Ownership of IPR created by the University's employees and students is governed by Part B of Statute XVI of the University's Statutes and Regulations (http://www.admin.ox.ac.uk/statutes/790-121.shtml).
Before any work is contributed to an open source project it is essential that the first question be ‘who funded this’, and all software developers at any level must be clear who is paying for any given piece of work. Industrial or academic collaborations, and multiple funding sources, make this a difficult area. Software must not be contributed to an open source project unless and until all the funding sources and any associated terms and conditions are clear. Contact with the University's Research Services Office will be necessary to establish these details in the case of OUCS work which enjoys support from sponsorship.
Where contributions to an open source project are only accepted if the IPR is entirely assigned (as opposed to licensed) to the project, the University must be assured of a reciprocal perpetual licence for itself and its creating employees/students to use the work for academic and research purposes. Such assignments will need to be checked by Legal Services.