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Open access provides more online educational resources

News Release Release Date: November 13, 2015 11:15 a.m.

The University of Regina is working to increase the online availability of educational resources. In partnership with the Government of Saskatchewan, the University will provide open access to educational resources, including textbooks, in high-enrolment first and second-year courses, reducing overall course costs for students.

The Province granted the University nearly $85,000 to support making publications available as free, open-source resources that can be downloaded or printed for use by students. The funding helps to cover costs associated with publishing, developing teaching aids or other instructional supports, and collaborating with other post-secondary institutions to encourage knowledge-sharing.

“Increasing the availability of open textbooks and other open educational resources will be a tremendous advantage for our students,” said Dr. Thomas Chase, Provost and Vice-President (Academic). “Open access to information enriches teaching and learning by providing greater flexibility and interactivity, and is a step forward in knowledge sharing and collaborative research.”

“The Government of Saskatchewan is committed making education more affordable for students,” Advanced Education Minister Scott Moe said. “This is another innovative way to support students and make education more accessible.”

University of Regina Press is overseeing the Open Access process for its parent institution. Recently it made  the twenty years of publicly funded research that went into writing  Clearing the Plains: Disease, Politics of Starvation, and the Loss of Aboriginal Life, by U of R professor, Dr. James Daschuk, available for free online. The book has sold almost 20,000 copies and received the  Governor General’s Award for history. Making this research available for anyone to use marks a radical step forward for Open Access.

“At University of Regina Press, we are committed to producing as many Open Access materials as resources permit,” said Press Director, Bruce Walsh. “We believe Open Access books help level the playing field between the haves and have-nots, spurs more research and publishing, and will lead to a renaissance in academic inquiry.”

 

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