What is the Research and Education Space (RES)?

The Research and Education Space (RES) began as a partnership project between the BBC, Jisc and Learning on Screen. RES uses technologies innovatively to make it easier for teachers, students and academics to discover, access and use material held in the public collections of broadcasters, museums, libraries, galleries and publishers. The 4-year project phase has now come to an end, however the BBC will continue to work with public partners to develop RES as an open platform for publishing linked open data, and explore the benefits of developing education propositions powered by RES with 3rd parties.

RES comprises:

How does RES work?

The RES platform is an open source software stack which finds, indexes and organises rich structured data about those archive collections published as Linked Open Data (LOD) on the Web. The collected data is organised around the people, places, events, concepts and things related to the items in the archive collections. If the archive assets themselves are available in digital form, that data includes the information on how to access them, all in a consistent, machine-readable form. The RES platform has a powerful API to ensure applications can make use of the index data, along with the source data, to make those collections accessible and meaningful.

I want to contribute data to RES, how can I do this?

This section of the developer guide describes how a curator of a digital collection can publish their data in a form which can be indexed by the RES platform and used by applications, and how an application developer can make use of the index and interpret the source data in order to present it to end-users in a useful way. Further guidance and documentation for data contributors, application developers and users of RES tools can be found on our Technical pages. There is also a series of posts on our Blog from members of the RES Technical team which explain in more detail what RES does with your data.

What is Linked Open Data?

Linked Data is a way of expressing information in a way that can be understood by machines, using the same mechanisms that drive the Web we all use today. Linked Open Data means that this information is not only available, but can be openly reused without having to ask for specific permissions and so on.

Who is making their catalogues available through RES?

RES is working with a wide variety of collection holders, such as broadcasters, archives, museums, libraries, galleries and publishers, to help them make their digital assets more discoverable. The list of institutions who are publishing their data in a RES-friendly format is growing all the time.

I would like to build a product on the RES platform.

The RES platform is open so anybody can use it to build a product or service, providing they adhere to the terms of use for the data and the assets referenced by that data.

How can I build a product on the RES platform?

For more information about how to build a product on the RES platform please refer to the Developer Resources. For technical advice, please email: RESTechnology@bbc.co.uk

Why should I use RES?

The aim is for RES to make study, research, lessons and learning more interesting, varied, colourful and informative, to enrich teaching across different levels and subjects and to support research at all levels. It offers a reliable, openly licensed index of cultural assets from some of the world's leading cultural institutions. There is no charge to build on the RES platform.

What types of material will be available for use?

Examples include video, audio, photos and images, and historical documents.

Does RES have material for all levels of research, study and teaching?

Yes. RES includes links to material relevant to education and research at all levels, from primary schools to post-doctoral research. RES will index materials that have been licensed for a wide variety of creative, imaginative and innovative educational uses. Many will be available to be adapted for learners at all levels and across every curriculum subject and topic.

How will I know if I have the rights to use the content in my lessons?

The information about rights will be included with the assets. Where a particular resource requires a specific licence, such as the ERA licence that permits use of off-air broadcasts in formal education, this will be indicated.

When will RES be available?

The RES platform already exists and the catalogue is starting to grow, and we will continue to develop a range of tools to be used by software companies and educational publishers who want to build resources around it.

Will there be a cost for using RES? Do I need to subscribe or buy a membership?

The RES platform is free to use, but products, tools and services built on top of it may be commercially available. RES does not affect the licensing of the actual resources in any way, but simply makes them more discoverable, so existing licensing schemes are unchanged.

Will I be allowed to stream, download and make clips of audio and video?

The details of what uses are permitted for a particular asset indexed by the RES platform are entirely up to the rights holder and will depend on the licence terms and conditions. RES does not store any materials itself, but simply makes them more discoverable, so existing licensing schemes are unchanged.

Who is behind RES?

RES began in 2013 as a 4 year partnership project between Jisc, Learning on Screen and the BBC. The project phase has now come to an end, however the BBC will continue to work with public partners to develop RES as an open platform for publishing linked open data, and explore the benefits of developing education propositions powered by RES with 3rd parties.

What is the BBC’s involvement in RES?

The BBC has built the RES platform through which online educational resources can be discovered and used. Because it is open, it can be built on by anyone, so the range of products that can be built on it is huge. RES is not a new BBC product, service or website.

How do I contact the RES project?

The RES project team can be contacted at RESFeedback@bbc.co.uk

What is the BBC Shakespeare Archive Resource?

The BBC Shakespeare Archive Resource provides schools, colleges and universities across the UK with online access to the BBC’s Shakespeare collection of hundreds of television and radio programmes and associated photographs. These include performances, sonnets, documentaries, interviews and more, dating from the 1950s.

What is the future of RES?

The BBC will continue to develop this platform and engagement and it is envisaged that it will continue to grow as more content is added and products powered by RES are built on the platform.

How is the BBC making its archive available?

The BBC is committed to making as much of its archive as possible available to those in formal UK learning, from primary schools to universities. So far, the following collections are being made available via RES: the BBC’s Shakespeare collection of over 500 TV and radio programmes dating from the 1950s as well as over 1000 photographs of classic Shakespeare productions and performers; more than 47,000 images from the BBC library; around 1,650 classroom clips from BBC Teach; 1,500 media items from BBC RemArc (a Reminiscence Archive developed to benefit dementia patients and their carers); and 10,000 BBC Playable programmes, including BBC World Service content.

What is ERA?

ERA is a licensing scheme organised by rights holders. It covers UK educational establishments with a licence to use TV and radio programmes captured off-air in teaching and learning. You can find out more by visiting the ERA website.