April 26th is World Intellectual Property Day

April 26th is World Intellectual Property Day and is celebrated around the world. Launched by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 2000 the day was created to raise awareness about how intellectual property like patents, trademarks and copyright are both used and in turn foster creativity.  This year’s theme is Digital Creativity: Culture Reimagined.

Universities are both creators of intellectual property through faculty, instructor, researcher and student output, but are also consumers of intellectual property. Ryerson University Library and Archives spends millions of dollars per year on book and digital journal subscription purchasing. Most of these on-line journal articles are not publicly available to those outside of a university environment without a fee. At universities we are digitally privileged because we pay a substantial amount yearly for access to this content.

The purchases universities make support publishers and at the same time give instructors, researchers and students timely access to the latest scholarly information that can be used in their courses and for their research. Ryerson researchers are also part of the creative cycle as they create and publish new works citing the work that has gone before them.

More about:
World Intellectual Property Day
WIPO

 

Open Access Textbooks: Open Education Week 2016

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A Guest Blog By Michelle Schwartz of the LTO for Open Education Week 2016

In February, Ryerson was excited to host Rajiv Jhangiani, a faculty member from Kwantlen Polytechnic University, for a talk on his research into the use of open textbooks to teach psychology. Open textbooks are defined as textbooks to which the copyright holder has assigned an open license, which allows anyone the right to access, reformat, and customize the textbook to best meet their needs. These textbooks can be downloaded or printed in hard copy for a small cost via print-on-demand. The author, rather than a publishing company, retains the copyright, and the textbooks are often peer reviewed.

Dr. Jhangiani is the author of two open textbooks hosted by the BC Open Textbook Project. The Open Textbook Project is an initiative by the government of British Columbia to make education more accessible. By developing open access textbooks for the subject areas with the highest enrollments in the province, British Columbia hoped to reduce the financial burden on students. The project has grown steadily over the course of the last few years, and as of March 2016, could boast of the following statistics:

Number of BC Open Textbooks: 139
Number of students using open textbooks: 12,159
Number of faculty adopting open textbooks: 110
Number of institutions adopting open textbooks: 26 (21 Public, 5 Private)
Student savings: $1,215,900 – $1,540,680

As an example of an open textbook, Dr. Jhangiani’s Research Methods in Psychology is in its 2nd Canadian edition. It can be downloaded for free in a multitude of formats, from PDF to epub, and it can be printed on demand for a small fee – $10.90 for black and white, or $32.25 for a colour version. As a comparison, a textbook on the same topic from a major publishing company is currently retailing on Amazon.ca for $276.

Though the importance of this cost difference to students cannot be understated, perhaps an even greater benefit of open textbooks was brought up by Dr. Jhangiani at his talk – by publishing with an open license, Dr. Jhangiani felt he had much more latitude to provide unique Canadian examples that he thought would be most beneficial to his students, without the pressure from a publishing company to try to address larger markets. Because the textbook is published with an open license, any educator can take the textbook, use the chapters that they like best, and replace Dr. Jhangiani’s examples and case studies with the material that is most relevant to their course. This flexibility is the strength of the open textbook model!

If you are interested in adopting an open textbook in your course, check out the offerings available at BC Campus, Open Stax College from Rice University, and the Open Textbook Library from the University of Minnesota.

If you have questions about adopting an open textbook or you have thoughts on how you might like to use them in your course, contact us at the LTO, michelle.schwartz@ryerson.ca, ext. 2094.

The Ryerson Library and Archives can also assist in finding open access educational resources to use in your teaching – please contact your Subject Librarian , call Ann Ludbrook at ext. 6910  aludbrook@ryerson.ca or have a look at the Ryerson Library Open Access Educational Resources Guide.

Happy Open Education Resources Week March 7th-March 11th!

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What are Open Education Resources (OER)?

OERs are educational works created by other instructors like lectures, tests, syllabus, assignments, textbooks, journal articles, case studies etc. that the author decides they want to let other educators use freely in their teaching. OERs can be used and reused freely for educational purposes because the author has freely released the work to the public for that use – usually using one of the six types of a Creative Commons  licence. These licences allow different levels of use – some allow adaptation and even commercial use and some do not. All Creative Commons licences require citation. The best OER resources are governed by a principle of  “The 5 Rs”.

“The 5 Rs” – in order for a resource to qualify as an OER users should be able to

•   Reuse – use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)

•   Revise – adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)

•   Remix – combine the original or revised content with other open content to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)

•   Redistribute – share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)

•   Retain – make, own, and control copies of the content

(The 5rs  is based on original writing by David Wiley, which was published freely under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license at: http://opencontent.org/blog/archives/3221.)

In Canada there are some leaders of Open Educational Resources paving the way to support instructors who want to use resources like these that are free of copyright restrictions. One of these is the BCcampusOpenED resource that hosts Open Access textbooks, including peer-reviewed Canadian editions, and has had adoptions of these textbooks by more than 26 Canadian institutions, saving students over a million dollars of textbooks cost to date. In Ontario eCampus Ontario hosts Open Access educational resources and guides you to other open materials. Ryerson University Open Learning has Open Access modules created by Ryerson instructors such as videos from The Naked Entrepreneur and a module Therapeutic Communication and Mental Health Assessment. Michelle Schwartz at The Learning and Teaching Office has created a great best practices resource for faculty and instructors who want to explore open access educational resources called The Open Access Classroom. Open Access Education resources are free for you to use and reuse and adapt to fit your teaching aims as long as you cite the source. Perhaps most importantly these resources are free of copyright restrictions and you can provide them to your students free of charge.

