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How can I be more "open"?

Written by Karen Fasimpaur
October 18, 2012

When posting online, most people have the intention of sharing. However, without an open license and an open format, there may be unforeseen obstacles to others receiving the full benefits of your magnanimity. Here are some things you can do to be more open and to share fully.

Post to sites that encourage open licensing. There are many web sites that include an option to open license your work. These sites are beneficial because consumers know they can go there for open licensed content. Posting to these sites enables more sharing by everyone. Digital Is uses an open license (generally, CC BY NC ND; CC BY in the case of this resources), and here are a few other sites that allow easy open licensing:

  • Flickr – photo sharing web site with over 225 million open licensed photos
  • Vimeo and YouTube – video sharing sites that support Creative Commons licenses
  • Slideshare – presentation sharing (Powerpoint, etc.)
  • Wikispaces – wikis for everyone
  • Curriki – curriculum and educational material sharing, specifically for K-12

On all of these sites, it’s your choice whether or not to apply an open license to individual works.

Include an open license on anything you are willing to share The simplest way to do this is to include a Creative Commons license along with your copyright and attribution at the front of your document or along with any digital content. For example, this could read:

  • “© Copyright 2012 by Karen Fasimpaur. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY).”
    As shown here, you can include a link to the license from the Creative Commons web site.
  • A more sophisticated way to include an open license on your work is to use the Creative Commons license-choosing tool. Using this tool will give you access to the artwork relevant to your license. It will also provide a snippet of HTML code that you can paste into a website with your work. By doing this, your work will be indexed by search tools, like Google, as an open-licensed resource. This will help more people find your work.
  • Which Creative Commons license you choose is up to you. The most “open” license, the one that promotes the broadest sharing, is CC BY.

Post in the most open formats possible. In general, formats like text, HTML, RTF, and JPG, are more open because they can easily be opened and edited. Proprietary formats, like PDF or Flash, are more difficult to remix and use.

Share the information about openness with others — teachers, students, anyone at all. All of the resources here are open licensed, and below are some additional items you can use with others to share the love!

Open OER_info.doc

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