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#4 DOCS@RWU: Servicing Students and Faculty with Open Access Textbooks

Did you know that the Library has had a digital repository called DOCS@RWU since 2006? DOCS@RWU is a library service that provides open access to an online collection of scholarly and creative works produced by faculty, students and other members of the RWU community. It currently hosts 3,049 papers and other materials in multi-media format, including but not limited to online journals, faculty publications, student theses, and image galleries. Thanks to its rich and interesting content, DOCS@RWU has yielded 400,894 full-text downloads to date since its inauguration. As a matter of fact, there are many ways for DOCS@RWU to boost scholarly communication and to showcase your research as well as academic achievements. We will introduce to you one amazing thing about DOCS@RWU every month this year to demonstrate why DOCS@RWU should matter to you!


#4 DOCS@RWU: Servicing Students and Faculty with Open Access Textbooks

by Mary Wu, Digital Scholarship/Metadata Librarian

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The movement of open educational resources (OERs) has been recently gaining huge momentum in higher education. OERs are materials for teaching, learning, and researching. They are available in the public domain or are released with an intellectual property license that allows for free use, adaptation and distribution. OERs’ aim is to deliver universal access to greater education, share vital information, and inspire intellectual dialogue and collaboration. OERs include lesson plans, lectures, curriculum materials, and, of course, textbooks.

Authors of textbooks are often faculty members of a higher education institution. They develop resources for their own teaching and make them available to other teachers and classes, as well as their own students. Since the price of textbooks is skyrocketing, open textbooks help reduce the financial burden for an education by providing students and faculty with alternatives to full-priced textbooks.

Open access textbooks are a perfect fit for the digital repository platform, and housing them within it brings numerous benefits to the generous faculty authors who write them and the institutions that support them. It makes perfect sense for the original creators, professors, and students to be able to access these textbooks directly through their own libraries’ infrastructures. The discoverability that is built into the digital repository platform helps to make these textbooks accessible to students, faculty and readers across the world. It also boosts the research profile of the institution and showcases the research, teaching and service of faculty authors. Below are two examples of digital repositories that host open access textbooks:

University of South Florida: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/oa_textbooks/


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Grand Valley State University: http://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/books/

If you would like to include your work in DOCS@RWU, or use the platform to publish, please contact Mary Wu (mwu@rwu.edu), the Digital Scholarship/Metadata Librarian.

Stay tuned for the next cool thing that DOCS@RWU can do for you!