open educational resources, OER, open access, libraries of higher education institutions, university libraries


Objective. This exploratory literature review seeks to identify both emergent consensus areas and research gaps in recent scholarly literature on Open Educational Resources (OERs). Despite the perception of OERs as universally available, these involve persistent barriers. The presence of institutional policies, adequate incentives and support frameworks for the use and sharing of OERs as well as raising awareness about their availability is likely to be critical for their successful deployment. Methods. This study made use of the case study method to arrive at its conclusions. As part of this, secondary data were collected from relevant article searches conducted in Google Scholar and at the Harvard Open Access Tagging Project website. Only papers published in the last five years, e.g., in the years 2016-2021, were taken into consideration. Given that this study has applied the methodology of qualitative comparison and case study construction, this limits the validity of its conclusions to the settings from which the original primary findings were obtained or for which OER recommendations were produced. Results. As part of this research, 16 scholarly articles and research reports were identified as being of relevance for this study. The research questions this study has sought to answer are as follows: How OERs have developed in recent years? What was the impact of the pandemic period on OER use? What are the key barriers for OER deployment? What are the facilitating factors for OER implementation at libraries, colleges and universities? What are the effects of OERs? Conclusions. Recent reports indicate that the pandemic period has both increased the awareness of OERs among education institutions and provided an impetus for capacity building efforts in this domain. Yet, OER effectiveness continues to be under-researched, despite a tentative consensus in scholarly literature concerning the critical role for OER efficacy of institutional support and collaboration frameworks.

Author Biography

Pablo B. MARKIN, The University of the People (Pasadena, California)

PhD (Modern Languages and Cultural Studies),
Adjunct Instructor (Arts and Sciences)


Berti, M. (2018). Open educational resources in higher education. Issues and Trends in Learning Technologies, 6(1). Retrieved from (in English)

Boufarss, M., & Harviainen, J. T. (2021). Librarians as gate-openers in open access publishing: A case study in the United Arab Emirates. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 47(5), 1-9. doi: (in English)

Cronin, C. (2017). Openness and praxis: Exploring the use of open educational practices in higher education. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning: IRRODL, 18(5), 15-34. doi: (in English)

Henderson, S., & Ostashewski, N. (2018). Barriers, incentives, and benefits of the open educational resources (OER) movement: An exploration into instructor perspectives. First Monday, 23(12). doi: (in English)

Kabugo, D. (2020). Utilizing Open Education Resources to enhance students' learning outcomes during the COVID-19 schools lockdown: A case of using Kolibri by selected government schools in Uganda. Journal of Learning for Development, 7(3), 447-458. Retrieved from (in English)

Lassoued, Z., Alhendawi, M., & Bashitialshaaer, R. (2020). An exploratory study of the obstacles for achieving quality in distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Education Sciences, 10(9), 232, 1-13. doi: (in English)

Hassall, C., & Lewis, D. I. (2017). Institutional and technological barriers to the use of open educational resources (OERs) in physiology and medical education. Advances in Physiology Education, 41(1), 77-81. doi: (in English)

Hood, N., & Littlejohn, A. (2017). Knowledge typologies for professional learning: educators’(re) generation of knowledge when learning open educational practice. Educational Technology Research and Development, 65(6), 1583-1604. doi: (in English)

Luo, T., Hostetler, K., Freeman, C., & Stefaniak, J. (2020). The power of open: benefits, barriers, and strategies for integration of open educational resources. Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning, 35(2), 140-158. doi: (in English)

Machado, M. S. P., Sepúlveda, G. C. T., & Montoya, M. S. R. (2016). Educational innovation and digital competencies: the case of OER in a private Venezuelan university. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, 13(1), 1-10. Retrieved from (in English)

Maron, N., Alperin, J. P., & Shockey, N. (2021). SPARC COVID Impact Survey: better understanding libraries' approach to navigating the pandemic & its impact on support for open initiatives. Report, September. Retrieved from (in English)

McGowan, V. (2020). Institution initiatives and support related to faculty development of open educational resources and alternative textbooks. Open Learning: The Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning, 35(1), 24-45. doi: (in English)

Mehta, D., & Wang, X. (2020). COVID-19 and digital library services – a case study of a university library. Digital library perspectives, 36(4), 351-363. doi: (in English)

Mishra, S. (2017). Open educational resources: removing barriers from within. Distance education, 38(3), 369-380. doi: (in English)

Santos-Hermosa, G., Proudman, V., & Corti, P. (2021). Open Education in European Libraries of Higher Education (2021 report). Zenodo. doi: (in English)

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. doi: (in English)

Yin, R. K. (2018). Case study research and applications: Design and methods. Washington, D.C.: SAGE Publications, Inc. (in English)




How to Cite

MARKIN, P. B. (2021). OPEN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES IN THE CONTEXT OF OPEN ACCESS. University Library at a New Stage of Social Communications Development. Conference Proceedings, (6), 76–82.