Using Static Site Generators for Scholarly Publications & Open Educational Resources

Author: Diaz, Chris

Abstract: Libraries that publish scholarly journals, conference proceedings, or open educational resources can use static site generators in their digital publishing workflows. Northwestern University Libraries is using Jekyll and Bookdown, two open source static site generators, for its digital publishing service. This article discusses motivations for experimenting with static site generators and walks through the process for using these technologies for two publications.

Citation: Diaz, C. (2018). Using Static Site Generators for Scholarly Publications and Open Educational Resources. Code4Lib Journal, 42, 2018-11-08.

Source: Code4Lib Journal

OER and OEP in the Global South: Implications and recommendations for social inclusion

Authors: Arinto, P. B., Hodgkinson-Williams, C. & Trotter, H.

Abstract: The Research on Open Educational Resources for Development (ROER4D) project was undertaken to provide a better understanding of the uptake of Open Educational Resources (OER) and their impact on education in the Global South. The 18 sub-projects that comprise the larger project investigated the extent of OER adoption by educators and students; the factors influencing OER adoption; and the impact of OER adoption on access to educational resources, the quality of teaching and learning, and some of the costs of education provision in 21 countries in South America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and South and Southeast Asia.

The findings of each of the sub-projects are discussed in the various chapters comprising this volume, and a meta-synthesis of these findings is presented in Chapter 2. Using a social realist lens, the meta-synthesis provides a comparative analysis of OER use, adaptation and creation across the research sites, and identifies the structural, cultural and agential factors that enable and constrain these Open Educational Practices (OEP). It points out disjunctures in adoption processes in the countries and institutions studied, and draws insights regarding the extent to which OER adoption can expand access to educational materials, enhance the quality of educational resources and educators’ pedagogical perspectives and practices, and improve the affordability and sustainability of education in the Global South.

This concluding chapter explores the implications of the main research findings presented in the meta-synthesis for the attainment of social inclusion, which lies at the heart of the Open Education movement. The Paris OER Declaration of 2012 explicitly calls upon states to “[p]romote and use OER to … contribut[e] to social inclusion, gender equity and special needs education [and i]mprove both cost-efficiency and quality of teaching and learning outcomes” (emphasis added). The Ljubljana OER Action Plan of 2017 likewise recognises that, “[t]oward the realization of inclusive Knowledge Societies … [OER] support quality education that is equitable, inclusive, open and participatory”. Understanding how OER, OEP and Open Education more generally, can help to achieve social inclusion is particularly critical in the Global South where increased demand, lack of resources and high costs limit the capacity of education systems to provide accessible, relevant, highquality and affordable education. This chapter aims to contribute to this understanding the potential of OER and their accompanying OEP through a critical exploration of the ROER4D findings in terms of whether and how OER adoption promotes equitable access, participatory education and empowerment of teachers and students, and thus helps to achieve social inclusion. The chapter begins with a brief overview of the relationship between OER and social inclusion, details the implications of ROER4D’s findings as they pertain to social inclusion, and concludes with recommendations for advocacy, policy, practice and further research in OER and OEP in the Global South.

Citation: Arinto, P. B., Hodgkinson-Williams, C. & Trotter, H. (2017). OER and OEP in the Global South: Implications and recommendations for social inclusion. In C. Hodgkinson-Williams & P. B. Arinto (Eds.), Adoption and impact of OER in the Global South (pp. 577–592). Retrieved from


Leveraging Licensing to Increase Access

Authors: Michelle Polchow

Abstract: The Affordable Course Materials Initiative (ACMI) is a library-driven program established by University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), designed to leverage existing library resources, encourage open educational resources (OER) content creation, identify cost-effective digital projects and modify existing license agreements in order to create reduced cost course materials for students, as an alternative to rising commercial textbook costs.  The faculty incentivized program encourages instructors to partner with the library to leverage free or low-cost resources, adjusting syllabi and assignments as needed.  ACMI’s two-year pilot resulted in convincing evidence that the service supported a broad and diverse range of campus disciplines, achieved substantial cost savings, served as a catalyst for community building with multiple stakeholders, and gained campus administration recognition with an ongoing commitment of financial support to permanently integrate the initiative as an ongoing component of library services.


Citation: Polchow, Michelle. (2018). Breakout Session: Leveraging Licensing to Increase Access. Presented by Jennifer Chan, Scholarly Communication Librarian, University of California Los Angeles. Journal of Copyright in Education and Librarianship, 2(1), 1–3.

Source: Journal of Copyright in Education and Librarianship

Open Pathways to Student Success: Academic Library Partnerships for Open Educational Resource and Affordable Course Content Creation and Adoption

Author: Joseph A. Salem Jr.

Abstract: This paper explores the current state of open educational resources (OER) including notable library-lead and multi-institutional programs. The potential for OER and affordable course material creation and adoption programs to impact student retention and persistence is examined. Potential additional partnerships and future directions for library-lead programs are discussed as well as the framework necessary for assessing the impact of library-lead OER initiatives.

Citation: Salem, J. A. (2017). Open Pathways to Student Success: Academic Library Partnerships for Open Educational Resource and Affordable Course Content Creation and Adoption. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 43(1), 34–38.


