What is Open Content?


The movement toward open content reflects a growing shift in the way scholars in many parts of the world are conceptualizing education to a view that is more about the process of learning than the information conveyed. Information is everywhere; the challenge is to make effective use of it. Open content uses Creative Commons and other forms of alternative licensing to encourage not only the sharing of information, but the sharing of pedagogies and experiences as well. Part of the appeal of open content is that it is a response to both the rising costs of traditionally published resources and the lack of educational resources in some regions. As this open, customizable content — and insights about how to teach and learn with it — is increasingly made available for free over the Internet, people are learning not only the material, but also the skills related to finding, evaluating, interpreting, and repurposing the resources. Recent data from Edcetera indicate that open educational resources make up three quarters of the content in most MOOCs; paid content, such as required textbooks, is less than 10%. These data reflect a notable transformation in the culture surrounding open content that will continue to impact how we think about content production, sharing, and learning.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to academic and research libraries?

  • The huge implication here is for libraries to use technologies like Open Journal Systems or Open Monograph Systems to become part of the scholarly communications ecosystem by working with faculty and researchers to host open access journals and monographs and perhaps even data. This is certainly a way forward beyond the stranglehold of the big commercial publishers. We can take our work back. - jdupuis jdupuis May 8, 2014
  • Academic libraries need to include open educational resources in their discovery services. In my experience the focus on Patron Driven Acquisitions in recent years has made the acquisition of purchased content more efficient, but there have not been similar improvements in presenting open educational resources as an alternative. - g.payne g.payne May 10, 2014
  • critical to creation of new knowledge and its discovery (dewey)

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • I think terminology could be re-thought here - this seems to be about Open Educational Resources (OER) and the theme about Open Licensing seems to be about Open Access.- JoanLippincott JoanLippincott May 9, 2014 - piguet piguet May 10, 2014 - g.payne g.payne May 10, 2014
  • should include new forms of scholarly communication and dissemination, i.e. open publishing (dewey)

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on academic and research libraries?

  • provides new avenues and platforms for knowledge creation
  • when employed collaboratively it increases the global reach of scholarly resources (dewey)

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?