What is Open Access?
Pioneered by the Hewlett Foundation, Open Access is encompassed in the foundation's Open Education initiative. The program's essential focus is to equalize access to knowledge by making high quality educational materials and opportunities more broadly available.
"The term “open education” is used to encompass the myriad of learning resources, teaching practices and education policies that use the flexibility of OER to provide learners with high quality educational experiences. Creative Commons defines OER as teaching, learning, and research materials that are either (a) in the public domain or (b) licensed in a manner that provides everyone with free and perpetual permission to engage in the 5R activities– retaining, remixing, revising, reusing and redistributing the resources.", The Hewlett Foundation.
The overarching goal of the Open Education strategy is to strengthen every student’s learning experiences by the effective use of open educational resources and practices. To do that, the foundation prioritizes developing effective pedagogy and practice along with content, building capacity for education systems to implement Open Educational Resources, and supporting a field that is responsive to diverse educators and learners.
Open Access Resources
Open Educational Resources 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 license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions.
Directory of Open Access Journals is a great resource for identifying OA journals in your area of study.
The site also offers a search engine to find scholarly articles freely available online.
Directory of Open Access Books provides direct access to over 13,000 academic peer-reviewed books and chapters from 282 publishers.
OpenStax, an inititative of Rice University, is a portal for OA textbooks for college and AP courses.
It features OA and paid instructor resources (e.g., PowerPoints, Canvas course shells, and more) alongside its textbooks.
The MOBIUS OER Commons Hub was created to highlight collections and facilitate collaboration around the sharing and creation of Open Educational Resources.