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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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What is the project about?

Great Writers Inspire is making a substantial collection of literary themed learning resources available for global reuse. Thousands of resources are available through the site, including audio and video lectures and short talks, downloadable electronic texts and ebooks, and background contextual resources. Many of these resources have been specially created by the University of Oxford for this website. (For documentation about the project, including the project plan, please visit the project management page

Who created this website?

The Great Writers Inspire website has been created by the Learning Technologies Group, University of Oxford IT Services, funded by the Higher Education Academy and JISC through the Open Educational Resources Programme.

How have the resources been selected?

The selection of material for the site was based on a number of considerations. The aim was neither to create a comprehensive resource that covers everything nor to focus on only the main writers or a representative sample. We wanted our collections to illustrate the richness of available resources and inspire users to go on and look for more, both within and beyond our site. The choice of themes and writers featured in the collections was governed both by what our contributors could offer and what was available online, under the right kind of licence. A lot of other excellent material can be found online, but we have not been able to include it if it is available only for personal or educational use, or if it does not state what the licence conditions are.

Why is there nothing on …?

Even if you cannot find your favourite writer or theme among our collections, you may still find relevant material by and about them in our library.

What can I do with the material I find here?

The material included in our collections are released under a licence that allows you to use and re-use the material freely as long as you follow the licence restrictions. These vary slightly (see ‘What do the different licences mean?’ below), but as a minimum you are free to use the material for non-commercial purposes on the condition that you attribute the original creator (see ‘How do I attribute the creator?’ below) and make anything you create available under the same licence. You can use the resources as they are, take only parts of them (for example extract one chapter from a book or crop an image), and combine them as you like (for example creating a presentation containing a part of a video podcast, a stanza from a poem and some images).

What do the different licences mean?

The project are only using material that is available for free reuse, sometimes with certain requirements, for example that you may only use the material for non-commercial purposes and on the condition that you attribute the creator and make whatever you create available under the same conditions. You can find information about the relevant licence for each resource in the ‘Reuse’ section on each page.

The different licences we use are:

Creative Commons Licence
CC BY Attribution: you may distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon this work, even commercially, as long as you credit the original creator.

Creative Commons Licence
CC BY-SA Attribution-ShareAlike: you may remix, tweak, and build upon this work even for commercial purposes, as long as you credit the original creator and license your new creations under the identical terms.

Creative Commons Licence
CC BY-NC-SA Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike: you may remix, tweak, and build upon this work non-commercially, as long as you credit the original creator and license your new creations under the identical terms.

Public Domain Mark
No Known Copyright: These works that are no longer restricted by copyright, so you can use them without restrictions.

CC0 - No Rights Reserved: The owner has waived their interests so you may freely build upon, enhance and reuse the works for any purposes without restriction under copyright or database law.

How do I ‘attribute the creator’?

If the licence specifies that you have to attribute the original creator, you should say who they are, give the title of their work, and the URL where it is hosted as well as under what licence it is available. You can do that in different way, for example by using the text we provide at the bottom of each resource page. For example:

“The Spanish Tragedy: Thomas Kyd ( by Emma Smith, licensed as Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales

More information and suggestions with illustrative examples can be found via the Creative Commons wiki page: (see also links under ‘External Guides and Fact Sheets’ on that page).