Looking for a postdoc in software / data curation

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The UC Berkeley Library is offering a two-year post-doc for a promising applied scholar to work on software and data curation issues, possibly with a focus on social network data. We especially are interested in advancing our understanding and support for organizing, preparing, and preserving — for re-use — data from open source software projects, including the code with all of its gnarly revision and forking history, the documentation, check-in remarks and other metadata, and the communications of the social network that often is layered on top of the software development platform. Think of Github as a canonical example.

The rich history of cooperative and sometimes collaborative development is somewhat available to researchers as long as the platform remains open and supported. However, not only does that not protect these rich data for future researchers, but the data are typically not organized, encoded, marked-up or otherwise curated for re-use by scholars.

We had a post-doc open last year, through the CLIR program, but there were too few applicants to fill the handful of similar CLIR-supported positions. PLEASE let promising post-doc candidates know about this, and circulate widely to any friends and colleagues who might have candidates.

Though employed in the Library, the post-doc will be co-advised by a Berkeley faculty member (or team); depending on interest it could be someone affiliated with the Berkeley Institute for Data Science, the Computer Science Department, or any number of other units. Given Berkeley’s leadership in data science, information science and computer science, this position is a wonderful opportunity.

Please employ the CLIR Postdoctoral application program to apply (http://www.clir.org/fellowships/postdoc/applicants/dc-science). Applicants seeking more information specifically about the position at UC Berkeley can get in touch with Erik Mitchell, Associate University Librarian (emitchell (at) berkeley (dot) edu).

Authors, liberate your books

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The Authors Alliance is a professional (non-profit) association of authors started by four UC Berkeley faculty.  Its mission is to “further the public interest in facilitating widespread access to works of authorship by assisting and representing authors who want to disseminate knowledge and products of the imagination broadly.”  It exists in part to support the interests of authors who don’t primarily depend on royalties for their livelihood, and who wish the widest readership possible for their works — characteristics that describe most academic authors, for example.

One project of the Alliance is Rights Reversion, to support authors who want to recapture their rights to works that are out-of-print or that are no longer selling many copies, by helping them re-obtain their distribution rights from publishers, after which they might release their works under an open access license (e.g., Creative Commons) and publish to an open access web portal.

This year the reversion project released a guide, Understanding Rights Reversion, and has seen several notable successes, including the public release of books by Robert Darnton, John Kingdon and Jeff Hecht.