In an effort to continue my Reporting from the Field series, I’d like to address a question that’s becoming more common as Perma.cc expands beyond the legal environment: How Can Faculty Use Perma.cc?
For those of us in law school libraries, the concept of journals using Perma.cc makes a lot of sense – law journal publishing is a student-run enterprise, and as part of that process, student editors check citations for accuracy and format, presenting a perfect opportunity to create and vest Perma links. Using this example, the law school library is the Registrar, the law journal is the Vesting Organization, and the student editors are the Vesting Users.
Law journals, however, are not the only entities at a law school engaged in non-commercial publishing. Clinics produce white papers or reports, faculty maintain blogs, librarians create research guides – much of this work includes citations and relies on online content, presenting additional opportunities to create and vest Perma links. Moving beyond the legal context, there are even more opportunities for faculty and academic affiliates to engage with Perma, so how can faculty use Perma.cc?
One option that has been adopted by several Registrars is to make a Vesting Org under the name of a particular faculty member. The potential list of Vesting Users affiliated with that Vesting Org would include the faculty member, a faculty assistant, and research assistants. We can imagine that if the library at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters is a Registrar, with Ororo Munroe serving as Registrar User, she could create a Vesting Org for the “X-Men Law Review,” but she could also create a Vesting Org called “Professor X” with Professor X, his assistant Hank McCoy, and any number of research assistants as Vesting Users. Since any Vesting User can add other Vesting Users within the Vesting Org, Professor X could task Hank with adding or removing members from the Vesting Org as they join or leave the school.
Another option is to create a general Vesting Organization for a group of similarly situated faculty members affiliated with the Registrar. We can imagine that if the library at Shield headquarters is a Registrar, with Nick Fury serving as Registrar User, he could create a Vesting Org for “The Avengers” with each of the members of the team as Vesting Users. Then in the shared folder, he could create subfolders for Tony Stark, Steve Rodgers, Bruce Banner, and Natasha Romanova. Remember that all links vested by the Vesting Users in this organization would be viewable by the other Vesting Users, which would be great if Bruce Banner and Tony Stark were working to publish a paper together, but could present a problem if Steve Rodgers would prefer to keep the vested links associated with his writings private. This setup may work best in a small institution where the Registrar User wants to play a larger role and the number of Vesting Users is kept relatively low.
In my attempt to not further anger Marvel purists, I’ll end the analogies there, but if you have any other ideas for how to help faculty members use Perma.cc or any thoughts about the relationship between Vesting Users, Vesting Orgs, Registrar Users and Registrars, share your thoughts – together we can set up some workable best practices and keep Perma.cc growing!