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Open Educational Resources

Open Access and OER Organizations

SPARC logo. The word "SPARC" appears in white letters next to a red asterisk, all against a black background.

SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) is an organization dedicated to open access and OER. Among their initiatives are the LibOER Google Group discussion and Connect OER, a snapshot of OER activity on campuses across the U.S. and Canada. 

Screenshot of the Open Education Global logo. The words "Open Education Global" appear in black font against a white background. A graphic consisting of a blue G, overlaid with a blue O and E, appears to the left.

OE Global (formerly the Open Education Consortium) is a group of educational institutions and nonprofits that promote open learning and research. One of their projects is the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources (CCCOER), which promotes OER adoption at U.S. community colleges. 

The Open Education Group researches the impact of OER in terms of cost savings to students, course outcomes and other metrics. Check out their OER Research Toolkit, which contains a guidebook to conducting OER research, as well as examples of student and faculty surveys. 

State Organizations

Open Oregon logo. The words "Open Oregon Educational Resources" appear in dark gray font against a white background.

Open Oregon promotes OER among Oregon's public community colleges and state universities. The organization provides training, including a regular webinar series, and tracks student savings through OER adoptions. 

Affordable Learning Georgia logo. "Affordable Learning" appears in dark blue font, and "Georgia" appears in light blue font against a white background. There is a graphic of a tablet, outlined in red, overlaid with a blue mouse click.

Affordable Learning Georgia is an OER initiative for the University System of Georgia. ALG runs the GALILEO OER repository and supports the publication of open textbooks for subjects in which there is no open text already available. 

SPARC Digital Repositories Checklist and Guide

SPARC encourages the development of institutional repositories and has produced resources to promote the establishment, use and improvement of open digital repositories.

The SPARC Institutional Repository Checklist and Resource Guide provides an overview of the major issues that institutions and consortia need to address in implementing an institutional repository.

Books on Open Access

Walt Crawford in his book Open Access defines open access as researchers and scholars giving away the results of their work, most commonly in the form of peer-reviewed journal articles, so that others can benefit from that work and build on it (and so their work will be recognized and have impact). We gain the most as a society and as individuals when researchers and others can use those results without economic or other barriers. That, in a nutshell, is what open access (OA) is all about. Open access literature is available online to be read for free by anyone, anytime, anywhere—as long as they have Internet access.

Martin Paul Eve in his book Open Access and the Humanities: Contexts, Controversies and the Future defines open access as the removal of price and permission barriers to research through the use of the internet and more liberal licensing agreements.

In his same work Open Access and the Humanities: Contexts, Controversies and the Future Eve states that open access (OA) helps readers find, retrieve, and use the research they need. At the same time, it helps authors enlarge their audience and amplify their impact. 

Licensing

The Open Education program at Creative Commons on their Education / OER web page offers licenses that permit free use and re-purposing by others for Open Education Resources (OER) teaching, learning and research materials in any medium that reside in the public domain.