On Wednesday this week, LNCD/the Orbital project hosted a meeting to raise awareness of ‘open source’ among staff at the University of Lincoln. Joss Winn and Sander van der Waal (from the JISC-sponsored open source advisory body OSS Watch) both gave presentations on the recent ‘open’ theme of LNCD’s various projects (open access, open data, open education, open source) … and on the terminology, history, principles, benefits and applications of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in Higher Education.
OSS Watch (oss-watch.ac.uk) are based at the University of Oxford and are funded to provide “unbiased advice and guidance on the use, development, and licensing of free and open source software”. LNCD’s work is informed by an open approach partly through a strong funder (i.e. JISC) preference and policy, but also because of the background of the people involved in LNCD.
Joss has written up the workshop—including the slide presentations—on the Orbital project blog. Joss will also be convening a follow-up meeting to discuss key points that came out of the morning, leading to a small group to develop and guide the understanding of open source at the University. It’s certainly clear that if we want to make the open approach anything more than a happy accident and to put LNCD’s work on a more sustainable and stable footing, we need to be clearer about  the business case for open source and open data,  the licenses we choose to apply to make our work open, and  the kind of support that staff want and need to produce work openly.
Related: Hacking the university, Joss’s recent case study for JISC on Student as Producer and Lincoln’s approach to openness.