OER or open educational resources are digital materials that can be reused in learning and freely available with open licenses for use. They are based on the materials and software that need to be organized, for example, creative commons licenses. In other words, no need to reinvent the wheel over and over again but “open” cultures based on the sharing of their material so that others can use and adapt it to their own circumstances.
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There is an incredible amount of guides on how to write scientifically in various forms, both as printed books, such as on a shelf 001.42, 400 or 808 at the library. But also online. University Libraries usually have their own guides and also collect other online.
Now Lund University released its guide that has previously only been available to their students and staff. It’s called AWELU, Academic Writing in English and addressed to the writer of academic English. This resource is now an Open Educational Resource, OER, which means that it’s freely available for anyone to use.
This guide is very comprehensive and, although it is slightly adapted to Lund library resources it’s also most useful to others. So take the opportunity to take advantage of this and improve or learn how to write academic texts.
Text: Lisa Carlson
The fact that more universities join the idea to offer free courses free of charge to students from all over the world, known as Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs, creates issues concerning policys and legal matters for research libraries since they are often asked to support the development of MOOCs.
MOOCs is a form of scientific publishing because they are created by faculty in order to be used in education and research libraries should, just as they do with other types of scientific publishing, advocate that Open Access is standard for materials within a MOOC. Otherwise, the libraries end up in the same situation as with scholarly publications, they are forced to buy back the resources that were once created in their universities.
Libraries’ work to set Open Access as a default for publishing research also includes a thought concerning equal access to educational materials for students. Libraries often have two roles in this that in no way is new to them. First, to support faculty in their need for materials and resources that can be used in the courses. Second, to support the copyright issues surrounding “open” movements. This may require new or revised versions of licenses like creative commons or GNU. Materials used in MOOCs will need to be reviewed before this development includes courses at Swedish universities and other higher education. This is where libraries have the chance to put open access licenses on the material used and created within a MOOC right from the start.
Source: Massive Open Online Courses: Legal and policy issues for research libraries, Brandon Butler (2012).
Text: Lisa Carlson