Open.Michigan's Collection Guidelines

The University of Michigan (U-M) has a diverse culture of sharing. Faculty members, students, and staff are sharing open educational resources, open access pod casts, free (as in no cost to end users, but not openly licensed) massive online open courses, and are contributing educational content to sites like Wikipedia, Youtube, you name it.

A major distinction between some of these forms of sharing are the use of Creative Commons licenses that allow for reuse, remixing, and redistribution. Some of the educational materials and experiences listed above have such a license, others do not.  But, they’re all available to the public, free of charge – and they’re all made available to the public by folks at U-M who are interested in sharing with the world in new and exciting ways.

We’ve had many conversations about how we might more accurately represent this diverse culture of sharing on Until recently, we didn’t have anything to guide our decisions for what to include on the site, what to reference and what to promote – other than “Does it have a Creative Commons license that allows for remixing, or not?” And so, many members of U-M’s culture of sharing weren’t represented on the site. To address this gap, we developed the following guidelines:

Collection Guidelines

Open.Michigan’s collection ( showcases teaching and learning resources and experiences from University of Michigan (U-M) faculty, students, staff, and partner institutions. The Open.Michigan initiative seeks to foster a thriving culture of sharing knowledge and scholarship at the University of Michigan, enabled by Standard Practice Guide 601.28, by building and supporting communities of open education resource producers and users. Open.Michigan does not provide permanent and accessible service to U-M produced digital works for an extended period of time. For archival needs, visit the university’s institutional repository, Deep Blue.

Scope of Hosted Educational Content

U-M Open Educational Resources (OER): Teaching and learning materials produced by U-M faculty, students, and staff that are licensed under a Creative Commons license (“open license”) that allow for redistribution, copying, and adaptation. Openly licensed teaching and learning objects from partner institutions may also be hosted on

Types of Hosted Content: Assignments, articles, artistic works, lecture presentations, notes, image collections, syllabi, and other scholarly output (e.g. research papers, dissertations, manuscripts), training materials, teaching and/or learning objects and resources recorded in a digital medium.

Scope of Referenced Educational Content

Whenever possible, the Open.Michigan collection will provide web links to U-M produced resources and experiences that are publicly available online for free. Copyright restrictions on these materials may prevent Open.Michigan from hosting and redistributing them. This content may or may not be licensed for personal duplication, modification, or redistribution.

— View the guidelines on our Strategy page.

We recently discussed these guidelines and the U-M culture of sharing at Open Ed 2012.  If you have a moment, or 14 minutes, check it out:

Again, our goal with this document is to provide ourselves with guidelines for more accurately representing all of the types of sharing that’s taking place at U-M. Additionally, by being more inclusive, we’ll be able to start conversations by showing sharers that they’re already recognized members of the sharing community. For those that are not openly licensing their content, we can then continue the conversation by introducing tools, concepts, and open licenses that can make their content open to legal reuse, remixing, and redistribution.

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