Thompson and Muir (2020)
|Thompson and Muir (2020)
|A case study investigation of academic library support for open educational resources in Scottish universities
|Thompson, Seth D., Muir, Adrienne
|Thompson, S. D., & Muir, A. (2020). A case study investigation of academic library support for open educational resources in Scottish universities. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 52(3), 685-693.
|Definitive , Open Access
|Key Related Studies:
|About the Data
|Among eighteen Scottish higher education institutions surveyed, two university libraries (Case A and Case B) offer OER services. Another case with a distinct OER service department is excluded here. Case A, a pre-1992 research-focused university, has an OER repository. Case B, from a post-1992 university, offers OER services and support. Data collection involved interviews and documentary analysis.
|Primary and Secondary data
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|Data Analysis Methods:
|Cross Country Study?:
|Government or policy study?:
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”The aim of the research was to investigate why and how Scottish university libraries support Open Educational Resources (OER) and to assess their ability to provide support services for OER development and use within higher education institutions. There has been little research on the role of academic libraries in supporting OER in Scotland and previous research found that there is a lack of awareness of OER in Scottish higher education institutions and few have OER policies. The case study methodology therefore involved two Scottish academic libraries providing OER services. The libraries’ motivation includes supporting teaching and learning and the development of educator digital skills and copyright knowledge. However, there are a number of barriers limiting the services the libraries are able to provide, particularly lack of human resources. The research confirmed the findings of previous research on the importance of institutional commitment, incentives for educator engagement, and understanding of copyright and licensing issues by educators and library staff.”
Main Results of the Study
Motivations for libraries to support OER include facilitating digital teaching, showcasing resources, helping educators find and develop skills for using OER. In terms of how the libraries support OER, Libraries are building OER services and repositories from the ground up, providing training and support. But they take a hands-off approach regarding responsibility for resources to avoid exacerbating digital skills gaps. Barriers to educator OER engagement include proprietary attitudes, quality concerns, lack of incentives, whilst solutions involve education on open licensing to reduce fears of losing control. Institutional culture affects OER engagement, and lack of OER policies not necessarily a problem if optional. On the other hand, research-intensive cultures undermine OER motivation. Some educator repository use is unintentionally for OER, rather for easy content embedding. This raises questions whether library repositories meet pedagogical needs. Sustainability and staff resources are challenges for libraries in providing OER support. Advocacy also needed to increase educator awareness. Libraries facilitate but put responsibility on educators for copyright and licensing.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
The authors suggest that “this research presents new knowledge in an under-researched field” and provide policy recommendations that “academic libraries can potentially provide support services, but institutional culture and policy would have to encourage and support OER with sufficient resources to allow the libraries to do more. External drivers, such as the inclusion of OER in teaching excellence assessments, may also be necessary so that higher education institutions have reputational and financial incentives to support OER and open practices.”
Coverage of Study