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Unisa Durban Library: OER's


What are OER's

This guide provides insights to UNISA students and staff about the concepts of Open Access and Open Educational Resources, what they are, and why each is important to our research and Teaching & Learning activities.

What is Open Access?

According to SPARC, "Open Access is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles, coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment."¹

This means, according to the Budapest Open Access Initiative (2002), that users can "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."²

In contrast to the traditional journal publishing model, this means that research is accessible to all either through author-archived versions of articles that are placed in institutional repositories or other openly accessible websites, or directly through open access publications.


open access logo

"Open Access logo PLoS white" by
art designer at PLoS, modified by
Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, and
JakobVoss is dedicated to the public
domain, CC0 1.0.

The self-archiving option, wherein the author makes research available through an institutional repository, is known as Green OA. Making research available immediately through publication in an open access journal is known as Gold OA.