The OER Starter Kit – Simple Book Publishing

“This starter kit has been created to provide instructors with an introduction to the use and creation of open educational resources (OER). The text is broken into five sections: Getting Started, Copyright, Finding OER, Teaching with OER, and Creating OER. Although some chapters contain more advanced content, the starter kit is primarily intended for users who are entirely new to Open Education….”

Beyond Affordable Learning: How to Improve Access and Equity with Open Educational Resources (while also Saving Students Money)

Over the last decade, the awareness and use of open educational resources (OER) has seen significant expansion as educators and institutions increasingly avail themselves of educational materials that are either free from copyright (i.e. in the public domain) or are available for free use and adaptation under an open sharing license (e.g. those developed by Creative Commons). The word “free,” however, does not accurately describe the materials that these individuals and organizations are using, because “open” materials explicitly permit use and adaptation in ways that much freely-accessible content doesn’t. This course covers the basics of open content licensing and explores a variety of existing OER initiatives to help identify a set of best practices that may be scaled across institutions.”

Open Access Journals in the Middle East and Iran

Almost 650 journals are currently published in the Middle East ( Almost two-thirds of these journals are published in Iran ( Many research institutions publish their own journals. For some incentives, even a single university publishes several journals. For example, currently Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences publishes 62 journals (; Tehran University of Medical Sciences, 57 ( This large number of journals published by a scientific institution such as a university in a developing country, is because the raison d’être for scientific publishing in developing countries is quite different from that in developed nations….

All, but a few, of these journals are OA. In fact, almost all biomedical journals published in the Middle East (and many other developing countries) have been published and distributed internationally gratis long before the era of the Internet, online publishing, and the OA movement. They have merely published for enjoying the prestige and bringing promotion credit for the institution and the faculty members. After the introduction of OA movement, nonetheless, another incentive has come into play—making money….”

OA education ‘needed for Chinese researchers’ | Research Information

Chinese researchers need a lot more education on the potential benefits of open access publishing, according to a new industry report.

Geographical Trends in Open Access, published recently by Editage, specifically looks at what researchers from different regions around the world think about open access publishing.

Donald Samulack, the company’s president of US operations, wrote in Research Information that the low level of awareness of open access in China is surprising, given that China is now the leading producer of research papers globally and that Chinese agencies have been promoting various forms of open access publishing for several years now….”

Professional development varies widely to support instructors teaching online and using OER

“Faculty members in the State University of New York system who want to transition from proprietary course materials to open educational resources can take advantage of the OER faculty fellowship, a semester-long series of seminars and workshops that culminates in the creation of a new openly licensed course resource. The program originated in 2014 and has grown since New York state’s substantial investments in OER….”

Online Registration Form for Database of African Theses and Dissertation Incl Research (DATAD-R) training in Botswana, 25-28 June,2019. Survey

The Association of African Universities, AAU is organizing the DATAD-R VII workshop under the theme “Rethinking Institutional Repositories for Knowledge Management in Higher Education Institutions”. This training will be held in collaboration with Botswana International University of Science and Technology in Palapye, Botswana from 25 to 28 June 2019. The workshop is to strengthen the capacity of  University Libraries to manage and disseminate the research output from their faculty and students widely for greater impact.  It will afford an opportunity for participants to share their experience and learn about new trends in electronic content management….”

Interview with Jon Tennant on Open Science MOOC | Eurodoc

“The Open Science MOOC, which stands for massively open online community, is a project based around people. It is a peer-to-peer community of practice, based around sharing of knowledge and ideas, learning new skills, and using these things to develop as individuals, so that research communities can grow as part of a wider cultural shift towards openness.

We are a mission-driven project to help set the default to ‘open’ for all global research, and driven almost purely by volunteers. Anyone can contribute, and anyone can participate….”

Developing skills for scholarly communication | Jisc scholarly communications

“Over the last 2 years, representatives of several organisations and institutions  with an interest in skills development around scholarly communication have been trying to progress support in this area in a collaborative way (see full list of members below).

Blog posts by Danny Kingsley on the Cambridge Unlocking Research blog (July 2017, Nov 2017) describe initial discussions and early activities around identifying issues to address. These centred around concerns around a lack of training and support for these relatively new roles and a confusion for potential applicants around what these roles actually involve.

This post reviews activities from 2018 and looks ahead to this year. Most of the last year’s activities were related to library staff working in scholarly communications, mainly due to the heavy representation of librarians on our group, but also that this is a major area of development in academic libraries.

Our initial aim is to explore support for librarians and then review this to see to what extent it is appropriate for others involved in scholarly communications, such as research managers, researcher developers and, of course, researchers themselves.

One of first activities was to identify existing current provision in order to identify clearly the gap in what’s needed. We’ve drawn together this list and will keep updating – please add to it if there’s something you know of that’s missing….”