Practice Article

OER and Social Justice: A Colloquium at Oregon State University

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INTRODUCTION Librarians are most likely to address issues of scholarly communication, including information economics and information privilege, with faculty and graduate students who are researching and publishing. However, undergraduate students, being both consumers and creators of information, should also be aware of these issues and can become advocates for open access. While they may not be publishing, the high cost of information directly affects students. They are often unaware the economic models that drive the price of information creation and access. Scholarly communication is not often included in basic information literacy instruction. Including undergraduates in discussions or activities surrounding open access and social justice topics is one way to help create future advocates. DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM Two librarians developed a 2-credit, 10-week Honors College course on open educational resources and social justice targeted at undergraduate students. The purpose of the course was to raise awareness among undergraduates on issues of scholarly communication through activities, discussion, and reflection. Course activities were designed to help students discover, synthesize, and reflect on social justice and information access. NEXT STEPS Feedback from the students indicated that the course content was appropriate and that students had a better understanding of these issues and could formulate arguments both for and against open access. Some changes to the course structure and content are under development to give students more opportunities to act as advocates and informed citizens.

Keywords: OER, Social justice, Open Access, Publishing industry, Publishing economics

How to Cite: Buck, S. & Valentino, M. L. (2018) “OER and Social Justice: A Colloquium at Oregon State University”, Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication. 6(2). doi: