Open Education, OpenAccess

Open Education: Why #OER Needs to Be Our Business and Policy

A couple weeks ago, I attended the WCET hosted webinar on our campus – Open Education: The Business & Policy Case for #OER presented by the Director of global learning at Creative Commons,  Cable Green (@cgreen).

Wait – what the heck is OER?

I did take a few notes (a.k.a. Tweets) and thought I would share my thoughts from the session – and general thoughts for OER materials.

{Irony: Not all of the OER Commons is CC licensed}

The real issue is about sharing and making a case for open policy on campus that fits a “business model” in higher education. This webinar addressed concerns and practices to implement open access policy that is good for business. Currently, many educational institutions do not value  or support “open” as an option. I am fortunate to work at a university that supports the open access movement and encourages sharing of scholarly research and publications. I have been thinking about my role as an open educator for a while, and what it means for my research, publications, editing, teaching, and learner engagement.

In reviewing the UNT institutional OER involvement, I know there is some progress for resources, but like many campuses, we have a way to go. It would be great to see more departments, faculty, and units participate in sharing resources and joining the #OER movement.  By swapping educational resources and encouraging remixing of ideas, we might be able to create more opportunities for collaboration  to enhance our learner experiences, including:

  • faculty mentoring
  • new ways instructional design development
  • program evaluation
  • cross-training of staff and faculty
  • student innovation/involvement
  • affordable learning materials e.g.
  • interdisciplinary learning commons
  • building capacity within your institution

If you’re at a publicly funded institution, your educational resources should be openly licensed – this just makes sense. Does your institution encourage and promote Open Access? Do you share Open Educational Resources at your school? Please share how you are #OER.

#AcWri, OpenAccess

SPARC Addendum & Author Rights for Publishing #OpenAccess

As part of the international open access week last fall, I attended the #SPARC Addendums and Author Rights Workshop facilitated by Kris Helge from the UNT Libraries. As an author and editor for a journal, this session reminded me about the critical stakeholders and expectations for the scholarly publishing process and the need to consider my own author agreements before signing away my work. I am fortunate enough to work and study at an institution who supports Open Access,and #OpenAccess publications.

I am also excited that other academic journals (e.g. JALN) are joining the #OA movement; however there are a number of peer-reviewed, academic publications who hold traditional publisher agreements and copyright limitations close to their heart. If you are an academic, scholarly author, or early career researcher and you have NOT heard about SPARC … then this blog post is for you!


After a brief review of copyrights and “traditional publishing agreements,” the workshop reminded me about of the importance of reading author agreements CAREFULLY and THOROUGHLY. A number of authors and early career researchers are just excited to get the chance to publish, that they rarely considering they are agreeing to transfer ALL OF THEIR COPYRIGHTS TO THE PUBLISHER. As researchers, we need to value our intellectual property and have a conversation with the publisher and inquire if any of the publishing agreement is negotiable.

Cue the SPARC Addendum

SPARC. or the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, advocates for collaboration among authors, publishers, and libraries to correct imbalances found in the academic publishing system.

For a more balanced approach for author and publisher agreements you might want to consider the SPARC Addendum. This is a FREE, legal document that modifies the publisher’s agreement and allows authors to keep specific copyrights related to intellectual property (e.g. articles).  The author is able to retain their desired publishing rights with limited restrictions, and the publisher retains non-exclusive rights to publish and distribute your work. Overall, it allows authors to consider the access of their research, placement of writing into an electronic repository, and get the proper attribution when your work is utilized.

Want to know more about SPARC and #OpenAccess publishing resources? Check them out :



Helge, K. (2012, October 24). SPARC Addendums and Author Rights Workshop. 2012 International Open Access Week @ UNT.