Quality Assurance in the Open: An Evaluation of OER Repositories

In October 2013 Innoqual, The International Journal for Innovation and Quality in Learning published part of the research @LeoHavemann and I have been conducting for the last year.


The World OER Declaration 2012 recommends that States join efforts to facilitate finding, retrieving and sharing OER. The OER movement has thus far spurred the creation of numerous repository initiatives worldwide with the aim of aiding the development of Open Educational Practice. This paper is based on the analysis on a set of 80 repositories of OER. In order to evaluate the quality of repositories, a set of ten quality indicators was obtained from an analysis of key literature. These indicators represent good practices in repository design, as they enable repositories to promote openness, sharing, reuse of resources and collaboration amongst academic communities. The incidence of the indicators within the actual repositories of OER is discussed, with the aim of understanding the extent to which these good practices are commonplace across repositories when considered by type, region, and overall. Although there are numerous references in the OER literature to the importance of these features in repository design, the actual initiatives demonstrate quite heterogeneous approaches, and some indicators achieve very low incidence considering the crucial role they play in supporting the aims of the OER movement. The significance of the various indicators is considered in relation to questions of overlap, practicality and sustainability, in order to suggest directions for further investigation and ultimately the improvement of these important repositories.


You can access the full paper here: http://papers.efquel.org/index.php/innoqual/article/view/30/12/view/30


Map of OER Repositories

Recently Leo @leohavemann and I were discussing on how was the best way to encourage academics to use OER and share their materials, how can we make them see at the impact that sharing content can have and after reviewing some very interesting models of data visualisation, we decided that the best way was to generate a map with a which contains the list taken from the directory of repositories of OER and some new more.

To access the Map of OER Repositories please go to  http://bit.ly/18NaDuu 


The University of Loja in Ecuador has developed an OER map we use as inspiration to showcase a large list of OCW and other initiatives http://serendipity.utpl.edu.ec/map/ so we thank Nelson @nopiedra for sharing his ideas with us. Also, we thank @gconole @fbocquet @Open_Education @alacre @polx @fatenas and @Andreas__Link for sharing repositories with us and for sharing the map around.

If you want us to tag another repository you can contact us by leaving a comment on the blog or in twitter to me @jatenas or Leo @leohavemann, just remember that we will only include repositories of OER, for institutional repositories of books, thesis and other documents you can contact the DOAR team as they are the experts.


List of OER Apps

One of thoer_logo_EN_1e advantages of OER is that they can be used in mobile devices and some institutions are developing apps for Smartphones and tablets that can facilitate the access to the resources for educators and students.

This post is a compilation of OER Apps for mobile devices (Apple, Android, Blackberry), and I only found a few so  if  know some more and the link, please send me a tweet to @jatenas and I will add them to this list.

Thanks to: @patlockley



Merlot Search

temoa: Recent OER

KOWC (Korean OCW)

MIT OpenCourseWare LectureHall





Other Platforms



Directory of OER repositories

Last update: 6th August 2014 –

Thanks to @OERhub team@nopiedra  for sharing the data collected in their projects 

After weeks and weeks digging on the internet, reviewing hundreds of OER initiatives, projects, blogs and hashtags, and also harassing other OER enthusiasts and experts in twitter, I managed to develop a first version of a directory of OER repositories.

This version only includes the name of the repository, the URL and the country of the initiative and there are 73 OER repositories associated. If you know any other, if you see that I’m missing one (or many), if you are developing one, or you have any feedback, ideas or comments, please contact me on twitter @jatenas, as your input is really important for me.

I deliberatively did not include OWC, Institutional Repositories (articles, reports, thesis), ITunesU, MOOC initiatives, Open TextBooks, OpenAccess Repositories, sets of content that are not under CC licences such as BBC, or hybrid content repositories because this research is based on repositories of Open Educational Resources only.

Thanks to Andreas Link @elearning4, Abel Caine @abelcaine, Leo Havemann @leohavemann and Francisco Rojas @frojas_sateler for sharing resources and ideas.

Also thanks to (list growing):  @fagottissimo; @JanPawlowski@gildevic; @actwww; @fredgarnett; @curtrice; @ernestopriego;  @sarahthesheepu; @dkernohan; @alacre

See the directory here:

Name: Academic Earth
URL: http://academicearth.org/
Country: United States

Name: African Health OER Network
URL: http://www.oerafrica.org/healthoer
Country: Kenya

Name: Aljazeera creative commons repository
URL: http://cc.aljazeera.net/
Country: Qatar

Name: Almae Matris Studiorum Campus
URL: http://campus.unibo.it/
Country: Italy

Name: Ariadne
URL: http://www.ariadne-eu.org/
Country: European Union

Name: Banco de iten
URL: http://bi.gave.min-edu.pt/
Country: Portugal

Name: Banco de Objetos de Aprendizaje
URL: http://aplicaciones.virtual.unal.edu.co/drupal/?q=node/34
Country: Colombia

