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OER and sustainability (The Leeds Manifesto)

We went to Leeds, compared notes on OER and sustainability and wrote a manifesto!

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Chris Pegler
14 May 2010

We went to Leeds, shared experiences, listened to some presentations (check these out at and blogs of sessions in the OER and sustainability Cloudscape.) Then we discussed OER and sustainability, did an activity and after lunch we wrote our 'Leeds manifesto'. Not bad for a day's work. Now you can join in with comments.  Or if you want you can email (who takes full credit for any mistakes therein).

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Chris Pegler
5:56pm 14 May 2010

This is a draft, it would be great to have comments from people who were there, who can add more context, or suggest things that I did not quite get right. But even better would be to get feedback from people who were not there. Is this useful. How does this compare with your experiences?

Megan Quentin-Baxter
12:00pm 16 May 2010

Dear all, to kick off with a VERY MINOR comment: it is definitely worth making sure that it is machine readable in order to facilitate uptake by the search engines. The notion of putting the CC licence in every document that you produce (in both human and machine-readable formats) could still include an image (human readable) of the relevant CC licence e.g. cc: by-nc-sa, with an ALT= tag housing the machine readable forms. There are several different ways of doing it. Megan.  

Megan Quentin-Baxter
12:38pm 16 May 2010

Dear all, we accidentally left a slide out of our presentation on Thursday, specifically the summary OOER project recommendations:

•That authors should ‘hallmark’ all their content with CC licences (whether they are to be made open or not);

•Consent everything-even where IPR/ownership and patient/non-patient rights appear clear, and store consent with/near the resource;

•Review institutional policies against good practice;

•Aim to release a fraction of a programme rather than 100%;

•UK HE enters a dialogue with publishers to increase the potential for re-using upstream rights (especially images);

•Have sophisticated ‘take-down’ policies;

•Development of a tool to track resources and for them to ‘phone home’ (like software updaters) to check their status;

•Staff reward system is established (formal recognition of using and reusing others’ resources, PDRs, promotion criteria, etc.);

•Several JorumOpen-specific recommendations such as bulk upload.

What we hoped to achieve with our OOER presentation was to highlight:

    1) the medium term potential value of the good practice risk-assessment toolkit approach in supporting OER 'sustainability' (by helping HEIs to develop and follow good quality defensible OER policies); and

    2) areas of greatest risk to the development and implementation of high quality policies (in order to future-proof OER).

We know that institutions are at different stages of development in terms of OER readiness; but some staff (and students) are already making materials available - there are risks inherent in both acknowledging and doing something about this, and ignoring it. We don't want to stop anyone from doing what they are doing, but to do it as well as possible (within the notion of 'reasonable and fair' and 'due diligence') in order to ensure the long term future of their materials. 

Under (2) above our key messages were the need to develop (possibly in the medium-long term): 

   a) consistent patient and non-patient consent (a 'Consent Commons'); 

   b) the difference between fixed/Archive material and new/rapidly changing material (and that we need very practical ways of collecting and managing materials which may go rapidly out of date).

With a combination of implementing and following good quality OER policies we should be able to safeguard OER into the future. Megan.

Lou McGill
10:07am 17 May 2010

sorry I couldn't be at this event. The HE/Academy OER Pilot Project outcomes and evidence around issues raised in the manifesto will be mapped on to the synthesis and evaluation framework over the next couple of months so watch this space. We (the synthesis and evaluation team) hope that this will pull evidence together around a whole range of issues around OER release.



Chris Pegler
10:38am 17 May 2010


That sounds great. Thanks. We did of course refer to your work :-)  This is the first draft. So much activity and so many ideas hurtling about - it would be great to pull some of these through into the synthesis and evaluation framework and also to use them to help some of the up-coming Phase 2 projects.

I'll be in touch with you, Helen and Allison about some other outcomes from Leeds. It was an lovely sunny and very interesting day.


11:23am 21 May 2010

Hi Chris, just a small comment around support tools.

I’m not sure if this is implied in the document or discussed at the event, so apologies if already covered. However, I believe sustainability is embedded in an institution's own use. So tools should include not only easy dissemination and deposit, but enable re-use. We’ve started running digital literacy workshops to highlight to staff the benefits of open resources, how to find them and re-use them. Often I am asked do academics want to reuse other people’s content? The difficulties surrounding IPR indicate that academics already routinely re-use content from the web. So the workshop looks to support this appropriately. We are also look at developing tools to make easy search and re-use possible for staff, to simplify the process and make this part of normal development process. 

Currently the funded model is too producer centric, leading to an over emphasis of the promotional benefits—OCWC conference recently largely discussed 'how many hits our sites are receiving', with (currently) limited reference to how more efficient/richer course development was.

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