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Key policy questions include:

  • Does institutional policy provide clarity on IPR and copyright on works created during the course of employment (or study) and how these may be shared with others e.g. partner institutions?
  • Does HR policy provide guidance regarding whether or not the creation of certain kinds of work – e.g. learning resources – constitutes part of the job description of staff, and are the implications of this for development, performance management, remuneration and promotion purposes clearly stipulated?
  • Does the institution have ICT policy regarding access to and use of appropriate software, hardware, the internet and technical support? Is provision made for version control and back-up of the repository of institutional works?
  • Does the institution have materials development and Quality Assurance (QA) policy guidelines to ensure appropriate selection, development, QA and copyright clearance of works that may be shared?

All policy positions with regard to the above need to be consistent with the vision and mission of the institution.

Illustrative case studies:

  • Institutions: carrying copyright over to third parties
  • See also case studies under Student and Staff sections

Related toolkits:

Examples of institutional OER policies:

Example of licensee conditions:

This case study, based on actual experience, raises a number of questions that a robust policy framework
should help to address.

The following questions occurred to us, but you may be able to think of others:

  1. Do contracts with external materials developers clearly spell out their rights in terms of the materials that they produce under contract, including the possibility of subsequent use and reuse by third parties?
  2. In the event of the closure or amalgamation of one party in a multi-party agreement, how are therights of the various other parties protected?
  3. What would have been an appropriate response by the third-party organisation in this case?
  4. How might the situation have been different if the original contract had stipulated that on payment for work done all materials would become copyright of the paying institution and released under a Creative Commons Licence 3.0 Unported Attribution Only Licence?This case raises interesting questions for institutions wishing to make more systematic use of OER.