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Internal Engineering Library

Internal Engineering Library

Internal Engineering Library

(OP)
Hi all,

I am contemplating starting an electronic, cloud based, company internal shared engineering resources library (i.e., handbooks, journal articles, manufacturer's written recommendations, etc.) to facilitate access to the most relevant industrial resources in our niche area.

I am interested to learn of any:
- ideas on how to approach this
- alternative approaches (e.g., subscription services)
- cautionary points (e.g., copyright issues)
- other suggestions

I will be most grateful for any feedback received. Thank you!!!

RE: Internal Engineering Library

Are you trying to make this resource any more complicated than a shared drive or folder on an internal network?

- If not, then that is an exceedingly simple way to construct it.
- Only need subscription services if the resources are accessible by subscription only.
- You should only encounter copyright issues if you tried to commercialize copyrighted resources or if the resources were illegal copies to begin with.

No other comments I can think of off the top of my head.

Andrew H.
www.MotoTribology.com

RE: Internal Engineering Library

There are some concerns with copyrights for a shared server, but they're case by case. I have a few PDFs that specifically restrict posting to shared servers, whether their internal company servers or not. They're usually on the documents where you can either buy a subscription to an online service OR the PDF, since they want companies with lots of people to subscribe, but I've seen it on others, too.

RE: Internal Engineering Library

That's an example of what I meant by an "illegal copy"; when subscriptions explicitly prohibit sharing even if one copy is purchased legally.

Andrew H.
www.MotoTribology.com

RE: Internal Engineering Library

I use a wiki - TikiWiki specifically. Handling of copyright material is no different. However, one can create wiki pages that cover the outline of external materials and contain links to same, much like footnotes in regular papers do.

They have all the typical access controls plus a ready way to see document history and so forth - they are content servers after all.

RE: Internal Engineering Library

hondashadow1100vt,

Do you know how to compose HTML and build websites? That is an easy and effective way to do it.

Is your company all at one site? Otherwise, do you have servers visible only from within your company's internal network (infranet)?

--
JHG

RE: Internal Engineering Library

(OP)
Hi all,

The thought was to make this an internal only SharePoint site (servers visible only from within the company's internal network (intranet-like setup), organized by subject matter area specific to our niche area practice. The intent is to establish this for the purpose of providing internal personnel with the best/vetted industry standard handbooks, papers, resources in one area that is easy to navigate and search (just in a niche subject matter area).

I am not sure that I truly understand what it means to "commercialize copyrighted resources". Any clarification would be helpful to understand.

Seems like (and please correct me if anyone disagrees with this opinion (?)) "illegal copies" would consist of:
- PDFs that say things such as "do not post"
- Anything that was published within 70-years of the original author's end of life (so says one copyright website perused)
- any other examples of "illegal copies"???

I am trying to learn everything I can, particularly good ideas and pitfalls to avoid in order to stay clearly on the correct and legal side of copyright law.

Thanks for any additional ideas, thoughts and feedback that any and all may be able to offer!!!!

RE: Internal Engineering Library

Sharepoint is designed for one purpose - to lock Microsoft Office documents into the Sharepoint system so that the Open Office group is locked out from corporations. It was released at the same time as the Open Office group was getting governments to pledge to use open software. As a result its fitness for purpose beyond that are limited and questionable, which is why there aren't many websites offering services based on Sharepoint comparable to those based on wikis. If you need a half-baked document approval system then maybe Sharepoint can do that. But if you need a place where metadata about documentation is valuable, such as hotlinks from one document to the contents of another then I'd say Sharepoint is not the tool.

The last time I looked, Sharepoint was a hierarchical folder system interface; documents could be found along only one path, even if they were equally applicable to multiple classifications. This is a great interface for what I call "File and forget" documents that will never be used again. While one can depend on a search index to make up for this, it cannot make up for the inability to record what users thought was an important link.

RE: Internal Engineering Library

DO NOT USE Sharepoint. It is completely horrible.

RE: Internal Engineering Library

For my sins I created an internal wiki as a repository for departmental wisdom. Sadly we have to use Sharepoint, which compared with standard wiki software is pretty awful, but usable.

However my original site was written in html, and if you don't need user editing, it is less likely to result in you tearing your hair out.

Cheers

Greg Locock


New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: Internal Engineering Library

By illegal copies I simply meant either pirated documents or copyrighted material that is specifically made available for sale by the author or publisher and not meant for redistribution without their permission. Your definition is basically what I was thinking when I brought that up.

Andrew H.
www.MotoTribology.com

RE: Internal Engineering Library

(OP)
It sounds like there is a strong aversion to SharePoint which is understandable. I once really strongly disliked SharePoint also though over time I think that my senses have somewhat gone numb to it. I have to admit that it seems to have irreconcilable flaws. I believe that I am stuck with it on a policy basis yet glad to hear the guidance to stay away from it for sanity's sake (thank you).

I am curious to hear if anyone has insights on copyright as it pertains to this type of a setup.

RE: Internal Engineering Library

(OP)
Thanks SuperSalad!

RE: Internal Engineering Library

The easiest way to avoid being caught with a copyright violation is to avoid making a copyright violation. Someone gets the job of looking at all the documents that get uploaded and either removing them or contacting the copyright holder for permission to keep them.

RE: Internal Engineering Library

(OP)
Thanks 3DDave,
I came across the this fair use evaluator (https://librarycopyright.net/resources/fairuse/index.php). Seems like something like this could be potentially used to help avoid inadvertently crossing the line of what is not allowable. Then again, it also seems rather subjective as to what is allowable by the "fair use" guidance. Seems like much is up to interpretation.

RE: Internal Engineering Library

hondashadow1100vt,

All documents are copyrighted. I may not be absolutely right here, but this is a good and safe assumption. Most documents have a copyright statement attached to them. Read the copyright, and follow the instructions. For example, the Machinery's Handbook is available on CD or DVD. You are allowed to use it on one computer at a time. You are not allowed to post it on your network.

--
JHG

RE: Internal Engineering Library

(OP)
Thanks drawoh,
To your point, I just grabbed the nearest couple of hard copy reference books that I had on my shelf and noted the following a few pages into the document, "Copyright (c) YYYY, by <the publishing company>. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. Except as permitted under the United States Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, or stored in any database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher."

So it seems that written permission of the publisher is a key feature.

Very well and succinctly put. Thank you!

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