This is an archived version of a page from OKHE 2015/6, to preserve references and content for past participants. See the main page for the latest materials.

2. Copyright, being ‘open’ on social media, disrupting the status quo

Open knowledge is still a relatively new area, with the expectations, procedures and accepted approaches still in flux.

This topic looks at the challenges, constraints and questions of open knowledge.


Copyright and licensing are very relevant to the topic of openness, as well as being important to teaching, learning, research and support in HE.

We have produced a separate post on this topic which contains links and useful information, as well as some prompts and ideas which we hope will help you to relate the topic to your own practice.

Session two will include a presentation on The University of Manchester’s Copyright guidance service, but we hope that the post below will provide an overview of copyright and licensing — as well as acting as a useful resource after the session.

Being ‘open’ on social media

Whatever your role or interests in HE, you may have considered how any presence you have on social media is relevant to this. For example, as a researcher, do you promote your research online? Or as an educator or member of staff supporting students, are you ‘discoverable’ through networks other than your institutional contact details, and do you allow students to contact you in this way?

It can be hard to keep track of your online profile, and it may even surprise you what is out there. If you would like to consider how being ‘open’ on social media might relate to your profile, try the Social Profile Checker (external tool). It won’t answer any deep questions, but it is a very useful starting point, and much quicker (and less awkward) than repeatedly searching for yourself.

Course experts

Mike Taylor is a mathematician by training, a library software engineer by profession and a palaeontologist by avocation, so he combines an unusual set of perspectives on academic publishing. In his day-job he designs and builds discovery systems for libraries, managing credentials and proxies to access paywalled journal articles. In his spare time he researches the palaeobiology of sauropod dinosaurs, struggling to access that same subscription literature, which he needs for this work. An open access advocate, Mike has written for the Guardian, Independent and Times Higher Education. He is an Associate Researcher in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol. Mike has described and named two new dinosaurs: the sauropods Xenoposeidon (“alien earthquake god”) and Brontomerus (“thunder-thighs”).

Neil Sprunt, University of Manchester

Neil Sprunt is a Teaching and Learning librarian responsible for the development and management of the University’s Copyright Guidance Service. Neil has been involved with copyright since taking up this new role in August 2012, and has developed a number of resources to help users navigate the murky world of copyright. The service provides a single point of contact for all copyright-related issues and enquiries at the University of Manchester, and it is designed to help staff and students understand how copyright affects them whilst enabling them to get the most out of copyrighted materials for educational use.

Scott Taylor, University of Manchester.

Scott Taylor is a Research Services Librarian at The University of Manchester Library with 12 years experience in public and academic libraries. Scott has been involved in the development of services in support of both Gold and Green Open Access at Manchester since 2008. He is currently responsible for developing a service to enable academic to comply with the new HEFCE Open Access Policy; managing the uptake of ORCIDs at the University of Manchester; as well as providing advice and training on matters relating to the academic and societal impact of researchers and their outputs.

Beccy Shipman is the Copyright Officer for the University of Leeds. She is a member of the Society of College, National and University Libraries Copyright Group and represents SCONUL at the Libraries and Archives Alliance. She has worked in a number of library roles relating to Open Access, digitisation, and eresources. Prior to this she worked as a social sciences researcher at the Universities of Leeds and Manchester, and as a wine merchant.

Katy Woolfenden, University of Manchester.

Katy Woolfenden will be introducing session two. Katy is the Head of Teaching Learning & Students at The University of Manchester Library and leads the development of the Library’s services in support of the University’s teaching, learning and the student experience. Her remit includes senior management of Teaching and Learning Services, the Learning Development Team, the eLearning Team and the frontline Customer Services teams across ten sites, including the Alan Gilbert Learning Commons. Katy is also responsible for overseeing a number of the key Library services, such as the Copyright Guidance Service, and the library’s award winning skills programme My Learning Essentials and sits on a number of University Committees associated with teaching, learning and the student experience.

Following topic 2

After exploring the above materials and/or attending session 1, please view our follow-on post and start sharing your thoughts with others.