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Open Educational Resources (OERs)
Open Educational Resources (OERs) are any type of educational materials that are in the public domain or have an open license.
Though nearly two-decades-old, the Open Educational Resources environment is still maturing. Given that understanding, though, finding quality and peer-reviewed material in a wide range of disciplines is very possible and can be done quite readily. The real hurdle is the "last mile" of adoption by faculty.
Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT), started at Sonoma Status University, has 20+ years of experience authoring, collecting, and facilitating the use of educational objects. Through a wide community of staff, volunteers, and members, MERLOT works together to provide users of OERs (Open Educational Resources) teaching and learning materials with a wealth of services and functions that can enhance their instructional experience. MERLOT utilizes an editorial curation, peer-review, and user ratings to communicate the quality and value of educational and instructional materials.
The Open Textbook Library is supported by the Center for Open Education and the Open Textbook Network. These textbooks have been reviewed by faculty from a variety of colleges and universities to assess their quality. All textbooks are either used at multiple higher education institutions; or affiliated with an institution, scholarly society, or professional organization. The library includes over 650 textbooks, with more being added all the time.
Hosted at Rice University, OpenStax is a nonprofit educational initiative with a mission to give every student the tools they need to be successful in the classroom. Textbooks are updated when pedagogically necessary with updates happening each June. OpenStax textbook projects are developed and peer-reviewed by educators to ensure accuracy and readability.
OER Commons is a public digital library of open educational resources, as well as a collaboration platform that facilitates experts and instructors to identify, adapt, evaluate, and use resources to meet the needs of teachers and students. OER Commons is directed to a much wider audience and, though identifying certain education standards, does not focus on peer-review and editorial curation as other OER sites do.
The LibreText Project is an open textbook initiative of the University of California, Davis. LibreTexts prides itself in embracing new technologies to enhance student engagement, as content can be so much more than just text and images.
"Open SUNY Textbooks is an open access textbook publishing initiative established by State University of New York libraries and supported by SUNY Innovative Instruction Technology Grants. This pilot initiative published high-quality, cost-effective course resources by engaging faculty as authors and peer-reviewers, and libraries as publishing service and infrastructure."
"Directory of Open Access Books is a joint service of OAPEN, OpenEdition, CNRS and Aix-Marseille Université, whose primary aim is to increase discoverability of Open Access books. Academic publishers are invited to provide metadata of their Open Access books to DOAB. The directory is open to all publishers who publish academic, peer reviewed books in Open Access and should contain as many books as possible, provided that these publications are in Open Access and meet academic standards.
Open Courseware and Massively Open Online Courses (MOOC)
MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. OCW is open and available to the world and is a permanent MIT activity. MIT has made nearly all of its 2400+ courses and its content free and open since 2001.
The University of California, Irvine is a sustaining member of the Open Education Consortium (formerly the OpenCourseWare Consortium). The University launched its OpenCourseWare initiative in November 2006. Since then, it has rapidly grown to become one of the premier sites in the United States. Today, its YouTube channel is viewed more than a million minutes per month. Its OpenChem project contains video lectures and additional material for nearly all the courses needed to complete an undergraduate chemistry degree.
"The Open Course Library (OCL) [from Washington community and technical colleges] is a collection of shareable course materials, including syllabi, course activities, readings, and assessments designed by teams of college faculty, instructional designers, librarians, and other experts. Some of our materials (also called open educational resources, or OER) are paired with low cost textbooks ($30 or less). Many of the courses can be taught at no cost to students. Unless otherwise noted, all materials are shared under a Creative Commons (CC BY) license.OCL courses and materials have undergone testing for accessibility and have been designed using the industry-standard Quality Matters (QM) rubric for assessing the quality of online courses."
"A community-curated online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals....DOAJ is the preferred source of data for the gold open access journal compliance route."
"SHERPA RoMEO is an online resource that aggregates and analyses publisher open access policies from around the world and provides summaries of self-archiving permissions and conditions of rights given to authors on a journal-by-journal basis."
Alongside the growth of reputable peer-reviewed open access journals has come numerous freely available journals that state that they are open access and peer-reviewed but seek to generate revenue from authors seeking outlets for their research.
Founded in 2018, cOAlition S, is an initiative to make full and immediate Open Access to research publications a reality. Believing that Open Access is foundational to the scientific enterprise, beginning in 2021, all scholarly publications that are the result of research funded by public or private grants provided by national, regional and international research councils and funding bodies, must be published in Open Access Journals, on Open Access Platforms, or made immediately available through Open Access Repositories without embargo.
"A gold journal in Sherpa/Romeo terminology is an open access journal, which means that the journal’s content available on the publisher’s website is free for readers. A green journal, according to the database, is a journal which publishes non-free content, but which allows its authors to republish their articles in open access repositories."