Name: Banco Internacional de Objetos Educacionais
URL: http://objetoseducacionais2.mec.gov.br
Country: Brazil

Name: Centro de Recursos para la Enseñanza y el Aprendizaje (CREA)
URL: http://www.crea.udg.mx/
Country: Mexico

Name: CChemCollective
URL: http://www.chemcollective.org/
Country: United Stated

Name: Commonwealth of Learning
URL: http://www.col.org/
Country: Canada

Name: Connexions
URL: http://cnx.org/
Country: United States

Name: Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistics Education
URL: http://www.causeweb.org
Country: United States

Name: CSTC (Computing Science Teaching Center)
URL: http://www.cstc.org/
Country: United States

Name: Culturally Authentic Pictorial Lexicon
URL: http://capl.washjeff.edu
Country: United States

Name: Curriki
URL: http://welcome.curriki.org/
Country: United States

Name: Desarrolla, Aprende y Reutiliza (DAR)
URL: http://catedra.ruv.itesm.mx/
Country: Mexico

Name: Digiref
URL: http://www.digiref.se/index.php
Country: Sweden

Name: Digital Library for Earth System Education
URL: http://www.dlese.org/library/
Country: United States

Name: DUDA dk
URL: http://www.duda.dk
Country: Denmark

Name: Economics Network Online Learning and Teaching Materials
URL: http://www.economicsnetwork.ac.uk/links/othertl.htm
Country: United Kingdom

Name: Edu Fi
URL: http://www.edu.fi
Country: Finland

Name: Educar Chile
URL: http://www.educarchile.cl
Country: Chile

Name: Eduteka
URL: http://www.eduteka.org/
Country: Colombia

Name: eGyankosh
URL: http://www.egyankosh.ac.in/
Country: India

Name: EMU Danmarks lærninrsportal
URL: http://www.emu.dk/tema/kultur-og-læring
Country: Denmark

Name: Escuela virtual de Padres
URL: http://www.web-familias.com/
Country: Spain

Name: Everything Maths
URL: http://everythingmaths.co.za/
Country: South Africa

Name: Federal Resources for Educational Excellence
URL: http://www.free.ed.gov/index.cfm
Country: United States

Name: First World War Poetry Digital Archive
URL: http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/
Country: United Kingdom

Name: FREIburger Multimedia Object Repository
URL: http://freimore.uni-freiburg.de/
Country: Germany

Name: Geoscience Data Repository
URL: http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/earth-sciences/home
Country: United States

Name: Hum Box
URL: http://humbox.ac.uk/
Country: United Kingdom

Name: I Cleen
Country: Italy

Name: I-Berry
URL: http://iberry.com/
Country: United States

Name: IG2 – Intergeo
URL: http://i2geo.net/
Country: Germany

Name: Ilumina
URL: http://www.ilumina-dlib.org
Country: United States

Name: Interoperable Interactive Geometry for Europe (I2Geo)
URL: http://igeo.net
Country: Germany

Name: ITSON repositorio de objetos de aprendizaje
URL: http://biblioteca.itson.mx/oa/principal.htm
Country: Mexico

Name: Jorum
URL: http://www.jorum.ac.uk/
Country: United Kingdom

Name: Kursnavet
URL: http://www.kursnavet.se/
Country: Sweden

Name: La Flor (Laclo)
URL: http://laflor.laclo.org/
Country: Undefined (Latin America)

Name: Lab Space
URL: http://labspace.open.ac.uk/
Country: United Kingdom

Name: LeMill
URL: http://lemill.net/
Country: Finland

Name: Maknaz
URL: http://maknaz.elc.edu.sa/
Country: Saudi Arabia

Name: Maricopa Learning Exchange
URL: http://www.mcli.dist.maricopa.edu/mlx/
Country: United States

Name: Matematica Mutimidia
URL: http://www.m3.mat.br/
Country: Brazil

Name: MathWorld
URL: http://mathworld.wolfram.com/
Country: United Kingdom

Name: Materialeplatformen
Country: Denmark

Name: Matematikk
URL: http://www.matematikk.org
Country: Norway

Name: Merlot
URL: http://www.merlot.org
Country: United States

Name: National Learning Network
URL: http://www.nln.ac.uk/
Country: United Kingdom

Name: National Science Digital Library (NSDL)
URL: http://nsdl.org/
Country: United States

URL: http://www.needs.org/
Country: United States

Name: NLDA
URL: http://ndla.no
Country: Norway

Name: NOER
URL: http://nroer.in/home/
Country: India

Name: OER Commons
URL: http://oercommons.org/
Country: United States

Name: OER Equella
URL: http://oer.equella.com/access/home.do
Country: United States

