Open Educational Resources (OER) are a subset of Open Access (OA ). Open Educational Resources are always Open Access but not all OA materials are considered OER.
Open Access initiatives refers to removing barriers such as "paywalls" and seek to make research articles and other works easy to find and read for free. These materials can be used as provided but do not include permissions to change or distribute the content.
Open Educational Resources are works that copyright owners have "opened" by removing some copyright restrictions and as such, are freely available to others. The idea is to allow others to "retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute" without needing to ask for permission, as long as the work is attributed to the copyright owner.
This means that anyone can access OA and OER materials without the information being behind the typical paywalls or barriers that scholarly information is often restricted by. Even in the US, many libraries cannot afford the subscriptions to elite journals and vice versa, many researchers cannot afford the often high publishing fees to get their work published in a scholarly journal. Peer-reviewed Open Access Journals are making it easier for researchers to access and share information.
Bottom Line: OA is pressuring publishers to lower prices while the general public is happy to find more relevant articles and books for free.
This organization, based at London's Open University, researches several aspects of OER, including student performance, retention, impact on teaching, and assessment.
Conducts and publishes original research on the costs, efficacy, and adoption of OER. Links to a bibliography of OER articles and dissertations authored by researchers affiliated with the project.
A list of OER organizations compiled by the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI).
Seeks to facilitate the use of OER and supports training, advocacy, and coordination of cooperative efforts for the benefit of members of CARLI and other Illinois stakeholders.
Detailed findings from the Babson Research Group (2014) about the current state of OER in higher ed. Includes helpful data on faculty awareness of OER and licensing, barriers to implementation, and a comparison of OER with traditional learning objects.