#oerhf notes part 3 – lunchtime discussion on sustainability

This discussion was facilitated by the marvellous Steve Carson at OCWC. I was writing and eating (and occasionally speaking) all the same time so what follows is a collection of random points of interest, attributed where possible.

We were asked to go around the table (well, two tables as this session was so popular) and talk about our sustainability plans.

It was generally agreed that government and foundations grants are not themselves a model of sustainability.

John Hopkins U are top-slicing other external grants to pay for OER release (I know that MIT are also doing this, alongside a donation model).

Wikimedia have a pure donation model.

There was a lot of interest in what model of sustainable practice Flat World (a commercial publisher using a Non-Commercial Share-Alike license, http://www.flatworldknowledge.com/about) have. But no-one round the table seemed to know.

Another commercial company (didn’t catch the name, sorry) talked about their interest in providing services around OER content (eg discovery).

The CC foundation is supported by donations and charitable foundations, but admit that they “need a commercial model” – one element of which could be a publish-on-demand service. They also talked about fund-raising initiatives like “five by five”, and noted that google are co-operating with CC on an OER search.

Blossom at MIT admitted that they don’t have a sustainability model, but partners in Jordan have established a public/private partnership model.

The OER foundation, dedicated to building a sustainable OER ecosystem, have a number of funding streams including government contracts, donations and commercial partners (which is possible due to their insistence on not using an NC clause).

In Holland a combination of EC and Government funding is used, with the expectation of high quality services around the materials being a future source of funding. It was noted that Secretary of the Association of Academic Publishers in Holland is a strong OER advocate (linked to the dutch use of CC-BY)

OCWC are interested in both commercial and non-commercial models, depending on material licensing terms.

And I talked at little bit about the UKOER model of building release into institutional processes, low initial funding levels and matched funding, and the idea of a distributed rather than centralised model.

There was a lot of discussion about the place of commercial publishers within an OER ecosystem, some felt that publishers using CC-BY material could feed funds back into the ecosystem, others questions what obligation publishers would have to do this.

Again, apologies that these notes are rather scrappy, I was eating (and talking) at the time!

(this text licensed under CC-BY 2.5 (UK) – these are my personal notes from the sessions, and any errors or omissions are my fault)

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