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Loyola University Chicago Libraries

Open Educational Resources

This guide is designed to assist in the exploration, identification, evaluation, selection, and adoption of Open Educational Resources & Open Access.

Open Educational Resources & Open Access

What are open educational resources?

"OER are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge." [1]

Why use open educational resources?

If you need extra help with a particular topic OER can provide some learning support. Be it through tutorial videos or free e-books. Additionally, it gives the opportunity to independently learn on a particular topic of interest.

Differences between OA and OER:

Open Access refers to removing barriers such as "paywalls". Open Access initiatives seek to make research articles and other works easy to find and read, for free. It does not address copyright, but rather the methods of funding and accessing the research or other works.

Open Educational Resources are works that copyright owners have "opened" by adding a Creative Commons or other License that removes some copyright restrictions.  The ideal is to allow others to "retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute" without needing to ask for permission, as long as the work is attributed to the copyright owner, giving credit where it is due.

The Open Educational Resources (OER) movement promotes the creation of "Open Access" works that are free to use. This includes promoting the use of high-quality textbooks that are free to students, reducing an important barrier for under-resourced students.  This reduces the gap in access to knowledge between people of different economic circumstances. 

The Open Access movement argues that users shouldn’t have to pay twice for access to the research supported by public funds.  They call for free “public access to publicly funded research.” 

OER Resources

Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

OER Metafinder: MOM

George Mason University has developed a metafinder that searches the leading repositories for Open Educational Resources. Users can search across all sites or search specific sites. Enter terms describing the information needed to find open educational resources on a topic.

Search: Mason OER Metafinder (MOM)

The Mason OER Metafinder searches seventeen targets in real-time, instantly returning the top several hundred or so relevant hits from each site. Because it is a real-time search, it can take a bit longer than searches of pre-indexed content; however, as compensation the results returned are absolutely up-to-the-minute for each search target. Additional results continue to trickle in as the search continues running and you begin examining your results.

OASIS: Openly Available Sources Integrated Search

Openly Available Sources Integrated Search (OASIS) is a search tool that aims to make the discovery of open content easier. OASIS currently searches open content from 72 different sources and contains 165,592 records.

OASIS is being developed at SUNY Geneseo's Milne Library in consultation with Alexis Clifton, SUNY OER Services Executive Director.