Answered By: ic @westernsydney.edu.au
Last Updated: Nov 18, 2021     Views: 6

Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research materials in any medium - digital or otherwise - that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open licence, such as a Creative Commons Licence, or GNU General Public Licence, that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions. 

The term ‘Open’, when used on its own, refers to transparent and freely available for use, reuse, remixing, and sharing. Adding another term such as open ‘source’ or open ‘access’ implies a difference to the conventional, closed or non-transparent approach. You might also come across the following references to how the term ‘open’ is applied, such as: 

  • Open content usually refers to research or educational material that can be distributed and reused freely. The types of content can range from previously published books and articles to educational software simulations and lesson plans. Critical concerns for those who provide or use open content include ensuring that the material can be easily adapted, integrated, and reconfigured in new online settings. Open content includes documents, images, and audio or video presentations that may be freely and legally reproduced, edited, excerpted, expanded, and republished.   
  • Open access (OA) means free access to information and unrestricted use of electronic resources for everyone. Any digital content can be Open Access (OA), from texts and data to software, audio, video, and multi-media. While most of these are related to text only, a growing number integrate text with images, data, and executable code. OA can also apply to non-scholarly content, like music, movies, and novels.  

A publication is considered in Open access if: 

  • Its content is universally and freely accessible, at no cost to the reader, via the Internet or otherwise 
  • The author or copyright owner irrevocably grants to all users, for an unlimited period, the right to use, copy, or distribute the article on the condition that proper attribution is given. However, it is essential always to check the licence of openly (CC) licensed research to ensure it allows others to change the original 
  • It is deposited immediately, in full and in a suitable electronic form, in at least one widely and internationally recognised open access repository committed to open access

 

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