Sharing Instructional Materials and Intellectual Property

What is the largest file size that I can upload?

The maximum upload size is 7 MB. If you have a datafile that you would like to post that exceeds this limit, consider compressing the file (as a .zip or .tar).

What types of files should I upload as instructional materials?

That depends.

If you have chosen the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0;, then you would probably want to upload a file format that is difficult to manipulate or modify, such as a password protected Acrobat (PDF) file.

What types of files can I upload as instructional materials?

Currently, only files with the following extensions may be uploaded:

  • Graphics: jpg jpeg gif png eps tif
  • Open document formats: txt rtf pdf csv pps ps
  • Microsoft: doc xls ppt pptx
  • Open Office: odt ods odp
  • Tex/LaTeX/BibTeX: tex dtx ltx bib bbl bst idx ist clo cls sty def ldf fd cfg

If you need to upload another file type, please let us know by emailing

How do I upload my instructional materials?

Once you have created a user account, you may upload your instructional materials (lecture notes, lecture slides, problem sets, in-class exercises, etc.) by visiting: You may attach multiple files and file formats to one page. For instance, if you have both lecture notes and in-class exercise hand-outs that belong together, you can add both documents to one page.

What are “ratings”?

OPOSSEM allows registered users to use a 5-star system to ‘rate’ both instructional materials and web links. Users can only rate an item one time. This helps users find materials and links that are considered particularly helpful by other members of the community. No one can see who rated their material or what rating an individual user gave the material or link. This is to reduce measurement error in the rating system. This is similar to the "karma" system on Slashdot ( and other user-moderated sites.

Do I keep my copyright?

Applying a Creative Commons license is a means for sharing and distributing a work, but it does not change the legal copyright status of the work. You retain the copyright to any of your intellectual property. Furthermore, you have the option of removing your own work from OPOSSEM at any time.

What are Creative Commons licenses?

Creative Commons is a way to license copyrighted works that allows others to use and distribute the work under certain conditions. Educause, a non-profit association that promotes the use of information technology to advance higher education, has a short publicationthat helps explain the uses of Creative Commons licenses for academic work. 

How do I remove materials after I have uploaded them to OPOSSEM?

You may edit or delete any of your uploaded materials at any time. After logging in to OPOSSEM, just visit your profile page ( find all of the materials that you have uploaded. Visit any instructional material page and choose the “EDIT” tab at the top of the page. There you will have the ability to edit the page text, delete attached files, upload new files, or delete the entire page.

My lecture notes include examples or text from published commercial textbooks. Can I still share the notes?

This depends on how extensive the example or quote is and whether it is properly documented or cited. Some academic uses of others’ intellectual property are permitted according to principles of fair dealing or fair use. If you are unsure whether your use is “fair,” then you should remove those portions of your lecture notes or assignments before sharing them on OPOSSEM. 

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