Name: OER Online Archive
URL: http://www.archive.org/
Country: Undefined

Name: Open Educational Resources (OER) Africa
URL: http://www.oerafrica.org/
Country: Kenia

Name: Open Educational Resources for Typography
URL: http://www.oert.org/
Country: Argentina

Name: OpenLearn
URL: http://www.open.edu/openlearn
Country: United Kingdom

Name: OpenLearnWare
URL: https://openlearnware.hrz.tu-darmstadt.de/
Country: Germany

Name: OpenMichigan
URL: http://open.umich.edu/
Country: United States

Name: Open Science Resources
URL: http://www.osrportal.eu/
Country: European Union

Name: Open UCT
URL: http://open.uct.ac.za
Country: South Africa

Name: Organic.Edunet Federation
URL: http://www.organic-edunet.eu/
Country: European Union

URL: http://ostrich.bath.ac.uk/taxonomy/term/49
Country: United Kingdom

Name: OTAN
URL: http://www.otan.us/
Country: United States

Name: Pearson Copyleft
URL: http://www.copyleftpearson.com.br
Country: Brazil

Name: Phet (Physics Education Technology)
URL: http://phet.colorado.edu/en/
Country: United States

Name: Portal das Escolas
URL: https://www.portaldasescolas.pt/
Country: Portugal

Name: Procomún
URL: http://procomun.educalab.es/comunidad/procomun
Country: Spain

Name: Recursos Educacionais Abertos Brasil
URL: http://rea.net.br/site/
Country: Brazil

Name: Repositorio de objetos de aprendizaje
URL: http://roa.mppeu.gob.ve/
Country: Venzuela

Name: Repositorio E-Learning
URL: http://e-repository.tecminho.uminho.pt/
Country: Portugal

Name: Restore
URL: http://www.restore.ac.uk
Country: United Kingdom

Name: RODA
URL: http://roda.culturaextremadura.com/
Country: Spain

Name: RRU Open Educational Resources
URL: http://oer.royalroads.ca/moodle/
Country: Canada

Name: RVP Metodicky Portal
URL: http://dum.rvp.cz/index.html
Country: Czech Republic

Name: Science Attic
URL: http://science-attic.org/
Country: Korea

Name: Skolresurser
URL: http://snar.fo
Country: Faroe Islands

Name: SNAR
URL: http://skolresurser.se
Country: Sweden

Name: Temoa
URL: http://www.temoa.info
Country: Mexico

Name: The Gateway
URL: http://www.thegateway.org/
Country: United States

Name: The Le@rning Federation
URL: http://www.ndlrn.edu.au/default.asp
Country: Australia

Name: The world lecture project
URL: http://www.world-lecture-project.org/
Country: Germany

URL: http://www.unitracc.com/
Country: Germany

Name: University of Leicester OER Repository
URL: http://www2.le.ac.uk/projects/oer
Country: United Kingdom

URL: http://vcampus.uom.ac.mu/lor/index.php?menu=1
Country: Mauritius

Name: Wikiwijs
URL: http://www.wikiwijs.nl/
Country: Netherlands

Name: Wisconsin Online Resource Center
URL: http://www.wisc-online.com/
Country: United States

Name: World History Sources
URL: http://chnm.gmu.edu/worldhistorysources/index.html
Country: United States

Name: Xpert
URL: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/xpert/
Country: United Kingdom

Name: Zunia
URL: http://openeducation.zunia.org/
Country: United States

Javiera Atenas


Some thoughts about publishing research on Open Educational Resources and Open Access.


I should start saying Mea Culpa; I did published about OER in a non Open Access Journal and I totally regret it, I never thought about it, I was naïve and I thought it would be a great opportunity, until someone made me realise about the price of the article and I felt (and still feel) mortified.

Why the journals have to make profit with our research about OA, OERs or OK? Writers are not paid for the research they produce by the journals, we are paid by the taxpayers therefore we should think to make our results open to everybody.

I decided to do a bit of research about it, so I did a search in some databases about the following terms: Open Access – Open Educational Resources – Open Knowledge and surprisingly (or not), all the papers are quite expensive. You can try it yourself, go to http://www.sciencedirect.com/ and search for Open Access: the average cost of a paper is $35.00 and all of them were published by Elsevier, so I was wondering, if we are talking about Open Access, OERs or Open Knowledge, shouldn’t we embrace the concept and make our research public? Is the need to increase our publication rate more important than being honest and keep OA research open?

