This guide combines both an overview of open access with selective lists of major repositories of open educational resources such as open textbooks, open courseware, and other multimedia learning materials that can be used by students and faculty.
Be sure to also check out the Scholarly Communications & Copyright homepage which provides further support for U of T's course reserves and syllabus service, copyright and fair dealing, academic publications, licensing, and much more.
The Budapest Open Access Initiative defines Open Access (OA) as the “free availability [of the material] on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.”
In order for a resource to qualify as Open Access, users should be able to:
Use this guide to locate free or lower-cost sources of course materials. A good place to start is the OER by Discipline page. For further information on open access repositories, such as OA journal repositories, please see open access support on the Scholarly Communications & Copyright webpage.
Instructors may use this guide to identify free or lower-cost eBooks and course materials for your students, or as a starting point for creating your very own OER. If you have found some appropriate OER links, you can then add these to Quercus, or get in touch with our staff at email@example.com for assistance in using UTL's Course Reserves and Syllabus Service .
For help creating permanent links to resources you would like to share with students, see this UTL guide.
Note on copyright-protected materials: What if the material you would like to post is copyright-protected? Please refer to the University of Toronto Fair Dealing Guidelines and the Copyright Basics and FAQ that is produced by the University of Toronto legal counsel. These documents provide in-depth information on copyright issues and will help answer questions about if and how much of a copyright-protected work can be shared freely with students or whether permissions should be sought to do so. Any in-depth copyright questions that cannot be answered by these guidelines can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a basic guide on creating your own OER texts see the page: Creating & Adapting OER Texts.
For a begginer's guide to creating other forms of OER, including Open Access Courses (Open Courseware), see the page: Developing & Publishing OER (Including OA Courses)
For further information on Open Educational Resources and Open Access (including initiatives, conferences, history, and pedagogy) see the final section 'Further Information on OER and OA' on the Developing OER page.
Websites & Resources:
Conferences & Events:
Courses & Toolkits:
Groups & Organizations:
Timelines, History, & Media:
Articles & Further Readings:
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