PublishOER: a benefits-led approach to embedding published content in OER


Megan Quentin-Baxter, Newcastle University and Higher Education Academy, UK

Conference Theme: Collaboration

Summary: Investigating new business models and simple licenses when sharing educational resources with embedded third party works.

Abstract: Teachers and storytellers want to use a variety of high quality sources when developing learning resources, creatively mashing-up texts, images and other recordings into new works in order to enthuse and educate learners. It is ideal to cite the most authoritative sources, such as textbooks, journals and authoritative websites, and possibly embed text and images. Where third-party published materials are embedded, they are often properly attributed and licenced, however the legal situation becomes compromised when mash-up are made digitally available for students to copy/download. Now institutions wish to enhance the student learning experience by ensuring widespread access (digital copies of course documentation/presentations and recordings of teaching episodes) via VLEs and/or preloading portable electronic devices as part of their ‘offer’ to students[1]. In the UK JISC Collections and the Copyright Licensing Agency[2] have successfully negotiated access to licensed works for use in teaching. However the terms usually require that staff and students undertake not to openly share results if they contain embedded third party content. Both CASPER[3], as part of the RePRODUCE[4] programme, and UKOER programme phases 1 & 2[5] highlighted on-going difficulties for teachers openly sharing resources containing (legitimately embedded) third party copyright works because of the terms of the licence(s). Seeking permission on a case-by-case basis is time consuming and provides publishers with minimal feedback on how their materials are used. Issues include:

Openly sharing licensed works arising from existing access agreements, ensuring attribution and providing feedback to copyright owners; Potential for copying significant quantities of content from texts or journals (possibly from a variety of sources) and the overall impact on subsequent user behaviour; Modifying existing works (e.g. combining elements, annotating or labelling, animating, presenting/ recording/capturing, social media reviews, etc.) resulting in the creation of new copyright works; Ensuring authors and publishers receive fair compensation (costing, pricing, indirect payment).

PublishOER is a collaboration involving forward-thinking publishers such as Elsevier exploring licence terms for on-line access to use, mash-up and re-publish copyrighted content in ways that add value for all parties. Rightscom has undertaken influential research on how to create an automated 21st century rights environment for digital resources[6]. Case studies involving staff and students from two veterinary schools (led by the Royal Veterinary College) will explore how permission-seeking processes can be accelerated and enhanced to provide publishers with information on how copyright material is being used in practice, and how publication of mashed-up content wrapped in social media can be access from the original sources.

[1] Wilkinson J and B Bekhradnia (2011). Higher education: students at the heart of the system. An analysis of the higher education white paper. Higher Education Policy Institute. [All URLs in this document were accessed August 2011].
[2] JISC Collections and the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA)
[3] CASPER and JISC Collections (2009). Repurposing & reuse of digital university-level content and evaluation,
[4] JISC RePRODUCE programme final report
[5] JISC OER Synthesis and Evaluation Project

Slide contents

  • PublishOER
  • Outline
  • Full paper
  • Acknowledgements
  • Background (1)
  • Diagram of anterior neck
  • Background (2)
  • Background (3)
  • Background (4)
  • Politics (1)
  • Politics (2)
  • The project will
  • Process
  • Surveying publishers (1)
  • Surveying publishers (2)
  • Veterinary medicine (1)
  • Veterinary medicine (2)
  • Work in progress
  • Early results and discussion
  • References 1
  • References 2
  • References 3
  • Discussion (Attribution and Disclaimer)