OER14 homeApplication › Dr Beck Pitt

Spreading the word! Librarians and open educational resources

Tuesday 9:00-10:30 (1), Marlborough Suite

Type: Short paper

Theme: Open policy, research, scholarship and access

http://oerresearchhub.org/ #oer14 #abs45


Dr Rebecca Pitt, Research Assistant, The Open University, [email protected]
Nancy Graham, Library Academic Liaison Manager, University of Roehampton, [email protected]
Eleni Zazani, Learning Support Adviser, Birkbeck College, [email protected]



The Hewlett funded OER Research Hub (OERRH) project (REF1) works collaboratively with projects and initiatives around the world to examine the impact of open educational resources (OER). As part of expanding our collaboration base, and engage with a wider range of stakeholders, we have developed a programme of research examining librarians attitudes and practices toward OER (ranging from measuring the impact of OER to licensing) with librarians involved in the Co-PILOT project (REF2). This paper will present the findings of our research and reflect more generally on the process of collaborative research.


Building a network of individuals and initiatives is central to our research strategy. OERRH has developed a survey with Co-PILOT which incorporates focused questions on a range of our 11 hypotheses (including financial benefits of using OER, reflective practice, the impact on institutions of involvement in OER projects, licensing and possible challenges of using OER) in addition to developing specific questions around the curation of OER, and measuring impact. These additional questions were designed to build on the results of a range of related research, including preliminary work carried out by SCORE (De Beer, 2012), the Centre for Academic Practice & Learning Enhancement (CAPLE) at the University of Strathclyde and the Centre for Educational Technology and Interoperability Standards (CETIS) (Bueno-de-la-Fuente, 2012), and the outcome of a survey done by Nancy Graham and Jane Secker (2012). The most recent survey conducted by Taylor & Francis (2013) and related reports that examine the role of Librarians in an open access academic environment (for example Harris, 2012; TBI Communications on behalf of InTech, 2012) were also taken into account when drafting the questionnaire.

The OERRH is currently running two versions of this questionnaire, both launched during Open Access week 2013, which have been disseminated and promoted via a range of outlets, including conferences (e.g. OpenEd 2013), OERRH channels, a range of mailing lists (e.g. IL-OER, LIS-LINK, UNESCO WSIS) and a range of social media.


To date, our questionnaire has received a total of 295 responses. Our data collection phase will close early January 2014. OER14 represents the perfect opportunity to showcase the data gathered from this study. We also anticipate being able to report on next steps for this collaboration, including the creation of relevant case studies. This paper will also reflect on effective collaborative working practices, particularly those which have arisen through the OERRH’s focus on building networks beyond our initial collaborations.


Analysis of questionnaire results will be contextualised within both the wider context of previous surveys (e.g. research carried out by Co-PILOT, the recent Taylor & Francis White Paper, SCORE library survey etc.) whilst also making comparisons with other research and data conducted as part of the OERRH project. This paper will also reflect directly on the challenges identified by librarians and indicate potential avenues for addressing these and developing a “community of practice.” (REF2)


Bueno-de-la-Fuente, G. (2012). The roles of libraries and information professionals in open educational resources (OER) initiatives. « publications. Available from: http://publications.cetis.ac.uk/2012/492. [Accessed 23 November 2013].
De Beer, T. (2012). SCORE library survey report. Available from: http://www.open.ac.uk/score/news/score-library-survey-report. [Accessed 23 November 2013].
Graham, N., and Secker, J. (2012). Librarians, information literacy and open educational resources: report of a survey. Available from: http://delilaopen.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/findingsharingoers_reportfinal1.pdf. [Accessed 23 November 2013].
Harris, S. (2012). Moving towards an open access future: the role of academic libraries. London. Available from: http://www.uk.sagepub.com/repository/binaries/pdf/Library-OAReport.pdf. [Accessed 23 November 2013].
Taylor & Francis. (2013). Facilitating access to free online resources: challenges and opportunities for the library community. Available from: http://www.tandf.co.uk/libsite/pdf/TF-whitepaper-free-resources.pdf. [Accessed 23 November 2013].
TBI Communications on behalf of InTech. (2012). Assessing the role of librarians in an Open Access world. Croatia. Available from: http://www.intechopen.com/js/ckeditor/kcfinder/upload/files/Role of the Librarian_Survey_Findings_Jun12.pdf. [Accessed 23 November 2013].
1. OER Research Hub project. (n.d.). Available from: http://oerresearchhub.org/. [Accessed 23 November 2013].
2. Co-PILOT: http://delilaopen.wordpress.com/project-co-pilot/. [Accessed 23 November 2013].

Funding acknowledgements

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (who fund the OER Research Hub)

Further details

Keywords: librarians, OER, impact, practice (further keywords TBC)

Website: http://oerresearchhub.org/

Dr Beck Pitt, Research Assistant, The Open University

Twitter: @BeckPitt

Twitter abstract: To be confirmed.