Up-to-date advice for all colleges and universities in the UK about open source software is now available. The Joint Information Systems Committee realises that almost every further and higher education institution in the UK is making using of open source software. With the European Commission and the UK Government giving its support to its development and deployment, it has become a central issue for institutional management of IT systems and services in education.
'Open source' refers to software whose source code is openly available to be modified by end-users, in contrast to proprietary software. While such software is already in use in colleges and universities, it is rarely yet part of institutional policies and strategies and there are still a great many misunderstandings concerning it.
In this latest publication, JISC – supported by its advisory service OSS Watch – advocates the use of open source as the default for software development as well as providing guidelines on copyright, licensing, trademarks, patents and development practice.