Accordingly to the Research Councils UK “publicly funded research must be made available to the public and remain accessible for future generations“. So the research produced with public funds must become Open Knowledge which is defined by the Open Knowledge foundation as “any material — whether it is content, data or information-based — which anyone is free to use, re-use and redistribute without restriction“. So, from my point of view, this is spirit we should all embrace, and by all means everyone doing research about OA, OERs and OK should think about putting their research open for everyone and not let the journals to profit about these concepts.

There are universities which subscribe to the aim of openness by asking to their academics and researches to publish in Open Access Journals. The OA movement is growing but there still not a general commitment in academia to publish freely and openly.  It seems to me that there is an ethical issue which go deeper into the roots of this movement, why the scholars send their research to be published in commercial journals?

There is of course, the issue of impact rate, how many OA journals have the impact of the commercial – for profit journals? Not many… unfortunately, because producing a paper can cost lots of money, and the academic libraries are paying fortunes to subscribe to the journals in which we published our research, so if more research can be made open, more money our institutions will save, and therefore, more universities will be able to create journals and repositories where our research can be available to everyone without paying to access. So, under this model the funds can be re-distribute and it will be the universities those who benefit of our research rather than the journals.

As I said, mea culpa, I learned my lesson…. from now on I will do my best to publish for OA journals or in conferences (and digital newspapers) where the proceedings are made publicly available or at least free.
Any thoughts? Want to share your experiences about publishing in OA journals?

OER quality standards project update


Thank you for your interest in our project,

Our aim is to define quality standards  for open educational resources in higher education; this is part of the OER Quality Project, a joint research between the universities of Barcelona, Santiago de Chile and the University of London.

The researchers of this project are lecturers and academic librarians and we want to define a set of quality standards and develop a good practices guide both for content design and for  indexing open educational resources in institutional repositories.

We are looking for university lecturers, readers or professors (distance learning lecturers welcome too) willing to answer 2 surveys  (20 minutes each) and to evaluate a set of OERs, according to certain guidelines and criteria, which will take 30 minutes to answer. If you want to participate, please register on the following link http://bit.ly/yO3qMf.

Please be aware that the results of this research will be published inopen access journals as we want to contribute to the democratic education movement.

Javiera Atenas. MPhil.: University of London

Dr. Francisco Rojas: Universidad de Santiago de Chile


Gracias por tu interés en nuestro proyecto,

Nuestro objetivo es definir estándares de calidad para los recursos educativos abiertos para la educación universitaria, en el marco del OER quality project , una investigación conjunta entre las universidades de Barcelona, Santiago de Chile y la Universidad de Londres.

Los investigadores de este proyecto somos profesores y los bibliotecarios académicos; queremos definir un conjunto de normas de calidad y desarrollar una guía de buenas prácticas tanto para el diseño de contenidos y para la indexación de los recursos educativos abiertos en los repositorios institucionales.

Estamos buscando profesores y profesoras universitarios, que hagan clases de forma presencial o a distancia, y que estén dispuestos a responder 2 encuestas  (20 minutos cada uno) y para evaluar un conjunto de REA de acuerdo a ciertas pautas y criterios (30 minutos). Si quieres participar, por favor regístrate en el siguiente enlace http://bit.ly/yO3qMf.

Ten en cuenta que todos los resultados de esta investigación serán publicados en las revistas con formato de acceso abierto ya que queremos ser un aporte al movimiento de educación democrática.

Javiera Atenas. MPhil.: University of London

Dr. Francisco Rojas: Universidad de Santiago de Chile


Our participants on the map / Los participantes en el mapa

OER Quality Standards Project – Participants on the map

Dear all,

Thank you for registering to participate in our international consultation to help us to define quality standards for Open Educationsl Resources in Higher Education.

the response has been incredible and I want to show you were our participants come from (up to now), please have a look to the map and hopefully in the next few weeks we will be able to have more stars in the map!

We still need to recruit 400 more academics for our OER consultation, and we will be very grateful if you can help us engaging academics in this research project by sharing the link to the blog and inviting your colleagues to participate.

Thank you

Javiera Atenas
Francisco Rojas

Estimados y Estimadas,

Gracias por registrarte para participar en nuestra consulta international para poder definir estándares de calidad para los recursos abiertos de aprendizaje (OER) en el marco de la educación universitaria, la respuesta hasta el momento ha sido fantástica y esperamos que el número de participantes se siga incrementando.

Queremos mostrarte donde están los participantes de este estudio en el mapa, para que veas que somos muchos y de muchas partes, mira el mapa adjunto, y esperamos que en las próximas semanas, tengamos más estrellas que poner en el mapa.

Aún nos faltan 400 académicos y académicas que quiean participar en nuestra consulta sobre calidad en los recursos abiertos, por lo tanto, si pueden invitar a sus colegas, estaríamos profundamente agradecidos.


Javiera Atenas
Francisco Rojas