We’ve heard a lot about how the Digital Content Store (DCS) makes copyright simple for HE library and digitisation professionals, but Eleanor Austin, Bibliographic Assistant at CLA, shows us how the DCS helps to streamline data loading and reporting processes for the Operations team.
After graduating with a BA in Philosophy, I worked on CLA’s Database Team as a Database Assistant for 6 months and have recently been promoted to Bibliographic Assistant. My tasks involve receiving raw data directly from licensees, and then cleaning and uploading it into our in-house system. It is extremely important the data is as clean and comprehensive as possible, so it can successfully be processed by CLA before being passed on to our member organisations, the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS), Publishers’ Licensing Services (PLS), The Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS) and PICSEL, where it can be paid out as royalties to authors, publishers and visual artists.
As you might expect, we get a lot of data from Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), particularly from publications that have been scanned and digitally copied. Before CLA introduced the DCS, HEIs traditionally submit their yearly returns to CLA via the DCRF which meant time-consuming administration for library and digitisation staff.
The DCS is a store of all the digitised content that has been uploaded by institutions. The system automatically reports to CLA about the material each institution has copied, cutting days of work for librarians, but it also benefits the Data Team too!
Because publications are already populated in the DCS system, the data I receive tends to be more comprehensive and accurate than the data from the DCRF. For example, a licensee might previously have struggled to find an ISBN to include in their reporting, but that information can now be sourced quickly and easily because it is likely that the same title has previously been used by another institution and is saved in the DCS already.
Royalties are calculated based on the number of pages copied, multiplied by the number of copies. I need to load both types of data separately because the different usage types have separate distributions. Fortunately, the DCS makes it clear which publications are hardcopy (scanned) and which are digital, because they have already been split into their usage types by IT. For the DCRF on the other hand, I need to split them manually. It is not always clear which publications are digital and which are hardcopy because our licensees have not been able to determine this information in the first place.
So, the DCS streamlines the process for everyone involved: licensees don’t need to struggle to find all the information, I work with clearer data, and the process for all teams at CLA is smoother and faster.
In this way, your use of the DCS is helping inform the processes we use at CLA to fairly remunerate creators and copyright owners.
About the Author
Eleanor Austin is Bibliographic Assitant at CLA, working as part of the Bibliographic Reporting Team. Before starting at CLA, Eleanor studied Philosophy at university.