The Attribute Images project enhances the digital infrastructure to support open content for education by automating the time-consuming process of attributing images appropriately with Creative Commons licence and copyright information. This project aligns with a number of the challenges that this rapid innovation call seeks to address. It is especially well placed to support the development of digital infrastructure to enhance open licensing and improved resource description. It leverages a third-party API to enhance sharing and discoverability and helps further examine the issues relating to copyright and licencing and how they can be overcome.
Specifically, this project:
- Simplifies open content creation
- Saves multiple user groups time and effort
- Makes re-using Creative Commons resources easier
- Simplifies copyright clearance
- Reduces the risk of licence infringements
- Enhances digital infrastructure to support open education
- Improves resource description
- Simplifies OER and digitisation projects
- Supports University of Nottingham strategy
The Xpert1 search engine currently provides access to 260,000+ open learning resources. Funded in 2009 as a JISC rapid innovation project, this University of Nottingham built system has now matured into one of the largest collections of Open Educational Resources (OER) in the world. It was extended in 2010 to include the Xpert Attribution Service2. This service currently allows users to carry out searches for Creative Commons licensed images available in Flickr3 and automatically attributes the images that it finds with a Creative Commons licence statement. This service has a proven user group, with over 61,000 images attributed through the service in 2010. However, one limitation of the service is that it relies upon metadata stored with the picture in Flickr to generate search results. This can mean search results displayed in the Xpert Attribution Service are not always relevant to the user.
The Attribute Images project will extend the Xpert Attribution service by creating a new tool that allows users to upload images, either from their computer or from the web and have a Creative Commons attribution statement embedded in the images. This will remove the reliance on images stored in Flickr, and put the power to attribute specific images into the hands of the user. Automatically embedding open licences simplifies content development, removes barriers to repurposing and publishing OER, and substantially increases the usability of open content. Automating licence attribution also enhances digital literacy around the use of third-party images, as the tool enables best practice in relation to attribution to be followed. The tool will include a bulk-upload option. It will provide an option for the user to upload the newly attributed images to Flickr through the Flickr API. It will record and report the number of images that have been attributed and the number of newly attributed images uploaded to Flickr. It will be made available as part of the Xpert site, providing access to an immediate and established user group. In addition it will have an API allowing developers to make use of the service in other sites.