Awareness about Creative Commons Movement and its utility in the Higher Education System of Pakistan

--

By Muhammad Imtiaz Subhani, PhD. & Amber Osman

We, Dr. Muhammad Imtiaz Subhani, and Amber Osman (Members of Creative Commons Global Network), received the Creative Commons Global Network Community Activity Fund for the year 2020 to conduct a research-based study on the Awareness of the Creative Commons Movement and its Utility in the Higher Education System of Pakistan. The study/project was based upon a research survey for analyzing whether different higher education universities across various disciplines were aware of Creative Commons and its core functions and how and where they are utilizing the platform of Creative Commons. The research survey was conducted through an online Google survey form. This research survey form can be visited and viewed at: https://rb.gy/7tgg9w .

A sample of 206 Pakistani editors, professors, researchers from across disciplines from Pakistani Universities was selected to investigate the proposition of this study. The findings of this study confirmed that despite being aware of CC and its logo, the respondents of this study which were mostly the editors of scholarly journals and university’s professors, were not fully informed about the CC and its attributes and utilities which imply that Pakistani scholarly publishing community and higher education community need to be educated about open access in general and CC and its role in particular.

After assessing the findings of this research-based project the training session was also given to the interested respondents from universities of Pakistan in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission, Govt. of Pakistan on CC awareness, its core functions, and utilization (licenses). Dr. Subhani was the resource person to give the training/ workshop/ webinar to the attendees from the Higher Education System of Pakistan.

The main outcomes from the project :

1. Summary of Survey from Pakistani editors, professors, researchers from Pakistani Universities

As already mentioned that a sample of 206 Pakistani editors, professors, researchers from across disciplines from Pakistani Universities was selected to investigate the proposition of this study i.e. Awareness about the Creative Commons movement and its utility in the Higher Education System of Pakistan while deploying the research survey.

Figure 1: Statistics on classifications of respondents job role wise
Figure 2: Statistics on classifications of respondents discipline wise

Analysis of the survey revealed that out of 206 respondents, 54.4% were editors, 19.9% were Professor/ Associate Professor/ Assistant Professor and 17.5% were research scholar or research students of universities of Pakistan.

These respondents (73.3% male and 26.2% female) were mostly from the disciplines of Management Sciences (47.6%), Social Sciences (11.2%), and Computer Sciences (11.7%) as reported in figures 1 & 2.

2. Awareness about Creative Commons

Figure 3: Statistics on awareness 1 of creative commons logo
Figure 4: Statistics on awareness 2 of creative commons logo

2.1. Awareness of Creative Commons Logo
Findings of this study survey revealed that 78.6% of respondents were aware of the logo of Creative Commons. The survey further confirmed that 55.3% of respondents were able to recognize the CC logo during visualizing this logo when browsing free content pertaining to music, education, games, research contents, scientific materials photos, videos, websites, etc. as reported in figures 3 & 4.

Figure 5: Statistics on knowledge of creative commons movement

2.2. Knowledge of Creative Commons Movement
Respondents were asked about the CC “Movement”, which provide licenses and public domain tools that give every person and organization in the world a free, simple, and standardized way to grant copyright permissions for creative and academic works; ensure proper attribution; and allow others to copy, distribute, and make use of those works, and it was found that 76.7% respondents were familiar with the stated movement of CC as reported in figure 5.

2.3. Discussions & Conclusion

It is quite evident as confirmed by this research survey that despite being aware of the CC logo, the respondents of this study which were mostly the editors of scholarly journals and university’s professors, were not fully informed about the CC which implies that the Pakistani scholarly publishing community and higher education community need to be educated about open access/ free content in general and CC in particular.

3. Utility of Creative Commons

Figure 6: Statistics on creative commons utility 1

3.1. Creative Commons Utility
For understanding the utility of CC, respondents were asked that have they ever heard about Creative Commons. Responses revealed that 34% of respondents either not heard about CC or they were not sure about hearing CC anywhere during their professional careers.

Figure 7: Statistics on creative commons utility 2

Further, 25.2% of respondents perceived CC as a profitable organization or a law firm.

Figure 8: Statistics on creative commons utility 3

Moreover, findings also revealed that still, 29.6% of respondents did not correctly identify the CC utility (i.e. free distribution of copyrighted work).

3.2. Discussions & Conclusion

This research survey confirmed that a good chunk of Pakistani editors and professors etc. not heard about CC and many were not sure about hearing CC during their professional careers. Those heard, did not correctly perceive and identify CC utilities.

4. Attributes of Creative Commons

Figure 9: Statistics on creative commons’ attributes 1 known to respondents
Figure 10: Statistics on creative commons’ attributes 2 known to respondents
Figure 11: Statistics on creative commons’ attributes 3 known to respondents

4.1. Creative Commons’ attributes
Findings of this research study survey on creative commons attributes revealed few peculiarities which are:

  • Only 50% of responses correctly identified that CC is not against copyright.
  • Only 24.3% of responses correctly identified that CC does not give legal advice about its licenses or help to enforce it.
  • Only 26.7% of responses correctly identified that CC does not track contents under any CC licenses.

All above three findings are also reported in figures 9, 10 & 11.

4.2. Discussions & Conclusion

It was quite surprising to know that editors of scientific journals and university professors/researchers were not fully educated about the core attributes of Creative Commons despite having awareness about CC as confirmed by the findings of this research survey.

5. Precise Conclusion, Recommendations & Impact of the Project/ Research study

The Creative Commons Community Activity Fund is a perfect initiative, which spreads the significance of open movement in all disciplines/levels of Education. The findings of this study survey confirmed that despite being aware of CC, the respondents of this research survey study, which were mostly the editors of scholarly journals and university’s professors, were not fully informed about the CC and its attributes, utilities, and licenses which imply that Pakistani scholarly publishing community and higher education community need to be educated and trained about Creative Commons and its attributes and utilities/ licenses, etc., for promoting the philosophy of open access, free content and open education across disciplines. For promoting CC agenda there is an acute need for pitching CC Pakistan Chapter. We, (Dr. Muhammad Imtiaz Subhani, and Amber Osman, CCGN members) will be opening up, the CC Pakistan chapter soon for addressing one of the needs of our developing economy i.e. open access educational resources. Further, series of training/ workshops/ webinars will be organized and conducted for promoting the philosophy of open access, free content, and open education across disciplines, and in this connection, an international virtual conference has been organized and hosted on 26th –27th April 2021 under the umbrella of ILMA University on the following theme:
“IS OPEN ACCESS KNOWLEDGE CRITICAL IN SCHOLARLY COMMUNICATION?”

6. Training session (Webinar) on Awareness about Creative Commons movement and its utility in Higher Education System of Pakistan

For awareness on Creative Commons and its licenses to the editors of Pakistani journals and professors/ researchers of Pakistani universities, a webinar was conducted by Dr. Muhammad Imtiaz Subhani in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission, Govt. of Pakistan on 17th December 2020. The webinar topics were open access models, Creative Commons, and its licenses.

Webinar on Awareness about Creative Commons movement and its utility in Higher Education System of Pakistan

--

--

Prof. MI Subhani, PhD.
Creative Commons: We Like to Share

Thomson Reuters Award-Winning Editor | PhD | PDoc | Ambassador DOAJ | Dean IU | Lead CC Pak | Director FORCE11 | Member CCGN, CC Open GLAM, SSP | Editor PLOSONE