Monthly Archives: October 2015

Stephen Carradini Serves as Respondent for “Emerging Voices” at The Ohio State University

The Lawrence and Isabel Barnett Center for Integrated Arts and Enterprise at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio

The Lawrence and Isabel Barnett Center for Integrated Arts and Enterprise at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio

Stephen Carradini, CRDM Class of 2017, was a respondent on the plenary closing panel “Emerging Voices: Directions for the Field” at the Society for Arts Entrepreneurship Education (SAEE) Second Annual Conference on October 16-17. It was hosted by The Lawrence and Isabel Barnett Center for Integrated Arts and Enterprise at The Ohio State University.

The panelists were asked to write questions for the audience; after an audience member made a statement, the panelist responsible for writing the question was asked to respond. Stephen’s questions revolved around the need for research on active arts entrepreneurs and the types of jobs necessary in the emerging field to facilitate that type of research activity.

In addition to panel presentations, the conference included research presentations, workshops, and arts performances.  The conference aims to bring awareness to the national conversation concerning the gap between an education in the arts and arts entrepreneurship.

This was Stephen’s second year on the “Emerging Voices” panel.

 Kaustavi Sarkar, PhD Student in Dance at The Ohio State University, performed at the reception.

Kaustavi Sarkar, PhD Student in Dance at The Ohio State University, performed at the reception.

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Practical Advice on Co-Authorship and Copyright in Academia for Graduate Students

We had the pleasure of speaking with invited guests Dr. Melissa Johnson (Professor, Department of Communication), Will Cross J.D. M.S.L.S. (Director, Copyright and Digital Scholarship Center; also check out his Twitter), and current CRDM student Sarah Evans about co-authorship and copyright laws in academia. Below are some notes graciously taken by a CRDM student summarizing some of the key topics we covered. The following material is a reflection of our discussion for co-authorship within English and Communication as disciplines and local, state, and federal copyright laws for North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC). This is not legal advice and you should inquire with your institution or legal counsel for any discrepancies that may appear across contexts. With that said, here is some practical advice for navigating co-authorship and copyright laws from the perspective of a graduate student:

Legal Definitions of Copyright

Copyright is attached to a work when an author contributes expression that is creative, original, and fixed in a tangible medium of expression. In layman’s terms, as soon as your pen hits paper or your fingers hit keys, your works are protected legally by copyright laws. However, not all things can be copyrighted. Ideas, facts, short phrases, and government works are always in the public domain. Anything published before 1923 is typically in the public domain. Current federal copyright laws on new works dictate that copyright expires 70 years after the death of the author. This might be the time for a well-placed Roland Barthes joke, but we’ll stick with the task at hand.

Co-authorship legally means that each individual has an equal and undivided interest in the work. Each party can legally submit the work without notifying others as long as any revenues resulting from publications are split and distributed equitably. Copyright and attribution are not the same thing, because copyright is a legal protection while attribution is not generally recognized by copyright law, but is valued as ethical and responsible practice by scholars and other creators.

In the United States, it is generally unethical to publish works without crediting all contributing authors, but it is not generally illegal. The United States does not have the same “moral rights” protections as are present in other (mainly European) countries. That means you do not have a legal right to attribution under US law.

Despite this, non-attribution is a serious ethical violation handled at the disciplinary level. Academia is a small world.

Read the Fine Print

When signing copyright papers – often called a “publication agreement” – with a publisher, you may be transferring many of your legal rights such as copyright away. While it is disreputable, a journal could legally publish your work without attributing authorship to you if you sign away copyright. Read the fine print in order to understand your legal rights. For example, a journal might (and likely will) bar you from publishing an accepted manuscript on your personal website or on sites like ResearchGate and If you sign away the copyright to your scholarship, as is often done within the academy by authors who feel pressure to publish in certain journals, then the journal would have legal claim to that material, not you.

Copyright Enforcement in Academia

Best practices for publication, citation, and co-authorship in academia often comes from disciplinary rules. The reason for this is the legal system primarily focuses on copyright as an economic interest – entitling each co-author to an equitable share of profits off of the copyrighted work. If there is no monetary gain in publishing, which tends to be true in journal publications because you are forced to sign away copyright before profits are to be made, there are few legal repercussions for not playing nice. Furthermore, as statutory law, copyright has to be a one-size-fits-all set of rules, which may not reflect the diversity of practice in the academy around credit, citation, and attribution.

However, institutional and departmental norms dictate a short-lived career for unethical use of co-authored materials.

Co-authorship rules differ from discipline to discipline.

Some disciplines, physics for example, might have a multitude of authors because all persons who contributed to the project for a set amount of time or in a set way are accredited as authors (“The Collective Author” in Biagioli & Galison, 2014). There are options available in this case. Sometimes, the first author or two will be the principle investigators, while the rest of the authors list is alphabetical. Some papers might place all authors in alphabetical order regardless of role. This is a question you need to ask your principle investigator at the outset. Longer authors lists are acceptable, and perhaps commonplace in some fields, to recognize the work of the “invisible technicians” who contribute to the project but whose contributions might be obfuscated.

