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Listservs, Forums, and Committees
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.
The OER Digest is a bi-weekly newsletter for open education updates, opportunities, and reminders. The primary audience is the OER community in the United States and Canada, although subscribers come from all around the world. New editions are published every other Thursday. The Digest is a joint project of SPARC, the Student PIRGs, and Creative Commons USA.
Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources
Are you interested in discussions about open education at community and technical colleges? Sign up here to join CCCOER’s community of practice email group. You will have an opportunity to post questions about OER to the many expert practitioners in this group and also to answer questions in your area of expertise. We also use this group to share many online and some face-to-face meetups focused on open education including our free monthly webinars and advisory meetings. The email group is hosted by GoogleGroups so you can search the archive for past discussion topics.
Open Education Platform Google Group
Run by the Creative Commons organization.
Rebus Community Forum
The Rebus Community is made up of faculty, students, and staff from schools, colleges, and universities around the world, along with regular people who believe that educational materials for every subject should be a free and open public resource.
ACRL/CJCLS OER Task Force
To enable CJCLS to help identify and support best practices related to OER textbook adoption, implementation, and creation; develop an online resource dedicated to Community Colleges involved with OER initiatives; provide a forum where participating libraries will be able to connect; work with and support already established groups involved with OER initiatives; provide CJCLS / ACRL / ALA with appropriate information and reporting as it relates the profession and the organization as whole; increase the awareness of the involvement of Community College Libraries with OER initiatives, lowering the cost of education, and student success within the library profession and education community.
Student PIRGs E-mail List
Here at the Student PIRGs (Public Interest Research Groups), we organize college students to solve some of the world's most pressing public interest problems.
Cape Town Open Educational Declaration
The Cape Town Declaration made a public statement to "call on educators, authors, publishers and institutions to release their resources openly. These open educational resources should be freely shared through open licences which facilitate use, revision, translation, improvement and sharing by anyone. Resources should be published in formats that facilitate both use and editing, and that accommodate a diversity of technical platforms. Whenever possible, they should also be available in formats that are accessible to people with disabilities and people who do not yet have access to the Internet."
"Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research materials in any medium that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others."
OER Commons describes a movement to define OER. "The worldwide OER movement is rooted in the human right to access high-quality education. The Open Education Movement is not just about cost savings and easy access to openly licensed content; it’s about participation and co-creation. Open Educational Resources (OER) offer opportunities for systemic change in teaching and learning content through engaging educators in new participatory processes and effective technologies for engaging with learning."
OER Handbook at the WikiEducator
"The term 'Open Educational Resource(s)' (OER) refers to educational resources (lesson plans, quizzes, syllabi, instructional modules, simulations, etc.) that are freely available for use, reuse, adaptation, and sharing.
The term 'open educational resources' was first used in July 2002 during a UNESCO workshop on open courseware in developing countries (Johnstone, 2005). Most definitions of the term include content, software tools, licenses, and best practices. OER is a burgeoning field of practice and exploration as evidenced by the growing number of research studies including the OECD (2007), OLCOS (2007), and Hewlett Foundation (Atkins, Brown and Hammond, 2007) reports. There is an emerging research community gaining momentum and focusing on investigating the impact of OER on learning and the education environment."
United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
"Open Educational Resources (OERs) are any type of educational materials that are in the public domain or introduced with an open license. The nature of these open materials means that anyone can legally and freely copy, use, adapt and re-share them. OERs range from textbooks to curricula, syllabi, lecture notes, assignments, tests, projects, audio, video and animation."
William & Flora Hewlett Foundation
The Hewlett Foundation defines OER as "open educational resources (OER), which are high-quality teaching, learning, and research materials that are free for people everywhere to use and repurpose."
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.