Source: Open Pathways to Student Success: Academic Library Partnerships for Open Educational Resource and Affordable Course Content Creation and Adoption

Learning Analytics and the Academic Library: Professional Ethics Commitments at a Crossroads

Authors: Kyle M.L. Jones and Dorothea Salo

Abtract: In this paper, the authors address learning analytics and the ways academic libraries are beginning to participate in wider institutional learning analytics initiatives. Since there are moral issues associated with learning analytics, the authors consider how data mining practices run counter to ethical principles in the American Library Association’s “Code of Ethics.” Specifically, the authors address how learning analytics implicates professional commitments to promote intellectual freedom; protect patron privacy and confidentiality; and balance intellectual property interests between library users, their institution, and content creators and vendors. The authors recommend that librarians should embed their ethical positions in technological designs, practices, and governance mechanisms.

Citation: Jones K and Salo D. (2017) Learning Analytics and the Academic Library: Professional Ethics Commitments at a Crossroads. College & Research Libraries (Preprints). Available at


Pragmatism vs. Idealism and the Identity Crisis of OER Advocacy

Author: Rajiv Sunil Jhangiani

Abstract: The open education (OE) movement is in its adolescent years and experiencing an identity crisis as it is pulled towards both pragmatism (marked by an emphasis on cost savings, resources, and incremental change) and idealism (marked by an emphasis on permissions, practices, and radical change). In this article, I describe these tensions (free vs. freedom; evolution vs. revolution; and resources vs. practices) before going on to argue in favour of a nuanced resolution to this Eriksonian crisis that reflects the diverse needs and motivations of educators. The merits of an integrated approach and its implications for the future trajectory of the OE movement are discussed.

Citation: Jhangiani, R. S. (2017). Pragmatism vs. idealism and the identity crisis of OER advocacy. Open Praxis, 9(2), 141-150. doi: 10.5944/openpraxis.9.2.569


Open Educational Resources and Rhetorical Paradox in the Neoliberal Univers(ity)

Author: Nora Almeida

Abstract: As a phenomenon and a quandary, openness has provoked conversations about inequities within higher education systems, particularly in regards to information access, social inclusion, and pedagogical practice. But whether or not open education can address these inequities, and to what effect, depends on what we mean by “open” and specifically, whether openness reflexively acknowledges the fraught political, economic, and ethical dimensions of higher education and of knowledge production processes. This essay explores the ideological and rhetorical underpinnings of the open educational resource (OER) movement in the context of the neoliberal university. This essay also addresses the conflation of value and values in higher education—particularly how OER production processes and scholarship labor are valued. Lastly, this essay explores whether OER initiatives provide an opportunity to reimagine pedagogical practices, to reconsider authority paradigms, and potentially, to dismantle and redress exclusionary educational practices in and outside of the classroom. Through a critique of neoliberalism as critically limiting, an exploration of autonomy, and a refutation of the precept that OER can magically solve social inequalities in higher education, the author ultimately advocates for a reconsideration of OER in context and argues that educators should prioritize conversations about what openness means within their local educational communities.

Citation: Almeida, Nora. “Open Educational Resources and the Rhetorical Paradox in the Neoliberal Univers(ity).” Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies 1.1 (2017).


Engaging Faculty and Reducing Costs by Leveraging Collections: A Pilot Project to Reduce Course Pack Use

Authors: Nelly Cancilla, Bobby Glushko, Stephanie Orfano, Graeme Slaght

Abstract: Academic libraries have the privilege of serving many roles in the lives of their institutions. One role that is largely untapped is their ability to actively leverage their collections to support faculty teaching and to reduce student out-of-pocket costs by eliminating systemic double payment for course materials.  This paper details a project by the Scholarly Communications and Copyright Office (SCCO) at the University of Toronto that aimed to reduce this systemic double payment by leveraging collections and electronic reserves to provide a new service, the Zero-to-Low Cost Courses. Building on existing relationships with faculty, SCCO staff reached out to potential candidates, identified library licensed materials in their printed course packs, and created digital course packs which students could use at no cost.

Citation: Cancilla, N. et al., (2017). Engaging Faculty and Reducing Costs by Leveraging Collections: A Pilot Project to Reduce Course Pack Use. Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication. 4, p.eP2137. DOI:


Source: Engaging Faculty and Reducing Costs by Leveraging Collections: A Pilot Project to Reduce Course Pack Use

Open: The Philosophy and Practices that are Revolutionizing Education and Science

Authors: Rajiv Jhangiani, Robert Biswas-Diener (eds.)

Abstract: Affordable education. Transparent science. Accessible scholarship. These ideals are slowly becoming a reality thanks to the open education, open science, and open access movements. Running separate—if parallel—courses, they all share a philosophy of equity, progress, and justice. This book shares the stories, motives, insights, and practical tips from global leaders in the open movement.

Citation: Jhangiani R. & Biswas-Diener R. 2017. Open: The Philosophy and Practices that are Revolutionizing Education and Science. London: Ubiquity Press. DOI: