As the name suggests, the Learning Exchange is based on the notion of collaboration. Third party organisations - Learning Exchange Contributing Organisations - which have specific subject expertise are invited to contribute resources to a designated collection within the Learning Exchange. The purpose of these collections is to provide a way for organisations with subject expertise to collect, organise and share resources.
Hosting and linking
It is possible to store the actual resources (documents, audio, video) in the Learning Exchange (hosting) or link to another document on the web, or both.
The resource and its bibliographic record are physically stored in the Learning Exchange database.
- The resource will always be available and not reliant on a third party website.
- Some resources don't have a website. Hosting gives them a web-presence.
- Hosting carries the risk of copyright infringement as many rights holders do not allow their materials to be stored in databases. We host documents only if we are confident there will be no breach of copyright. For example, where the document has a creative commons licence or carries a similar statement allowing copying and re-use.
- Semi-published reports often carry no information about copyright. These may be hosted if we are satisfied that the copyright holder would be pleased or indifferent to such action. Please note that the publishers of academic journals will not be pleased or indifferent so these must not be hosted. One test is whether making a document available on the Learning Exchange might harm a third party's commercial interests.
- Resource may go out out of date or be superceded.
It is now widely established that linking to documents on the web is acceptable and legal. It's wise to check and respect any terms and conditions displayed on the target website.
- Little or no risk of copyright infringement
- No requirement to seek a licence
- More likely to be the most up to date version of the document
- Broken links occur if resource is moved or removed.
- Reliant on availability of third party's server.
Both hosting and linking
- The belt and braces approach: if no copyright issues and the resource has a web presence do both.
- If the resource does not have a web presence and there are no copyright concerns, host.
- If there is risk of copyright infringement, link only.
- If a document is offered a PDF download or in multiple formats (eg PDF, HTML), link to the download page rather than direct to the PDF. This allows the user choice.
Types of resource to include
- Research reports
- Audio, video
- Resource directories
Do not include
- Anything that contrvenes UK laws, eg on defamation or obscenity.
- Journal articles unless linking to copy that is freely available on the web, or to site where a copy may be purchased.
- Resources designed solely for the marketing, advertising and sale of commercial products.
- Journal articles