Fighting the fear of copyright with the GCU Online UK Copyright Advisor.

Logo for GCU online UK copyright advisor

Hi, I’m Marion Kelt and I’m the Copyright Advisor at GCU. Over the last year I’ve noticed a rise in the number and types of copyright enquiry. In one way, I’m glad to see this as most of us have a general fear of copyright and licensing issues. They are the elephant in the room, we all know it is there, but nobody wants to admit it exists!

Our team developed an online copyright advisor to help staff and students to quickly answer the most frequently asked questions on commonly used resources. It is available 24-7 to help you with the more straightforward copyright questions. It answers FAQs on seven types of resource:

  • Audio files
  • Book chapters
  • Computer code
  • Images
  • Journal articles
  • Maps
  • Video files

You can try it out here or link in to it from our copyright pages.

The design is very plain at present, though we do have plans to improve this in the next version. We aimed to keep our answers as positive as possible, suggesting alternatives rather than forbidding certain actions. Some of the answers can be a bit “wordy”, so we added traffic lights to give you quick visual cues. We also added links where possible, so we link to the licenses we refer to, the library web pages and our own quick copyright glossary.screenshot of a sample results screen form copyright advisor

We would love you to look at the advisor and use it as much as you want. We would welcome your questions and feedback, even if you are pointing out mistakes that may have slipped through the net! You can contact me at, I’m always happy to chat!

Help Lower Textbook Costs for Students

open textbook illustrationAre you a lecturer or other member of staff in your institution who is concerned about the impact of high textbook costs on your students? Explore possible open textbook solutions by attending a two hour workshop and writing a short textbook review. Receive a £150 voucher for completing a review.

Did You Know…

  • The high cost of some course materials can impede students’ academic success. (We know from further research that having to work during term-time also can hinder student progress).
  • The National Union of Students estimates that the average student can spend over £1000 on textbooks and supplies, and research from the US shows similar amounts in 2015–16.
  • The cost of textbooks is rising at a rate of 4 times inflation.
  • 88% of students claimed to have skipped purchasing a textbook because of the cost and 9% claimed to have changed courses (UK research).

Open Textbooks

Open textbooks can help alleviate the burden of textbook costs for students and provide teaching staff with content that can be customised for their course. Open textbooks are full, real textbooks, used by many instructors in North America, and these books are licensed to be freely used, edited, and distributed.

What You Can Do

Attend the Open Textbook Workshop — a two-hour session where you can discover open textbooks in your field. After the workshop, you’ll be asked to write a short review of an open textbook from the Open Textbook Library. Your review will benefit other staff considering open textbooks. You’ll receive a £150 voucher for completion of your open textbook review.

What: Open Textbook Network Workshop
Where: W606
When: 10-12noon on Monday 4 December 2017
Who: The workshop will be led by Bea De-Los-Arcos, advocate of open education and partner on the UK Open Textbook Project (

Take 5 minutes to register for the workshop on Monday 4 December 2017 at 10-12noon by emailing Marion Kelt ( Capacity is limited and open textbooks are not available for all subjects. Preference will be based on textbook subject area availability.

If you have questions about this workshop or open textbooks, please contact Marion Kelt ( or Sheila MacNeill ( at GCU, or Bea De-Los-Arcos ( who will run the session. You can also visit the project website at or visit the Open Textbook Network who are partners on this initiative. This work is sponsored by the Hewlett Foundation.

Free open access publishing for GCU authors in over 2000 journals

Through the library’s subscription with the publisher Springer, GCU authors can benefit from the Springer Compact open access agreement. This allows staff and research students at GCU to publish articles open access in over 2000 journals, at no cost.

GCU authors can gain from publishing open access in a number of ways. These include increased visibility of your research worldwide, compliance with funder and REF open access policies, and enhanced impact and public engagement of your work.

The list of eligible journal titles can be found here. Once an article is accepted for publication in a journal from this list, the publisher will contact the corresponding author to confirm the institutional affiliation.

The Springer Compact agreement is available to staff until December 2018.

For further information please contact:

Resolved: Technical Issue – Discover

**This issue has now been resolved**


Please be advised that we are currently experiencing issues with Discover, the library’s search interface. Although searches in Discover are working as normal, links to many electronic resources are unavailable.

Our supplier is aware of the issue and is working to resolve matters as quickly as possible.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

edShare update: embeddable HTML5 player

edShare@GCU, the University’s educational resources repository, has now been updated to include an embeddable HTML5 player for all video and audio content. An example record can be accessed via this link:

This means that instead of embedding a specific derivative, staff will now be able to embed an HTML5 player which selects the correct derivative to play depending on what browser or device is being used. To facilitate this update the abstract page for video and audio files has changed, specifically the tabs located under the player. The system now generates three tabs for each file.

The first tab (embed) displays an embed code for the HTML5 player. The embed code is built using a CGI script which calls the relevant source code within an iframe.


The second tab (source code) displays the actual HTML code behind the CGI script. This allows you to add additional HTML5 tags or reference a subtitle track when embedding the content.


The third tab (download) displays download links for each of the derivative files generated by the system.


The first two tabs also include a copy button which copies the embed code or source code to the clipboard. Functionality for this feature is supported by the following browsers:

  • IE10 or later
  • Chrome v43 or later
  • Firefox v41 or later
  • Safari

All existing links / embed codes should continue to function as normal. If you have any queries please email

Thinking about Open Workshop

GCU library is hosting a “Thinking about open” workshop on Friday 27th May from 10am to 12 noon in CEE1. This workshop is aimed at anyone with an interest in finding out more about OER (Open Educational Resources) and OEP (Open Educational Practice).  It’s fairly informal so come along and share your views! It will be facilitated by Beck Pitt and Bea de los Arcos, researchers at the Open Education Research Hub (OU) on behalf of the Open Educational Practices in Scotland (OEPS) Project. Book your free place on our EventBrite site!

Introducing edShare@GCU

edShare@GCU is the University’s new educational resources repository. It allows staff to store, share and preserve a wide variety of learning and teaching materials in one central location. Staff can upload and manage their own resources and have the option to share them openly on the internet, with all members of the University, or with a select group of students or staff. The repository accepts any permanent resources created by GCU staff and provides a point of contact for copyright and intellectual property rights (IPR) advice within the GCU community.

Where do I start?

The repository can be accessed at You can log in with your domain username and password.

Why has this new repository been built?

The repository will enhance learning and teaching by enabling staff to manage, store and share a greater variety of digital resources, providing broader and deeper learning opportunities for students. It also supports flexible learning by allowing Continue reading