Open Source Software Policy
POLICY CONTENTS 4 minute read.
The UNT Libraries issues the following policy related to the use of, contribution to, and creation and release of Open Source Software in order to support open scholarship at the University of North Texas by building upon the efforts of the UNT Open Access Policy for scholarly publishing and the Denton Declaration for releasing and managing data.
- Contribution is a tangible product created by individuals that help advance an Open Source Software project. Examples of contributions include: programming, bug fixes, issue reports, feature suggestions, and documentation.
- Open Source Software is “software that can be freely used, changed, and shared (in modified or unmodified form) by anyone” (http://opensource.org/) and is distributed under a license approved by the Open Source Initiative, e.g. one of the licenses found here.
- A Project—specifically, an Open Source Software project—includes the entirety of collaborative activity, such as planning, discussion, design, documentation, and programming, that furthers the development of a piece of Open Source Software.
- Software refers to computer programs, or any set of instructions intended to be executed by a machine, including (but not limited to) executable files, libraries, and scripts.
Use Open Source Software When Applicable
The UNTL supports using Free and Open Source Software for its business operations whenever open source solutions meet business needs.
Contribute to Existing Open Source Software Development Projects
- The UNT Libraries encourages librarians and staff members to contribute to projects for the Open Source Software that they use. Suitable projects should have a clearly documented license approved by the Open Source Initiative.
- UNT Libraries employees should ensure that the level of contribution made to an external project is adequately credited within the project’s documentation.
- If a project requires it, copyright for contributed code may be transferred to another party, but UNT Libraries units and departments are responsible for evaluating such projects on a case-by-case basis to ensure they align with relevant UNT policies (such as the Copyright Compliance Policy, No. 16.13.3; Contracts and Agreements, No. 10.4; and the Intellectual Property Policy, No. 16.13.1) before their employees participate.
Create And Sustain Open Source Software Projects
- Software created in-house may be released under an Open Source License approved by the Open Source Initiative when possible.
- All software released by the UNT Libraries will include current contact information for the maintaining person, unit, or other entity, and a license statement. The BSD Three Clause License (see below) is recommended.
- Open Source Software projects should use a public version control repository to manage the software when possible. A hosting service such as GitHub or BitBucket is recommended.
Abide By Best Practices For Open Source Software Development
- The author of, or contributor to, an Open Source Software project will adhere to common codes of conduct within shared version control repositories and will address issues and other communications with the public in an timely, professional manner.
If there are situations that are not covered by this policy or if there are questions about the policy in general, please contact the Assistant Dean for Digital Libraries.
Suggested Bsd 3 Clause License Template
Copyright © 2014, Regents of the University of North Texas
All rights reserved.
Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:
Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution.
Neither the name of the University of North Texas Libraries nor the names of its contributors may be used to endorse or promote products derived from this software without specific prior written permission.
THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND CONTRIBUTORS “AS IS” AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.
- Approved: 04/17/14
- Revised: 01/12/17