I followed this link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Williamsmithshouse.jpg) from a comment in Facebook and was really impressed by the amount of info available about the licensing. Possibly a very useful source for images!
Open licensing of climate change and sustainability resources in the Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
C-change in GEES is only one project producing open material on Climate Change.
The OER Commons repository has recently been showcasing some climate-change material about ‘Climate Change and Ice sheets, within their ‘Recommended Resources’.
See them here:
The C-change website now has a form allowing you to feed back your thoughts on our OER.
This is available from the menu above – from the ‘Have you used an OER” tab or directly at:
The input that you give us will be fed directly back to the C-change team and will help us plan and implement further developments of OER materials for GEES.
To find our material simply go to:
http://open.jorum.ac.uk/ and search for GEESOER.
or click here
We have now finalised the last versions of our Partner Advice Documents:
- c-change_supporting_info_3a – Final (98Kb) – originally – C-change Back-Page Guidance
- c-change_deposit_jorumOPEN_4 – Final (48Kb) – originally the C-change JorumOPEN deposit Guidelines
Development will continue of these guidelines, however they have now been made far more generic and aimed at all the wider GEES community. The newer versions are still available on the documents page at: http://c-changeproject.org.uk/?page_id=3
The C-change project is also working with the other STEM OER projects on some more generic guidelines for producing OER for the sciences.
JorumOPEN is based on a set of minimal metadata. On the whole this is a good thing….or at least we can see that this idea started with good intentions!
But with so few fields to fill out, we really need to take great care on how we fill them. It would be just too easy to end up with a lot of data squashed into just a few fields and a lack of standards making the data almost unusable.
The best example of this is most probably the ‘author’ field:
For a start, this field is taking three types of possible ‘author’. First the name of the people who created it, but then also the name of the ‘owner’ , which is likely to be different and then finally the name of the insititute or univeristy who employed the author, who may or may not be the ‘owner’ of it.
Then there is the question of how to enter the ‘name’ into one field which has to include both ‘surname’ and ‘first name’. Remembering that it needs to be in such a way that when the data is sorted, it uses the surname rather than the first name.
This all asks for a high level of standardisation and we have started down that route by starting a set of draft guidelines, which can be downloaded from the Documents page at:
As ever, we would appreciate any thoughts or feedback you had into this document
C-change in GEES is totally committed to using JorumOPEN for the delivery of all its OER materials and has always considered it to be the primary interface for our community to find and download C-change OER materials.
We therefore have high hopes for how JorumOPEN will work for the Geography, Earth & Environmental Sciences community, but feel that there are still some areas where we would like to see some improvements in the user interface and workflow, before we can unreservedly recommend it to our community.
After talking with JorumOPEN, they recommended that we post our experiences and thoughts to their forum on Community Bay.
We have done this and the thread can be found here:
We would really appreciate any further thoughts that you had – posted on the thread there or if you prefer do go ahead and leave a comment here.
As part of our bid for the UK OER project we put forward the idea of an aggregator. We have kept all of our materials and discussions about the project on our WordPress blog. This is where we also wanted to host the aggregator so we could easily see all the materials uploaded by our partners.
I have been looking into a number of systems we could use to create an aggregator page on our WordPress blog. After some simple research it looked like the best option would be to have an RSS feed reader within WordPress.
I began by looking at a way of incorporating an RSS reader into our WordPress blog. After a quick search on the internet I found a simple solution which used two WordPress plugins. The first is the Exec-PHP plugin (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/exec-php/). This allows for PHP code to be executed within pages and posts when using the HTML editor within WordPress. To display the RSS feed I used the GetRSS plugin (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/getrss/). This was the simplest plugin to use that required a single line of code on a page to display an RSS feed.
The next step was to create an RSS feed of the materials that have been uploaded into Open Jorum. I looked at a few websites that created RSS feeds from websites automatically. Some of these picked up the links and some didn’t. All of the sites didn’t create clean RSS feeds though. This meant that we had incomplete links on the WordPress site.
I then discovered a website called http://www.feedmarklet.com. This website allows you to create RSS feeds for free but requires you to add the items individually. It worked well within WordPress but could be quite time consuming as the project moved on.