The humanities tend to have fewer authors and order of authorship should be negotiated based on source of the idea, intellectual contribution, and workload. This is one of the starkest differences between the “hard sciences,” where authorship is typically not negotiated, and the humanities, where authorship is almost always negotiation based on contribution.

Collaborating and Co-Authoring Papers

Communicate with your collaborators early and often

You should clarify ownership, contribution, and authorship expectations at the outset of collaborative works. While you can reassess this relationship throughout the process of research, clear expectations help set guidelines for conduct for the group. In the humanities, some people who contribute to a project might not be granted authorship. Data coders and paid RAs (sometimes) might not be granted authorship. This is something that needs to be discussed as you join any project or establish any team.

When clarifying these expectations, it is a good idea to get everything in writing. That includes the relationship of the team, contribution expectations, and agreements made about the work.

How do I determine order of authorship?

Once again, defer to your disciplinary norms. This blog is speaking from the humanities perspective. In particular, CRDM is an interdisciplinary program with students primarily focused on English and Communication. The only set rule is that authorship should be negotiated and agreed upon before you begin working on the project. The following are some general expectations you can have for determining the order of authorship.

  1. If you and a faculty member begin a project together then you should discuss the expectations of each author. It is common for the faculty member to be the first author as they tend to guide the project toward completion.
  2. If you are a student joining an existing project, ask the current authors. Order of authorship should be based on contribution instead of the order that authors joined the project.
  3. If you write a seminar paper and then turn it into a journal article then you should be first author. In this case, the intellectual contribution is primarily yours; the faculty is playing a supporting role, necessitating them as second author. This assumes minor contribution from the faculty member.
  4. However, if you write a seminar paper and it requires a complete overhaul in order to become publishable, then you should negotiate authorship order. In this case, the faculty will likely become first author because they will be contributing a significant amount to this project.

If your data set is rich enough to produce multiple publishable works, then it is common for authors to rotate order. For example, with two authors the order of authorship on the first paper might be Author A & Author B, but on a second paper it might be Author B & Author A.

Some groups decide to just list authors alphabetically because everyone contributed equally. In this case, there should be a note indicating that all authors were equal contributors in the acknowledgments. Dr. Johnson expressed that she has seen this notation on tenure dossiers and CVs as well. Ultimately, there must be an order of authors, but if the order of the authors is arbitrary, you can protect your interests by noting this during publication and in your job application documents. Also be sure to ask recommendation letter writers to note equal contribution if this is true for a collaborative project you’ve done with faculty.

What strategies are good for collaborating on a paper?

The best strategy is to communicate with your co-authors about how you work. Discussing your work habits (time of day, writing in increments or writing in chunks, upcoming constraints, etc.) with your co-authors can set expectations and alleviate conflict.

Google Docs is a powerful format for many groups. It allows you to always have the most recent revision of your paper available to all authors while maintaining the important functions of Microsoft Word that co-authors will need to use. You can check the revision history of the document to see exactly what your co-authors have changed since you last visited, you can use track changes (called Suggestions in Google Docs), or leave comments for your co-authors.

While Google Docs has many uses, some authors might not be comfortable with Google Docs. Therefore, you should negotiate writing processes with your co-authors to prevent conflict over how authors share information.

Break up the work based on your team’s agreements about authorship and contribution. Create a basic outline so that all authors are working from the same framework. When distributing labor, first authors should probably do more work.

Touch base as comfortable (weekly) to ensure progress and to re-evaluate group dynamics and contributions as necessary.

Does co-authoring hurt my chances on the job market?

It depends. This is a case where order of authorship matters, but it may matter less than your average graduate student would think.

If you have many publications but you are always listed as the fifth or sixth author, that is not particularly enticing for departments that are looking for researchers. However, recent graduates who are second or third author on all of their publications would not be framed so negatively. This is especially true if search committees see you co-authoring with faculty—in particular your mentor.

The reality is that hiring committees will typically look at the number of publications you have in key journals, the number of first or single authored publications, and the number of co-authored publications with faculty mentors. They will also likely weigh those contributing factors, among others, in that order.

When in doubt, ask your mentor.

Your mentor fulfills many roles. One of those roles is to teach you how to be an upstanding citizen within the academic (or professional) community. If you are ever unsure, ask somebody with more experience. This can help to avoid damage to your reputation and avoid conflict with your co-authors.


We hope this summary provides some clarity in how to navigate the tricky domain of advocating for your work while also managing imbalanced power relationships between students, faculty, and other members of the academy. You may contact Geoffrey Luurs for additional details or clarification on this talk. Please find his email on the Get to Know Us. Digitally. page.


