Freedom of Information

Open Educational Resources (OER) have gained significant attention and have been subject to various studies and analyses. The implications, benefits, and challenges of OER have been explored through a range of academic resources. These resources provide insights into the profitability of scientific publishing, the definition of OER, the effects of OER on student outcomes, faculty perceptions, and the broader philosophy and practices behind OER. Buranyi (2017) highlights the profitability of scientific publishing and its potential impact on the scientific community. Creative Commons (Undated) offers a concise definition of OER. Downes (2011) provides a comprehensive definition of OER, elucidating its characteristics and significance. Hilton III (2017) presents a special issue in “The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning” that contains several relevant articles examining the outcomes of openness and OER implementation.

These articles delve into topics such as incentivizing OER production and use (Annand & Jensen, 2017), OER impact on student course outcomes (Winitzky-Stephens & Picakvance, 2017), relationships between student-created OER, sustainability, and student success (Wiley et al., 2017), and more. Jhangiani and Biswas-Diener (2017) compile an anthology titled “Open,” which covers various perspectives on OER usage. Chapters explore topics such as the history of OER (Bliss & Smith, 2017), the transformation of education through openness (Huitt & Monetti, 2017), evaluating claims for OER (Weller et al., 2017), and open pedagogy (DeRosa & Robinson, 2017). McGreal (2015) presents a special issue in “The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning” focusing on OER and MOOCs. This issue includes articles on developing sustainable financial models for OER (Annand, 2015), integrating MOOCs in traditional classrooms (Israel, 2015), and value change in MOOCs (Ozturk, 2015). McGreal et al. (2013) compile a book titled “Open Educational Resources: Innovation, Research and Practice,” which offers comprehensive insights into various aspects of OER. This book features chapters discussing the role of MOOCs in education (Siemens, 2013), academic knowledge mobilization (Burgos & Ramirez Montoya, 2013), OER emergence at specific universities (Hodgkinson-Williams et al., 2013), and more. In the context of rising textbook prices, Moules (2016) discusses the tipping point reached by the cost of textbooks. Wiley (No Date) presents a discussion on defining the term “open” in open content. These academic resources provide diverse perspectives on OER, ranging from their definition and implementation to their impact on student outcomes and the broader transformation of education. The resources contribute to a holistic understanding of the implications and potential of OER in education.

Open knowledge sharing is crucial in meeting global education demand, as traditional barriers persist. By democratizing education through open educational resources (OERs), it reduces costs and barriers, fostering a more inclusive learning environment and supporting lifelong learning initiatives. This contributes to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal of ensuring quality education for all. Open learning reduces costs associated with traditional textbooks and learning materials, reducing disparities in access and improving learning outcomes. Additionally, open learning practices promote customization and learner engagement, enhancing student engagement and motivation. By leveraging the power of open educational resources and practices, societies can work towards providing quality education for all.


  • Buranyi, S. (2017, June 27). Is the staggeringly profitable business of scientific publishing bad for science? The Guardian. Creative Commons. Undated. What is OER?
  • Downes, S. (2011). Open Educational Resources: A Definition.
  • Hilton III, J. (Ed.). (2017). Special Issue: Outcomes of Openness: Empirical Reports on the Implementation of OER. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 18(4).
  • Jhangiani, R. S., & Biswas-Diener, R. (Eds.). (2017). Open: The philosophy and Practices that are Revolutionizing Education and Science. Ubiquity Press.
  • McGreal, R. (Ed.). (2015). Special Issue: OER and MOOCs. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 16(5).
  • McGreal, R., Kinuthia, W., Marshall, S., & McNamara, T. (Eds.). (2013). Open Educational Resources: Innovation, Research and Practice. Commonwealth of Learning (COL).
  • Moules, J. (2016, May 15). Rising price of textbooks reaches a tipping point. The Globe and Mail.
  • Wiley, D. (No Date). Defining the “Open” in Open Content.