Celebrate Fair Dealing Week – Celebrate User’s Rights

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What would happen if everytime you wanted to use an image in an school assignment, instead of just crediting it – you had to write to the photographer for permission to use it? Or your instructor wanted to use that same image in a preszentation but they needed to wait to hear back from a publisher for permission before they could post it to D2L – and your test is Friday? What would happen if you wanted to photocopy a single chapter of a Library Reserve book to read at home – but first you needed the formal ok of the author? What about if you were working on a research assignment with a classmate and wanted to send a single article you scanned from a journal to them so they could read it too – but couldn’t because it would be considered copyright infringement. What if your professor could never upload anything ever for you to read to your class no matter if it is a just a few pages and important for your educational studies without it being against the law?
Luckily in Canada we have something called fair dealing, a copyright exception that gives you a user’s right to make and use short excepts of copyrighted materials for certain purposes such as education, private study, research and criticism and review – activities you do everyday as a student.  If that copyright exception – fair dealing – was not in Canadian laws and in the Copyright Act – that material would be unavailable for you to copy without a licence – which could limit your access to material that contain knowledge you need to learn. Much of what students and educators do on a daily basis would be really really hard without fair dealing.
Fair dealing is really important because it allows a freer flow of information to happen in an educational setting – it promotes learning and scholarship. Creator’s rights (an authors or publishers right to be compensated for the use of a work) is in balance with your right to use a short excerpt of a work without having to get the permission every time you use copyrighted material in your school work. So celebrate Fair Dealing – it is a user’s right that Canadians should use, not lose.

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Open Education Week March 9-13th, 2015

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This week is Open Education Week!

What is Open Education? It is an educational movement that is committed to producing teaching resources that can be used and then reused by other educators without formally seeking permission. In this model creators of educational content freely release their materials to the public. Other educators can then deliver the material freely to their students, as long as they attribute the original creator. These resources are most commonly made available under Creative Commons licences.  Many MOOCs, open courses, and regular classes now routinely use this kind of content, because there is no need to get copyright clearance and they can be publicly posted on the web.

Open textbooks, like open courses, are created by experts and then made freely available to the public. Projects like the BCCampus OpenEd textbook initiative and the OER Commons give instructors a way to find free-to-share material, and great resources like the Creative Commons search can help anyone find free to use images and music.

Ryerson University Library & Archives is hosting a few events this week to celebrate Open Education Week 2015.

 

Tips for Finding Free Music, Images, and More: Drop-In

Today 12-1 pm, March 9th, Student Learning Centre (SLC) Rm 515

Find free music & images and more to use in your projects – both commercial and school based. This is a drop-in session.


 

Is there a Free Textbook in Your Future?

12-1 pm, March 10th, 2015, Student Learning Centre (SLC) Rm 514

Can you imagine a world were some of the textbooks that are used to teach courses you take are free? Find out more about the Open Access Textbook movement.


 

The Affordable Classroom: Open Access Textbooks (LTO and the Library)

12-2pm March 12th, 2015 POD-372

Do you ever worry about the rising cost of textbooks for your students? Are you interested in hearing about possible alternatives to the traditional textbook model, like open access textbooks? In this workshop you will learn about new Canadian-lead open access textbook repositories, and other open access textbook resources that are freely available on the web to use in your teaching. If you are interested in building your own open access textbook to use in your classroom, this workshop will provide you with the necessary building blocks to get started.

Sign up here

 

 

The Copyright Modernization Act is now in Force

Bill C-11 (The Copyright Modernization Act) Update

Many sections of Bill C-11 (The Copyright Modernization Act) including fair dealing exceptions for education and other educational and library specific provisions are now in force as of Nov. 7th, 2012. Ryerson University is currently working on a new fair dealing policy, and our copyright pages wil be soon updated to reflect all the changes.

Highlights:

  • Fair dealing for the purpose of education, and parody and satire are now exceptions
  • Public performance rights are no longer needed to show a movie or video in a classroom setting
  • Material from the internet that does not have clearly posted warnings against  reuse can be reused in course materials

Copyright Update on Fair Dealing and Bill C-11

Supreme Court of Canada’s Decisions on Fair Dealing

Several Supreme Court of Canada rulings on copyright were made on July 12, 2012. These decisions should broaden the interpretation of the Copyright Act fair dealing provisions for materials copied for use in university teaching. Presently the AUCC is working on updating their fair dealing guidelines based on the recent Supreme Court of Canada’s rulings and in light of the new Copyright Modernization Act. When these new guidelines are released, the Ryerson University Fair Dealing Policy will be updated to reflect this advice.

At present the current Ryerson University Fair Dealing Policy is still in effect, dated August 31st, 2011. Please use this document to make fair dealing assessments for your Fall 2012 courses. Once Ryerson University’s policy is updated the library  will offer several short informational sessions regarding the new fair dealing guidelines. Please check here to see the schedules for upcoming Copyright information sessions.

Bill C-11 (The Copyright Modernization Act)

While Bill C-11 (The Copyright Modernization Act) received Royal Assent on June 29, 2012 an order-in-council decision must be issued before it is in force. The current Copyright Act is still in effect until that time. Please use the current FAQ’s for use of course materials in the Physical Classroom and Virtual Classroom environment. These FAQ’s will be updated once The Copyright Modernization Act is in effect.