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Open Access/Open Educational Resources

What's the difference between OA and OER?

What's the difference between Open Access and Open Educational Resources? 

Both OA and OER center around the same basic principle: accessibility of information
Read and watch below to find out more. 

Open Access (OA) - "Open access is a publishing model for scholarly communication that makes research information available to readers at no cost, as opposed to the traditional subscription model in which readers have access to scholarly information by paying a subscription" (

  • OA is about presenting research.
  • OA involves mostly research and data, specifically the sort of research and data that would typically be published in an academic journal and only be accessed through subscription databases. 
  • The goal of OA is to remove the paywall that restricts access to research. 

Open Educational Resources (OER) - "teaching, learning, and research materials that are either (a) in the public domain or (b) licensed in a manner that provides everyone with free and perpetual permission to engage in the 5R activities." Retain, Reuse, Revise, Remix, Redistribute. ( 

  • OER is about presenting educational materials
  • OER refers to online educational resources, i.e. textbooks, lessons, and instructional materials, and focuses on providing a means for other educators to retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute the educational material, with attribution to the original creator.  
  • The goal of OER is to make high-quality, up-to-date educational resources freely available to everyone, all over the world.