OSS Watch publishes content of three distinct types: research studies, slideshow presentations, and general material such as briefing notes, conference reports, opinion pieces, and book reviews. The latest examples of our published content are gathered here along with links to the full listings of each of the publication types.

For a complete list of all OSS Watch publications see the full list.

briefing notes

We publish briefing notes covering a wide range of issues relating to open source software use and development:

Strategy and Policy
University and college IT strategies need to explicitly engage with open source software. How we work with open source software may also affect policies concerning intellectual property rights, employment practices and more.
Open Standards
Disparate computer systems and networks cannot be made to talk to one another, or interoperate, if they do not speak the same language. Standards are like the shared rules of a language. Open standards bring together all interested parties to contribute to their creation and maintenance. They are published through a standards body such as IEEE, ISO, W3C or OASIS.
Open Source Software Development
The open source software development model differs from the closed source or proprietary model. Differences include the way the software is bundled or packaged and the roles played by participants. Both models also share common issues such as security and quality.
Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), Licensing and Patents
When software code is written, property is created. The owner of that property may license it for use by others. Such licensing may be part of a business plan to capitalize on the intellectual property of the software.
Building Communities
Successful open source software projects tend to develop committed communities of developers and users. These communities can include everyone from hobbyists to professional software writers to end users. They may form naturally or they may be significantly assisted by a large corporation.
Examples of Open Source Software
There is a huge range of open source software available to download from the Internet. We concentrate on useful tools and best-of-breed examples often found in UK colleges and universities.
Case Studies
UK colleges and universities are developing and deploying free and open source software in a wide variety of contexts. We highlight best practice and learning points from across the UK.


For a complete list of all OSS Watch newsletters see the full list of newsletters page.


OSS Watch has produced some short videos and made them available via YouTube. These videos range from interviews with leading figures in the open source world to snippets from presentations that illustrate or explain ideas. To see the videos that we have made take a look at OSS Watch’s channel in YouTube.

research reports

OSS Watch undertakes research to gain a better understanding of the needs of its stakeholder communities. Our most recent research has been:

  • OSS Watch National Software Survey 2010 In late 2010 OSS Watch conducted the fourth bi-annual survey of Higher and Further Education IT directors’ attitudes towards, and adoption of, open source software.
  • OSS Watch National Software Survey 2008 During 2008 OSS Watch once again conducted a national survey to assess the state of software policies and usage in HE and FE in the UK. This was the third time that the software survey has been conducted and so the report is able to identify trends and draw comparisons with data from previous years.
  • Automatic survey of inbound mail (MX) servers in academic domains in the UK In September 2007 OSS Watch performed a semi-automated survey of inbound mail (MX) servers in all academic domains in the UK, with a focus on Further and Higher Education. This report presents not only the results of this survey but also details of the methodology used.

More research undertaken by OSS Watch and others.

slideshow presentations

OSS Watch gives presentations at many different workshops and conferences and we make those presentations available to you in PDF format.

slides for re-use

In addition to giving presentations at events we produce a number of small slide sets, each set comprising a handful of slides that cover a specific topic in brief. These slide sets are for you to take away and we would be delighted if you chose to incorporate them into your own presentations. We have made each of the slide sets available in a selection of formats that will hopefully be of use to you in your favourite presentation software. These formats are: OpenOffice v2 (.odp); OpenOffice v1 (.sxi); PDF (.pdf); Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt). The currently available sets are:

In the interests of spreading basic knowledge of our subject area as widely as possible, we are happy to waive any requirement that any works containing this material be redistributed under our choice of licence. Therefore these slide sets are made available under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 UK: England & Wales licence.


This document contains Creative Commons licensed photos by Flickr user e.Moodie.