Why is this guide necessary?
Unfortunately, the licensing and copyright policies for open educational resources have not been standardized, even though Creative Commons offers free licenses and tools to standardize all educational resources. Even sites that have declared their content to be open and free for the world to use often have conflicting, complex, and ultimately confusing terms that govern use of the content provided. Openness requires clarity and transparency; if you host openly licensed your resources but your users don’t know it, or they are confused because you have not properly marked the resources you host with the license, then the openness of your resource becomes irrelevant. For all anyone knows, the resource might as well be fully protected under “all rights reserved” copyright. If people cannot figure out how they are allowed to use your materials, then they will approach them with reserve, eliminating much of their potential value as a collaborative resource. Therefore, you should be focused on promoting the openness of your resource as much as possible. These guidelines help you to do this, to gain the widest possible access to and recognition for your OER, so that anyone, anywhere, can use, adapt, and distribute your OER, thereby increasing their overall value and effectiveness and helping you maximize your goals.
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