The Committee for Economic Development, a non-profit, non-partisan business led public policy organization (their description), has issued a really excellent report on openness in higher education. It addresses an exhaustive array of facets to openness in the higher education context including OER, Open Access, and openness in administration and certification. The report is a great opportunity to understand the breadth of the open landscape as it stands today.
There are a few factual errors regarding OpenCourseWare that ought to be noted. On page 18, the report vastly undercounts the number of OCW courses available through the Consortium at 5,000, when the most recent self-reported figures from the membership are closer to 13,000.
More concerning is the characterization of MIT OpenCourseWare’s agreement with Elsevier, which on page 28 is described as:
…a more straightforward and operationally simple definition of fair use so as to ease rights clearance for MIT’s OCW; Elsevier now provides blanket clearance for up to three tables and 100 words per article for thousands of Elsevier’s articles.
Our agreement with Elsevier governs our use of their materials under our open CC license and in no way defines or limits our recourse to fair use with respect to Elsevier’s or any other content owners materials. Were we to use materials employing a fair use approach, they would have to appear on our site with all rights reserved. Elsevier has agreed to allow OCW to publish materials under our CC By-NC-SA 3.0 license, which makes the materials available for downstream reuse. It’s a very important distinction.