Thursday 27 August 2015

Copyright Literacy: an update on an imaginative initiative

Here's a guest post from Chris Morrison (Copyright and Licensing Compliance Officer at the University of Kent, Canterbury), which brings us up to speed on an initiative to which this weblog was able to give some small assistance:
Following the notification of the launch of the UK Copyright Literacy Survey in December 2014, Jane Secker from LSE and Chris Morrison from the University of Kent would like to inform readers of 1709 Blog of the survey results and explain their ongoing mission to make copyright engaging, fun and empowering.

The UK Copyright Literacy Survey was part of an international project to explore levels of copyright knowledge amongst library, information and related professionals and is the largest known study of its kind. Thanks to the high level of engagement amongst those in libraries, archives, museums and cultural institutions in the UK we received 613 responses, meaning that our survey had the biggest response out of any of the other participating countries so far. We have published a high level summary of the results and in essence it seems that UK library and information professionals have a relatively high level of copyright literacy compared to other countries. However they still feel they would like to know more about how copyright relates to their day to day responsibilities, and expressed a certain amount of anxiety in keeping up with developments in copyright law and responding to copyright concerns.

We have also recently written a blog post for CILIP explaining why we think copyright education is a fundamental part of digital and information literacy. Digital and information literacies are skills, attitudes and behaviours that allow people to find, evaluate, manage and use information and digital technologies to achieve their personal and professional goals. At the heart of this is an understanding of the ethics surrounding how information can be shared and used. Our blog post mentions the Copyright Card Game that we developed in conjunction with copyright consultant Naomi Korn which is now available as a free, Creative Commons-licensed download from the open education resource repository Jorum. The game has proved very popular with information professionals in higher education and seems to be generating a renewed interest in copyright.

If you would like to read more about the survey and our copyright literacy mission we have posted our slide deck from July’s Northumbria Conference on Performance Measurement in Libraries and will be presenting at the European Conference on Information Literacy in October. We are also expecting to have a paper published in a special copyright/IPR issue of Library and Information Research in September/October 2015.

We would be very interested to hear from anyone who is interested in our research, or feels the same way about the empowering potential of copyright education and would like to join forces. You can send us an email via

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