OER1017 Oral Presentation

OSS Watch and OpenSpires Projects

Rowan Wilson, University of Oxford

Conference Theme: Open Educational Communities

Abstract: The Creative Commons movement draws much inspiration from earlier innovations in copyright licensing within the free and open source software (FOSS) communities.1 Can looking at the success factors behind mature and sustainable FOSS communities help us to understand how to create similarly successful communities around the copyright works that make up open educational resources? The OSS Watch free and open source software advisory service2 has been funded by the JISC since 2003 to help UK higher and further education engage with both the use and the creation of FOSS. In this time OSS Watch has helped and observed many developing open communities, both inside and outside of the sphere of education. In early 2009 JISC and the Higher Education Academy funded the University of Oxford, along with any other institutions, to release substantial quantities of Creative Commons-licensed open educational resources. By hosting both this project (OpenSpires3) and the OSS Watch advisory service, Oxford University Computing Services has gained a wealth of experience of the barriers to release of copyright works under open licences within further and higher educational institutions, as well as an understanding of the kind of communities that succeed while nurturing high quality resources. This presentation will seek to synthesise and communicate lessons from this combined experience.

Keywords: Open Educational Resources, Open Source Software, Sustainability, Community, Copyright, Copyleft, Governance

1 http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/5668
2 http://www.oss-watch.ac.uk
3 http://openspires.oucs.ox.ac.uk/