Thursday, 2 August 2012

Open Access Education Resources | Research Keys, Part 3

Research Keys is a series of blog posts which will cover essential resources on search engines and information intelligence; directories and sites for kids, K-12 and university students; global search sites for jobs and travel; multimedia search engines; online library guides; content-rich subject guides by educators and professionals; resources by foundations, universities and governments; open access repositories; content curation sites; similar sites - their application in research; free Excel tutorials; global and European research scholarship websites. Although the focus is clearly on research, many of the resources are useful for business and individual targeted search (e.g. competitive intelligence sites; sites for jobs and travel; library guides and content-rich websites provide information in many areas and the websites are freely accessible; Excel resources)

Research Keys, Part 3 is a collection of important open access education resources useful to students, researchers and lifelong learners. Two subcategories have been outlined - initiatives funded by public institutions/foundations, and resources which are crowdsourced or maintained by private individuals/firms

OA Education Resources supported by Governments, Foundations and Universities 

The International Network for the Availability of Scientific Information (INASP) was established by the International Council for Science. Here are some of their most important pages: collections of institutional repositories; scientific resources by subject; various open access resources; Programme for the Enhancement of Research Information (PERii): access to scholarly literature in emerging and developing countries

Global Open Access Portal (GOAP) supported by UNESCO: OA repositories can by browsed by academic area, country/region and OA key organizations; information about thesis and dissertation repositories; multilingual resources are available

Open Science Directory – a search tool for open access journals and journals in special programs for developing countries initiated by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO and created by EBSCO and Hasselt University Library; currently there are 13,000 journals; search by journal provider (EBSCO, DOAJ, etc), journal title and subject; explore the links to find more open access directories

National Science Digital Library - a project funded by the National Science Foundation: resources for K-12 and higher education students and educators in the sciences and technology

Science World - created and maintained by internet encyclopedist Eric Weisstein and sponsored by Wolfram Research; the website contains encyclopedic articles for the subjects mathematics, astronomy, chemistry, physics and scientific biography

Various links to learning resources compiled by the American Distance Education Consortium platform - created by a number of German universities provides an overview of search engines for open access research, some of which developed in the German-speaking countries. You can also find on the website information on OA repositories and journals by discipline as well as FAQ, blogs, links and literature on open access (on the left-hand side). Information is available in both German and English.

Connexions - a repository for open educational resources launched at Rice University and sponsored by several foundations, more than 17,000 learning objects or modules and 1,000 collections; search by keywords, browse by subject, popularity; here is a tutorial about how to search

OpenStax College is a non-profit organization initiated by Rice University. Its aim is to facilitate students' access to free learning content. The first textbooks – Introduction to Sociology and College Physics - were released in June 2012.

Learn NC is a program of the University of North Carolina geared towards K12 students and teachers. The OA resources include online textbooks for learning Mandarin Chinese and Arabic; audio recordings, maps and photographs from Asia and Latin America; lesson plans in environmental science and resources (a digital textbook) on the history of North Carolina

Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT) is a California-based repository of open access learning materials including tutorials, presentations, etc.; browse content by subject, media, keywords, personal collections

College Open Textbooks – a collection of sixteen educational non-profit and for-profit organizations affiliated with more than 200 colleges. You can see COT members here. The links to the textbooks listed on the site will lead you to the website of the respective repository. COT is therefore an excellent place to explore many repositories and other resourceful education sites

Open CourseWare Consortium - a worldwide community of hundreds of higher education institutions and associated organizations committed to advancing OpenCourseWare, a free and open digital publication of high quality educational materials for colleges and universities. OCW are free and openly licensed, accessible to anyone via the internet, organized as courses, and often including course planning materials and evaluation tools as well as thematic content

The Directory of Open Access Repositories (Open DOAR) maintains a comprehensive and authoritative list of institutional and subject-based repositories and archives by funding agencies like the National Institutes for Health in the USA or the Wellcome Trust in the UK and Europe. In addition ot publications, Open DOAR lists images and data-sets

Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD) - an international organization that promotes the creation, use, dissemination and preservation of electronic theses and dissertations (ETD). The ETD software emerged from Virginia Tech in 1996. Search the website or other free databases for theses and dissertations using these ETD search tools

Intute Onilne Guides: Intute was created by a consortium of seven UK universities as a free online service that helps students to find web resources for studies and research. Intute has compiled key web resources by subject and guides which can be downloaded. Articles produced by Intute are also available on the site. While Intute resources will remain online until 2014 but will not be updated, the virtual training suite containing 60 subject-based free online tutorials (with key web resources and open textbooks) will be updated and will be hosted by TurorPro. Materials are reviewed by lecturers and librarians from universities across the UK to help university students develop their Internet research skills. One of these tutorials is the Internet detective which aim is to teach students to use quality web resources.

Open Course Library (OCL) - a Washington-based initiative that has made available online courses for free as an alternative to the costly traditional textbooks in the US. On the left-hand side of the website you can see links to open access resources - textbooks, courses and other learning materials created and peer-reviewed by academics, and sponsored by foundations.

Open access learning resources in the e-Learning Europe directory: a portal supported by the EU Commission – choose document type ‘resources’, then filter by language, country and education level (training & work is also included)

Educational Resources by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN): teaching resources for middle and high school students (including interactive materials, games, posters, videos , etc) and education resources for postsecondary students

Educational resources by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for students and educators (including informal education)

Other OA Education Resources: Crowdsourced or launched by Private Individuals/Firms 

Science resources by subject in the Yahoo directory

iBerry, the Academic Porthole is a non-profit website indexing resources for learners and teachers

Wiki Educator list of open eLearning content repositories compiled by the Open Education Resource Foundation

Open Access Directory (OAD) - a wiki maintained by the OA community, links to OA journals, news, blogs, careers, courses, repositories by subject 

Open Directory Project (DMOZ): educational resources; resources in the science section and reference sites

InTech Open is one of the biggest open access publisher of scientific books: 1,200 books can be downloaded for free, over half of which in the fields of technology, engineering and physical sciences. Health and life sciences books are also very well represented. More recently, several books in the social sciences have been published. InTech Open has developed OA peer-reviewed journals in robotic systems, engineering, business management, nanotechnology and food science.

Free Literature is a non-profit initiative associated with the Project Gutenberg. Their list of 600+ links covers resources in many languages grouped into thematic sections such as literature & arts, computing, research & academic subjects

Book Boon is a London-based company publishing textbooks, business-oriented books and travel guides for free. While books focus on communication (social media, presentations and speaking) and computing skills (e.g. MS Office tutorials), textbooks are written by academics and cover subjects such as biology, chemistry, engineering, statistics and economics

Free Management Library - a free community service provided by Authenticity Consulting; articles on a variety of topics containing links to useful resources – currently 650 topics and 10,000 links; check their useful links to encyclopedias, business directories, job listings on the right-hand side of the page

Financial Management Training Center – a website launched by Matt Evans containing 20 free courses (pdf ); a formal online program is offered in addition (paid; certificate); external links to other sites

Links to content-rich websites maintained by educators and professionals as well as online library guides will be presented in forthcoming posts

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