"Open" describes content that is "digital, online, free of charge, and fee of most copyright and licensing restrictions." Thus, material that is open is free of "price barriers (subscriptions, licensing fees, pay-per-view fees) and permission barriers (most copyright and licensing restrictions)" (Peter Suber).
In a university setting, "open" can apply to journal articles; books; research reports; research data; code; textbooks and other learning materials like lecture slides and notes; archival materials such as old newspapers, photographs, and manuscripts; and more.
When thinking about open content, remember that free is good, but open is better. Free content is good because it is accessible at no cost to anyone with an internet connection. Open content is better because it can be modified, reused, and redistributed. "Free" allows for passive consumption of content. "Open" allows for active engagement with content.
The purpose of this guide is to provide a simple list of open initiatives connected with the URI University Libraries. Some of our open activities (e.g. online theses and dissertations, archival collections) result in content that is free to read only. Other open initiatives (e.g. the Open Access Policy, the Open Access Fund, support for OA publishing) results in content that is openly licensed as well.
DigitalCommons@URI is the university's open access institutional repository. Content includes faculty publications, open access theses and dissertations, research data, creative works, university and departmental publications, student newspapers and yearbooks, student course work including Senior Honors projects, documentation of URI events, digital library collections, and more.
DigitalCommons@URI includes a full periodical publishing platform, including tools to help journal editors manage the peer-review process. Any URI faculty member, staff, or student may propose a new journal or move an existing journal only this platform. For more information, contact Library Digital Initiatives.
In adopting the University of Rhode Island Open Access Policy in 2013, URI faculty authors granted the University permission to make their research articles available to the public at no charge. Articles are be made available through URI's institutional repository, DigitalCommons@URI in tandem with their publication in scholarly journals.
In 2016, a statewide Open Textbook Initiative challenged Rhode Island’s higher education institutions to reduce college costs by saving students $5 million over five years by using open licensed textbooks. Efforts are underway at URI to promote the use of affordable course materials, including Open Educational Resources (OER) and other low- or zero-cost options.
Andrée Rathemacher, 03/2019-
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.