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Open Educational Resources: Organizations and People Shaping the OER Movement

Find open educational resources (OERs) available to lower or eliminate the cost of textbook content for any course at Indian River State College. Find open access materials including alternative textbooks, public domain resources, and creative commons lic

Open Educational Resources and Alterntive OERs

Table of Openness by Resource Type

There are alternatives to using strict OERs in your course to replace textbook costs. Faculty can use library resources as replacements to textbook content, but library resources are considered alternative OERs. They are not free to reuse and distribute as openly as OERs. Faculty can assign readings in library resources or use an unrestricted licensed eBook in place of a textbook. Students would access these resources by logging into the online library to view, read, and download materials. Some eBooks purchased by the libraries offer an unlimited number of views allowing an entire class to view, read, and download the same eBook as many times as needed during the semester. Contact a librarian to get a list of library eBooks that can be used for this purpose. Copyright law makes it impossible to upload database journal articles to your Blackboard course, but linking to these materials is appropriate and can be done as many times as needed.

Faculty can assign readings from the Internet that are not open access. One would just need to link out to the resource rather than uploading a PDF to Blackboard to avoid any copyright violations. Faculty may also ask the copyright holder for permission to use content in a way that is not strictly expressed under the Fair Use rule that pertains to copyright exceptions (see below for an explanation of fair use). Google Scholar is one search engine that brings back more scholarly results than an Internet search alone. Other databases of scholarly material online can be found at the following repositories.

Involved Organizations

Below is a list of the major organizations involved in defining OER, investigating OER capabilities, and supporting programs of further development and understanding in the OER movement. It IS a movement. For a better understanding into the history of the open access movement, please look into the following resources:

  • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), "The aim of the DOAJ is to increase the visibility and ease of use of open access scientific and scholarly journals, thereby promoting their increased usage and impact. The DOAJ aims to be comprehensive and cover all open access scientific and scholarly journals that use a quality control system to guarantee the content. In short, the DOAJ aims to be the one-stop shop for users of open access journals."
  • Expanding Public Access to the Results of Federally Funded Research by Michael Stebbins, 2013, following the examples of the National Institute of Health, many other government sponsored research has followed suit in requiring the researchers to publish with a company that allows for government funded research to be placed in the open access environment within 12-18 months after the first publication. The effects of the mandate since 2016.
  • Florida Academic Library Association (FALSC) on OER, produces the Student Textbook Survey of Florida higher education students concerning the costs of textbooks conducted in 2010, 2012, and 2016.
  • Guerilla Open Access Manifesto by Aaron Swartz, 2008, one of the founders of Reddit who worked with programmers to make it a sellable resource. Aaron was a computer programmer devoted to the open access movement. He took his own life due to the zealous prosecution of Aaron over a security breach of scholarly resources and a download of millions of articles using an MIT server and unfettered access to JSTOR. See The Idealist: Aaron Swartz and the Rise of Free Culture on the Internet, book 2016 and The Internet's Own Boy DVD, 2016.
  • Remix: Making Art and Commerce Thrive in the Hybrid Economy, by Lawrence Lessig (co-founder of Creative Commons licensing. Harvard law professor and advocate of copyright law changes to reflect today's technology), 2008.
  • SHERPA/RoMEO "RoMEO is a searchable database of publisher's policies regarding the self-archiving of journal articles on the web and in Open Access repositories." Look for the journal you wish to publish in to get the facts about their open access policies. As the author of your research, be aware of what rights you sign over to the journal when you publish.
  • SPARC (Scholarly Publication and Academic Resources Coalition) "SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) works to enable the open sharing of research outputs and educational materials in order to democratize access to knowledge, accelerate discovery, and increase the return on our investment in research and education. As a catalyst for action, SPARC focuses on collaborating with other stakeholders—including authors, publishers, libraries, students, funders, policymakers and the public—to build on the opportunities created by the Internet, promoting changes to both infrastructure and culture needed to make open the default for research and education."
  • The Open Access Movement in Scholarly Communication by Michael Eisen 2003, Council on Library and Information Resources.