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Open Educational Resources (OER)

Open Educational Resources

Definition of OER: "Open educational resources (OER) are free and openly licensed educational materials that can be used for teaching, learning, research, and other purposes." — Creative Commons


Open access (OA) publishingOpen access publishing refers to making the fruits of scholarly research freely available to the public. It is an alternative that emerged in response to high subscription prices that publishers charge.

Open licensingThis is the practice of using copyright licenses that expand rather than restrict the user's freedoms. Most educational works are licensed under a Creative Commons license.

Openwashing: This term was coined by Audrey Watters and refers to the practice of appearing to be open (the 5 Rs) for marketing purposes, while in reality continuing proprietary practices.


This FAQ includes content that is adapted from SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition). Read their publication, OER Mythbusting, to learn about these facts in more detail.