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Open Education Resources: About Open Access

A curated list of open education resources. The guide also contains information about licences and copyright as it pertains to open education resources.

Open Access

Open access is a sister open initiative to OER which aims to provide unrestricted access to scholarly research outputs including peer-reviewed journals, theses, scholarly monographs and book chapters. "By “open access” to [peer-reviewed research literature], we mean its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles ... without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself." (Budapest Open Access Initiative , 2012).

Dimensions of openness

  • What is open access?

Open access is a global movement which aims to provide unrestricted access to scholarly research outputs including peer-reviewed journals, theses, scholarly monographs and book chapters (Suber, P. 2004.) 

  •  What is an open textbook?

An open textbook is a textbook published under an open copyright license, and is distributed online to be freely used by students, teachers and members of the public. Many open textbooks are distributed in either print, e-book, or audio formats that may be downloaded for free or purchased at more affordable costs when compared to proprietary alternatives. 

  • What is open policy?

Open policy promotes the adoption of government and institutional policies which provide unrestricted access and open licensing of resources financed through public and philanthropic funding in order to maximize the impact of the investment. Here is an example of an open access policy at the University of Otago.

  •  What are open educational practices?

Open educational practices (OEP) refer to the distinctive practices and processes which support the use and reuse of open educational resources (OER) at educational institutions.


  1. (2019). Learning in a Digital Age (LiDA103).
  2. Suber, P. 2004. Open Access Overview (definition, introduction).

Content in this box is available under CC BY-SA 4.0

Kopernio and Unpaywall - Open Access plugins for Chrome

unpaywall image

Use this link to add the Unpaywall extension into your Chrome browser to find open access articles on your subject. To test if your app is working in Chrome, search for this journal article title: "Centerline Tracking for Quantification of Reverse Structural Remodeling of the Pulmonary Veins" - You should see a little unlocked padlock icon halfway down the right of your screen and if you click it,the PDF should open.


Use this link to add Kopernio extension to your Chrome browser to easily identify open access links. Search for this article to test - "Differences in the digital home lives of young people in New Zealand"

More on Open Access

This video from Piled High and Deeper (PHD) Comics explains open access.









Resources in this box are sourced from an OER course  - (2019). Learning in a Digital Age (LiDA103).

CC BY 4.0