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Scholarly Communications

In 2003, ACRL defined scholarly communication as "the system through which research and other scholarly writings are created, evaluated for quality, disseminated to to the scholarly community, and preserved."

Open Educational Resources (OER)

Open educational resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials including media that have been made freely accessible, and openly licensed text, so that are useful for teaching, learning, and research. W&M Libraries can help you learn more about these materials and how to incorporate them in your courses.

Interested faculty can also integrate OpenStax textbooks and other OER resources through Barnes & Noble’s Faculty Enlight, the faculty textbook and course materials tool. Enlight can be integrated with Blackboard so faculty can customize course materials. They can also get estimates on student textbook costs, see what has been adopted for the course in prior semesters, and even see what other universities have adopted. Read more on their courseware information.

 

 Finding OER 

Here are a few reputable sources for openly licensed content:

Directory of Open Access Books: A service of OAPEN Foundation, an international initiative dedicated to Open Access monograph publishing, based at the National Library in The Hague. DOAB is being developed in close cooperation with Lars Bjørnshauge and Salam Baker Shanawa, who were also responsible for the development of the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ). Discoverable through Mason OER Metafinder (linked below).

Mason OER Metafinder: Described as the "Google of OER's", this site allows you to simultaneously search across 15 OER platforms including HathiTrust, MERLOT II, OAOpen.org, OER Commons, OpenStax, DPLA, Project Gutenberg and more. 

OASIS: Developed and maintained by SUNY, 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 64 different sources and contains 160,546 records.

OpenStax: A non-profit organization within Rice University offering open access peer-reviewed online textbooks to improve student access to education. Included in the Open Textbook Library and discoverable through Mason OER Metafinder (linked above).

Open Textbook Library: A growing collection of free, peer-reviewed, and openly-licensed textbooks which may be adapted to suit faculty purposes. Includes the OpenStax textbooks and is discoverable through Mason OER Metafinder (linked above).

W&M School of Education OER's: Access this collection on W&M ScholarWorks, the university's institutional repository.

 

  OER Alternatives

Interested in decreasing textbook costs for W&M students, but haven't found an OER yet? You might consider the following alternatives:

Authoring OER's

Authoring Open TextbooksThis guide is for faculty authors, librarians, project managers and others who are involved in the production of open textbooks in higher education and K-12. Content includes a checklist for getting started, publishing program case studies, textbook organization and elements, writing resources and an overview of useful tools. 

OER Commons: Run by the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education, this is a platform for publishing OER's. Per the site, "OER Commons offers a comprehensive infrastructure for curriculum experts and instructors at all levels to identify high-quality OER and collaborate around their adaptation, evaluation, and use to address the needs of teachers and learners."

The Rebus Community offers a collaborative model for open textbook publishing. Faculty, staff and students are all eligible to participate in a variety of capacities, from publishing to proof reading, providing help in identifying images, assisting with promotions and more.

For book templates, consider Overleaf book templates, which are free to use.