How to make your resources open
The University of Edinburgh supports staff and students openly sharing learning and teaching materials. For information on the University’s position on OER, you can read the Open Educational Resources Policy (PDF), which provides guidelines and support for OER practice in learning and teaching.
When it comes to sharing educational material that you have created, there are two essential parts to the process. These are:
1. Ensure you are aware of the licence restrictions and have attributed all materials in your resource created by someone else
If you are applying a Creative Commons licence to your own resource, you must ensure any third-party (made by someone other than yourself) content you include in the resource (e.g. images, media, etc.) has been released under a compatible open licence or is in the public domain.
For example, if you create a video that includes some media that is in the public domain, some on an Attribution license, and others with a Share Alike licence, your new resource must be shared under the most restrictive of these. In this case that would be a Share Alike licence.
Except where otherwise indicated this resource ©Charlie Farley, University of Edinburgh, 2020, is shared under a CC BY-SA licence.
2. Use a Creative Commons (CC) licence to clearly state what re-use permissions you are giving
It is important to remember to apply a licence to your resource if you are wanting it to be used as an Open Educational Resource (OER). Use a Creative Commons (CC) licence to clearly state what re-use permissions you are giving and how you wish the resource to be re-used. The University of Edinburgh’s Open Educational Resources policy advises to publish OERs using an Attribution (CC BY), or an Attribution Share-Alike (CC BY-SA) licence.
Think carefully about who and how you may want your resource to be used and shared. If you are considering applying a Non-Commercial licence to your work to prevent anyone from using it in something they will require other people to pay to access, you may find that applying a Share-Alike licence to your work will meet your needs by ensuring that any new work created must also be made freely available on the same licence for others to use and re-mix.
Quick Creative Commons licence refresher
The CC BY licence gives anyone the right to re-mix, re-use, and re-share your work in any way so long as they attribute the author/creator of the original work.
The CC BY-SA licence gives anyone the right to re-mix, re-use, and re-share your work in any way so long as they attribute the author/creator of the work AND re-licence any new creation containing your work with the same licence.
Other CC licenses, to restrict commercial use or restrict alteration, may be used if you feel this is necessary, or to comply with the licence of any third party content used in your work.
It’s important that when creating and publishing OERs that the copyright owner(s), author(s), and date are clearly provided. The copyright owner will normally be the University of Edinburgh for OERs created at the University. Author(s) (being you, the creator of the work) should also be visible so that the resource can be appropriately attributed when re-used. For example:
© [Author Name], University of Edinburgh, 2020, CC BY
The information on this page is available as a PDF: How to – make your resources open (PDF 80kb)