OER Synthesis and Evaluation / OERPhase2_IPR_Support
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Page history last edited by Lou McGill 12 years, 5 months ago

Aim is to provide IPR and licensing support for JISC/HEA funded OER Phase 2 projects in order to help them identify and manage IPR issues with particular emphasis on the use of Creative Commons Licences.



SCOOTER project at DMU said in final report

"The SCOOTER project aimed to release OERs under the Creative Commons BY SA Licence, although in reality the decision had to be tailored to each individual resource. In order to fully understand the copyright nuances, the MedDev OOER Copyright Checklist was used to provide a framework to work by. Unfortunately the ToolKit resources went off-line at a critical time the start of the project, but Web2Rights were a wonderful support and provided information not just via their website but by personal communication many times. In fact, in many instances, we would not have proceeded with releasing OER without the work of this team"


IPR4EE project at University College Falmouth said in final report:

"JiscLegal have provided a crucial element of feedback and support throughout the project period. Jason Miles-Campbell and Naomi Korn have provided essential guidance and access to resources. The IPR4EE course has repurposed many of the Web2Rights resources in its pedagogic package and was particularly supported by the launch of the Web2Rights E-learning module on Intellectual Property, launched in April 2011. This provided opportunity for a symbiotic dual approach to raising awareness of, and engagement in, IPR for educators through IPR4EE and Web2Rights."

The website offers a range of resources and tools to help projects.


  • Range of disgnostic tools
  • Risk calculator - Important output which helps institutions identify risks associated with releasing OER. Most used tool - 300-400 visitors per week and very interestingly - CROSS SECTOR use of it
  • CC compatability wizard
  • How open are you?  new wizard being developed and will be useful for phase 3 - to help institutions assess how open their strategies, policies and practice are.


Hargreaves Review

During this phase we have seen outcomes of the Hargreaves Review of IP here: http://www.ipo.gov.uk/ipreview.htm

…and the Government’s Response here: http://www.ipo.gov.uk/ipresponse-full.pdf

The team did a blog post about this highlighting 10 things projects need to know as a result of these recommendations being implemented.

A significant outcome will be the establishment of a Digital Copyright Exchange (DEC) which 'will potentially lead to cost savings in making it easier to locate rights holders and seek permissions to use their works. Works, such as Crown Copyright works, already licensed out under an Open Government Licence, and presumably other works licensed out under open content licences, such as Creative Commons licences, will then be more easily found – thus representing real cost savings for HEIs and FEIs.'


business models

http://www.web2rights.com/OERIPRSupport/blog/?p=180 - the power of open....

Story of photographer going open.... 'I wanted to share this story particularly with OER funded projects because of issues associated with sustainability of the resources that you are creating, but also the business models that you might consider moving forward associated with OERs in times of economic hardship. Jonathan is not alone in using the web to make his business work for him, rather than seeing it and openness as a threat. Of course, there are costs associated with making works open, but I believe costs and value are not mutually inclusive and understanding where the value lies in the resources, in the services, in the skills, brand etc that the resources can promote, is clever business modelling and can be added to the portfolio of business models that your institution embraces. I think that it also demonstrates the need to take a holistic view of “audiences”, “services” “access” etc across any organisation to ensure that the opportunities of the web can be optimised.'


Interview questions....

1.    What are the top three messages that have emerged during phase 2?

  • increasing importance of mobile access to resources and importance of browser compatibility
  • strategic positioning of open licensing in HE can be challenging - with different challenges arising depending on the culture/structure
  • Open licensing contributes to sustainability
  • there are degrees of open-ness - the more control you have over an OER the less repurposable and interoperable it is for your users
  • if you concentrate on your own (organisational)  position you limit the value chain

2.    What are the top three challenges that projects have faced? (may be linked to 1 above)

  • generally speaking the projects were aware that IPR was "an issue" at the beginning of the project but they were not up to speed on solutions or where to find them. The web stats for the OER Support site showed an increasing awareness and use of the site as a jump off point to solutions as the year progressed
  • integration of open-ness into an organisation is not straightforward - but is "pushed" by funding requirements
  • to develop the skill of balancing the optimisation of your OER with your own commercial position and associated risks

3.    Are there any challenges that remain unsolved?

  • is there still some confusion about "commercial" and what it means?
  • integration of what has been learned through the projects into daily practice?

4.    What key outputs could phase 3 projects take from phase 2 - useful resources/frameworks/approaches/tools?

  • the OER IPR website - all of it!
  • to be kept aware of the re-use of resources from the project? Not quite sure how this could be done.......

About the support

5.    Has the support team had the necessary skills/knowledge to support projects (being asked to identify any further/unanticipated support needs not shortcomings of existing teams)

  • I think our team had the skills/knowledge to support the project - we did not find ourselves with a skills/knowledge gap at any point during the project
  • Having a skilled project manager and treating the support as a project has been positive - Private/public partnerships – project was an example of what we are asking the projects to do - also project promoted the sustainability/longevity of resources through the open licensing of the resources we created – which is what we are asking the projects to do

6.    What activities offered by the support team have been of most value to projects?

  • face to face discussion was highly valued during the first half of the project  - in the second half the projects were too busy to travel to workshops
  • online resources showed a big rise in usage in the second half of the project

7.    Are there any extra activities/services that phase 3 projects could benefit from (to identify if more resource would be required)

  • support in the practical application of the resources we developed (talking heads)

8. How far some of the support services being provided by JISC are replicated at local level. Is this actually true or are posts being lost? Has your service been used less this year? Have projects become more expert? Are they getting support from other places?

  • I'm a bit vague about this - half way through the year we became aware of the work in Falmouth - and it seemed a bit odd that it wasn't integrated/reflective of the work we were doing. But the Falmouth work didn't actually duplicate what we were doing.
  • I would definitely say that projects have become more expert - this is reflected in the kind of questions coming into the Help Desk (both Naomi and Alex independently said that the level of questions in phase 2 have been more complex and 'high level'. The simple questions did still come in but this suggests that some projects have a deeper understanding of the complexities - reflects the fact that many project teams had members with experience from pilot phase)
  • Jason has started his IPR mailing list - but it will need active promotion/support if its going to be effective
  • Even if an institution was funded in the pilot phase the expertise re IPR may reside in different departments and are hampered by the silo effect - knowledge and skills not always transferred across the institution...
  • Copyright Officers often reside in Libraries but these are sometimes posts that are lost during cuts...
  • Naomi's point - IMPORTANT  Organisations with greater expertise and understanding of IPR issues are more inclined to take risks which is important for OER work so loss of that expertise may impact on institutional take-up, innovation or OER activity in general.



Phase 3 evaluation

  • pending evaluation of tools and impact of phase 2 deliverables. plans to travel around recording use of tools.
  • links between JISC Legal helpdesk - and how this feeds into tool development































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