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Open Access: Open access publishing is an important concept, which is clearly related to – but distinct from – that of OER. The term ‘open access’ is applied to many concepts, but usually refers either to:

  • ‘open access (publishing)’; or
  • ‘access to material (mainly scholarly publications) via the Internet in such a way that the material is free for all to read, and to use (or reuse) to various extents’; or
  • ‘open access journal, journals that give open access to all or a sizable part of their articles’.

Open access publishing is typically referring to research publications of some kind released under an open licence. OER refers to teaching and learning materials released under such a licence. Clearly, especially in higher education, there is an overlap, as research publications usually form an important part of the overall set of materials that students need to access to complete their studies successfully, particularly at postgraduate level.


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