Thursday, July 5, 2012

Open-Licensing: Expansion Pack 2 (Research)

As part of #ioe12, and in order to get the OpenEd Researcher badge, I need to:

Write a blog post proposing a research study by which key assumptions of the topic could be (in)validated. Don’t worry about identifying specific participants, etc. Describe what you believe would be the ideal research setting, participants, data collection, and analysis methodologies.

This is sort of like an abbreviated version of something that I assigned to my own students in a research methods course :-). So, my proposed research study deals with Perceptions and Real World Practices of Faculty and their Relationship to Copyright.

Over the years it's been my observation that people who teach at higher education institutions are simultaneously both fiercely protective of copyright (namely their own) but at the same time they seem to ignore other people's copyright when it suits them; thus having potentially some cognitive dissonance when it comes to copyright.

So, the ideal setting for this mixed methods study would be a random sample of faculty from as many institutions of higher education that wish to participate. This research, which would query the usage, protection and adherence to copyright (and figuring out what faculty think is "fair use") would start off as survey research, but we could see if informants would like to participate in follow-up interviews.

The aim of this study is to see how protective faculty are of thir own copyrights, whethe they license their works under Creative commons, and how they use other people's work that may be under traditional copyright. Do they "respect" copyright? Or are they Oatmealing? (or something else?)


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