Open Educational Resources (OER): "teaching, learning, and research resources that are free of cost and access barriers, and which also carry legal permission for open use." (SPARC)
Further reading: Hood, C. (2016). Open educational resources. In S. Danver (Ed.), The SAGE encyclopedia of online education (pp. 878-879). Thousand Oaks,, CA: SAGE Publications Ltd. doi: 10.4135/9781483318332.n277
Open Access (OA): "the free, immediate, online availability of research articles combined with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment." (SPARC)
Using OER and OA for teaching and research
You're probably engaging with OER and OA regularly! Publishers such as Taylor & Francis, SAGE, Springer, and Elsevier all publish some open access journals and/or OA content. You can search Cabell's Directory for additional open access information. Most publishers will have webpages for their open access content. See links for additional information.
We often hear about OERs in reference to rising textbook costs. The University of Alabama's Student Financial Aid Office estimates a full-time, dependent undergraduate student will spend approximately $1,200 annually for textbooks.
Graduate student textbook estimates are not as easily discoverable. A recent Google search found book estimates ranging from $650 to $1300.
Use Scout or one of the recommended databases to stay abreast of OERs in development, practice, and/or research. Remember that search results will depend on terms, limiters, and selected databases.
Recommended search terms: OER, open educational resources, MOOCs, textbook cost, open education, open access
Recommended databases and selected articles are linked below.