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Hyperrhiz 13 and Rutgers’ Digital Studies Center features CRDM

The Digital Studies Center and the Modlab at Rutgers will open an art exhibition featuring the work of five of our second year CRDM students’ work, which will also appear in this month’s edition of Hyperrhiz (set for release October 31). Hyperrhiz 13 will feature kits, plans, and schematics for critical making projects—a field of study that often easy to display and difficult to publish. Check out the Digital Studies Center’s advertisement for the exhibition and join the ongoing discussion on Twitter.

Jay Kirby and Eddie Lohmeyer created “The Body-Sonic,” a digital performance in which muscle activity is transferred into synthesized sound by way of electromyography sensors. This sonic-muscular potential reacts to and acts upon samples that are remixed through a MIDI controller to produce an emergent and continuously evolving soundscape. This blending of the body, technology and the environment articulates flows of affect that move from electricity to chemistry to soundwaves, and suggest new ways in which a body experiences the world in the digital age.

Jessica Handloff, Geoffrey Luurs, and Sarah Evans collaborated to create “The Ambient Sole.” Their project features an Arduino Uno microprocessor linked to custom made pressure plates underneath a non-descript floor mat. Each step on a pressure sensor calls forth a unique sound, disrupting the ambiance of the environment and inviting passersby to call into question taken-for-granted ambient environs.

Check back in the coming weeks for detailed descriptions of each of these projects and the ongoing conversations in critical making going on at NC State within the CRDM program!

The exhibit opens October 15th, 2015 between 4-6 PM at Rutgers, but will remain on display throughout the rest of the semester if you cannot make the opening.

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Two Presentations at Carolinas Communication Association 2015 Annual Convention

Jessica Handloff, 2nd year CRDM student, recently presented a paper titled “Productive Capacities of Media Technologies in Mobile, Networked Resistance: The Case of Inland U.S. Border Patrol Checkpoint Refusals” at the Carolinas Communication Association (CCA) 2015 Convention in Charleston, SC. Her paper was nominated for the Mary E. Jarrard Graduate Student Paper Award and was presented as part of the panel including the three additional award finalists. Jessica’s paper explored media technologies as a productive force in resistances to dominant discursive regimes. Her research considered the range of media technologies at work in citizens’ refusals to cooperate with U.S. Border Patrol agents at inland checkpoints as components within human-machine assemblages that constantly converge and diverge to alter power relations and shape culture.

Peter Kudenov, also a 2nd year student, presented a paper, “Considerations of Navigability and Player Engagement in Fallout: New Vegas” as part of the “Navigational Strategies in Videogame Worlds: Perceptual, Ethical, and Relational” panel with Dr. David Parisi of College of Charleston and Ryan Thames of Georgia State University. The theme of the 2015 conference was ‘navigation,’ and his paper looked at the role grids (Bernhard Siegert) and vital materialism (Deleuze and Guattari) play in relationships of player engagement. Navigation is absolutely required for any type of videogame, because the medium cannot escape its need for taxis—the idea that everything has a place. Player engagement describes reciprocating relationships between games and players, the push and pull of vital materialism, and understanding how it emerges from conjunctions of grids and assemblage provides insights into why some games capture and maintain attention for so long.


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NCSU Libraries Makerspace Offers CRDM Graduate Research Assistantship

jessica_aIf you hadn’t known, Jesscia Handloff, a second-year student in our program, is this year’s CRDM graduate research assistant for the NCSU Libraries Makerspace. Continuing the Makerspace program that was first launched in 2013 with the opening of Hunt Library, the D. H. Hill Library opened its own Makerspace this past June. According to Chris Tonelli, Director of Communication Strategy of the NCSU libraries, “[i]n this space, the Libraries continues to focus on 3D printing and scanning, laser cutting, and electronics prototyping, while adding new tools such as sewing and soldering and emphasizing hands-on access.”

Jessica has been working with the space since the beginning of this past summer and has helped develop and deliver presentations and workshops, etc. She has received high praise from Adam Rogers, Emerging Technology Services Librarian, “Jessica has already established herself as a crucial member of the D.H. Hill Makerspace team. She has enriched the Makerspace with excellently designed learning resources, supported students and faculty in learning the processes and tools of making in innovative ways, and identified great opportunities for collaboration with her CRDM cohort and its faculty.” Those of us in CRD704 can attest to her excellent work on introducing us to the Makerspace and facilitating our collaborative projects as well as pushing us to reflect more on the concept of critical making.

Jessica is the first recipient of this assistantship. She has a Master’s degree in Anthropology from East Carolina University and is a former U.S. Army Captain. Her research focuses on media technologies, Kittler, and war.


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BigDIVA Launch Event with CRDMer Joel Schneier

CRDM student Joel Schneier and CRDM affiliated faculty Tim Stinson are both involved in the BigDIVA project. Please join them for their launch event, details below!

Please join us for the official BigDIVA Launch Event!

Oct. 16, 2015 from 12-2 PM

in the Teaching & Visualization Lab

at James B. Hunt Library

The event will feature a live demo and talk by Dr. Laura Mandell of Texas A&M University. Lunch will be served.

No RSVP necessary. Contact Tim Stinson with any questions


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