After looking at the Bioscience OER blog (http://biooer.jiscinvolve.org/2009/12/03/aggregating-blog-outputs-using-yahoopipes/) I decided to look into using Yahoo pipes to create our RSS feed. After some time to get to grips with it I found the system to work rather well. I had a rather large problem with the Jorum Open RSS feed. The feed didn’t show the keywords metadata so I couldn’t search for the GEESOER keyword that we have asked our partners to use. For the time being we have added the GEESOER tag to the end of the description. This allows me to display all of the Gees uploads whilst discarding all the others within the community on Jorum Open.
Yahoo pipes looks like it will be the best solution for what we need and this will be going live on the site next week. Ideally it would have worked without having to add the keyword in the description. This could change as Jorum evolves which could then make this an even better option in the future.
The C-change team are delighted to be finally uploading their OER materials into JorumOPEN.
It has taken a long time for us to get going. First for our partners to re-purpose and copyright-clear the resources and then for us all to agree the ‘backpage’ notes for licenses and attribution. But we are seeing light at the end of the tunnel and are now sitting on a very large pile of OER resources – all to be uploaded shortly into the partner repositories and JorumOPEN.
So, please do drop by to:
and search under our specific keyword of GEESOER
Thanks to Jonathan Wallen at University of Wales for preparing the presentation of Professor Simon Haslett and to Stephen Whitfield for preparing the work of Dr Jamie Pringle at Keele University.
For some of our OER Partners, there is a slight worry about ‘how’ their materials may be used (or mis-used) in the future.
They are happy for their material to be released, even under a ‘share-alike’ CC license….but still they worry that it might be re-used in a way that they feel could mis-represent their original intentions. This is particularly the case with some materials that are built on research into sensitive issues of ‘climate change’.
Some authors have suggested they might be more comfortable if we were to tighten up the CC license for these materials and released them under a ‘No Derivatives’ CC license, but we have tried to discourage this as we felt it was an approach that lay outside our ‘open’ intentions.
But recently another idea was suggested:
Could these materials be protected at all under the author’s ‘Moral Rights’ which allows the author:
“to object to derogatory treatment of the work or film which amounts to a distortion or mutilation or is otherwise prejudicial to the honour or reputation of the author or director”
This seems an interesting idea and certainly I think we should add a line to our ‘Back Page’ notes that specifically says that the author retains the ‘Moral Rights’ on the work……however, there are some examples of where these rights do not apply and these include:
“where ownership of a work originally vested in an author’s employer”
So we again return to the thorny question of who the primary copyright holder is. If we work on the principle that as the academic author was employed to write this material, he does not hold any copyright in the work, then he isn’t going to hold any ‘Moral Rights’ either. However if an institute’s IPR policy allows for the original academic author to retain (in part or whole) the copyright in their own works, then arguably they should also have the ‘Moral Rights’.
For further details on ‘Moral Rights’ in the UK see: http://www.ipo.gov.uk/types/copy/c-otherprotect/c-moralrights.htm
Any other thoughts on this?
Looking at many of the UK-OER resources that have been released so far, it looks like most projects have decided to use a very minimalist approach to ‘wrapping’ their OER resources.
Some I feel have taken this to extremes – I have found some resources which do not even have an author’s name within the resource. This does worry me a bit. I fear that once a resource becomes separated from its basic metadata then it has become much less usable. Indeed I would suggest that without an ‘author name’ associated with it, it can no longer be covered by the CC license, which requires attribution, so is no longer truly open.
For our C-change partners, the chance to release their materials in an OER form was encouraged by their hope that it would be good publicity for them, their courses and their institutes. This demanded a much more elaborate presentation of the material, with a much higher level of ’visual design’, which included institute logos. It is also the case that much of our materials are rather heavily laden with third party material for which we have to provide separate and individual attribution.
It was therefore unlikely that the ‘minimalist’ approach would work for us and we needed to consider how best to include all this information within a ‘back page’.
From a project viewpoint, it seemed imperative that as much of the resource-metadata as possible should be included within the text of the resource itself where it is viewable by the user and search engines etc. to make the resource as useful as possible in it’s life in the wild after it has left its primary repository.
This metadata could also be held within the file header in the Document Properties on Microsoft Office, Adobe file formats and within the header of HTML documents.
It has taken us much discussion with other OER projects, but finally we have written a set of draft recommendations of best practice for writing the ‘back page’, which can be found on our Documents page at: http://c-changeproject.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/back-page-notes-draft-1f.doc
It is pretty draft, but makes a good start.