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Faculty OER Toolbox

This guide provides an introduction to OER and links to OER and other resources available.

What is Open Access?

Open Access (OA) resources are freely available for viewing and use. This practice makes peer-reviewed scholarly research available online at no cost to the user while allowing the creators to retain their copyrights. OA materials can supplement library online resources as many scholarly and peer-reviewed journals have opened their back issues as open access. Others have partial or total open access to all issues. While OA materials are still under copyright, most academic and educational use is permitted without permission. Open materials can usually be linked from an online syllabus or reading list, or linked in the learning management system. Be sure to check the copyright or permissions statement prior to use.

How do I find Open Access materials?

The library's Summon search engine indexes content from a variety of Open Access sources. Content available through these sources does not require authentication through the library's proxy server as it is freely available to all. The majority of peer-reviewed OA articles available are in the fields of medicine, biology, engineering, chemistry, and public health. However, most disciplines are represented in the content coverage. You can search for OA sources in Summon by following the steps below. 

1. Go to the Summon advanced search screen by selecting "More search options" in the search widget on the library web page.

Screenshot of Summon search widget with advanced search link hi-lighted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. On the advanced search screen, limit your search to "Open Access items only" by selecting the checkbox under "Limit to." Then enter your search terms, any other limiters, and click the search button.

Summon advanced search screen with the option to limit to "open access items only" hi-lighted.

 

3. In the search results list, Open Access materials are indicated by an open access symbol the resembles an open pad lock.

Screenshot of Summon search results list showing Open Access materials indicated by the open padlock symbol.