Introduction and background
The European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education (the Agency) acts as a platform for collaboration and information-sharing across a diverse range of countries, languages and contexts. The Agency is co-funded by the ministries of education in its member countries and by the European Commission via an operating grant within the European Union (EU) Erasmus+ education programme.
In 2020, the Agency adopted an Open Access (OA) Policy to maximise the reach and impact of Agency outputs. This policy affirms the Agency’s commitment to providing resources and tools for all relevant stakeholders, including educational policy-makers, researchers, school leaders, teachers, learners and families. The policy also clarifies usage and modification rights of Agency resources.
Agency resources are copyrighted but are available on the Agency website for the public to access, download and share. Certain resources, such as practical tools, are open source. The main distinction between open-source and open-access resources is that the latter cannot be modified without Agency approval.
As part of its commitment to open sharing, the Agency is also working to configure its own digital open access repository. Currently, users can search through Agency outputs by visiting the Agency’s publications listing page. This OA Policy will be updated as the Agency continues to enhance its open access offerings.
Open Access (OA)
Open access refers to content which is digital, available online, free to access and free of most usage restrictions. The goal of OA is to provide resources to everyone who can benefit from them. The Creative Commons website contains a section about open access literature, explaining its role in ensuring broad availability of academic research.
In the Agency context, OA resources are not alterable without explicit approval or open source designation.
In the context of Agency work, open source refers to any material that can be downloaded freely and altered or modified at the user’s discretion. This includes publications intended for practical use, such as self review tools, which are often available as editable Word documents.
The Agency’s OA Policy refers to access, usage and dissemination of resources produced and published by the Agency. This Policy does not allow modification or translation of open-access resources by default.
Under the Agency’s OA Policy, Agency resources are shared under one of two types of Creative Commons licences. Agency resources typically contain a publication information page outlining licence and copyright information. This page can be found within the first few pages of the document.
Open source materials are shared under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-SA). This allows anyone to adapt, build upon and share a publication non-commercially, as long as they give appropriate credit to the Agency.
Image 1. Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License for open-source resources
All other open-access materials are shared under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC ND). This allows anyone to access and share materials as long as they credit the Agency. However, it does not allow for any adaptation or translation of materials without the Agency’s explicit approval.
Image 2. Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License for open-access resources
To view a copy of either licence, visit the Creative Commons website or send a letter to Creative Commons, PO Box 1866, Mountain View, CA 94042, USA.
If a resource does not include a licence, or if its licence is unclear, please contact the Agency before making any modifications or translations. All related enquiries should be made via email to the Agency Secretariat, at firstname.lastname@example.org.