into the public domain until 2019 when works published in 1923 will expire. In 2020, works published in 1924 will expire and so forth. If a work was written by a single author and published after 1977, the copyright will not expire until 70 years after the author's death. If a work was written by several authors and published after 1977, it will not expire until 70 years after the last surviving author dies. ..."

And so on. If you have questions about a specific work, please let me know.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Research poster resources

When working on your research poster, start with these guidelines and judging criteria in mind. Those should guide your design decisions, based on the content you have to support them.

Here are some (of the many) helpful poster design resources available on the web:

Stanford  -- "Posters and displays are specialized communications that demand careful planning and design to assure that your audience will understand your project and results."

Swarthmore College This site includes a poster gallery on Flickr and various other visual examples, plus numerous handy links. I also like the irreverent voice in which the author writes about the poster sharing process.

University of Buffalo site has many links and a straightforward explanation of the process.

The Cain Project, at Rice University, also is well done.

University of Kansas -- Outdated design and interface, but the information could be helpful.

University of Guelph -- A Canadian perspective.

Dartmouth -- A web presentation of a lecture on this topic.

Here is one recommended by the WSUV Research Showcase site, too, from Duke

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Best practices for survey creation and administration

Since all of you are planning to conduct surveys, this document could be helpful:

The American Association for Public Opinion Research best practices

 "The quality of a survey is best judged not by its size, scope, or prominence, but by how much attention is given to [preventing, measuring, and] dealing with the many important problems that can arise."

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The happiest man in America?

That is what "research" by Gallup / The New York Times states. What do you think?

From The Huffington Post:

"The Times selected Mr. Wong after asking Gallup, which interviews thousands of Americans to create the index, what the demographic make-up of the happiest person in America might look like.

Their answer:

[H]e's a tall, Asian-American, observant Jew who is at least 65 and married, has children, lives in Hawaii, runs his own business and has a household income of more than $120,000 a year."

The original New York Times story

Gallup's data on "well being," with methodology at the bottom

An overview of the Well-Being Movement, to measure the health and success of countries and states around the world

Here is another way to think about these kinds of ideas: The Triple Bottom Line, or an accounting system that tallies profits but also environmental and social costs.

Courtesy of GoHuman.com

As Paul Harvey would say, and now, the rest of the story ...

The Story of Stuff 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Arial or Helvetica?

As a follow-up to "Futura," I thought you might find it interesting to ponder the implications of another ubiquitous font: Helvetica.

There is an entertaining documentary about this font in the history of typography (available through the local library system). This typeface might look familiar, because of Arial, the primary typeface of Microsoft, a slightly altered version of Helvetica.

Here is a chart, courtesy of Swiss-Miss.com, showing how minutely they differ:

Here is a quiz to see if you can tell them apart.

And one more ... for the most devoted of typography fans.

If you take either of those, post here how you did.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Research poster templates

When it comes time to create your research poster, it might be helpful to have a template for a 36X48-inch file. So here are a few sites that have those, in different formats, depending on what you want to build the poster in:

General tips from University of North Carolina



A collection of formats


There are many, many other options available. ... If you find a helpful template site, please put the URL into the comments here, so your classmates can check those out, too. Thanks!