What is OER?
'OER' stands for 'open educational resources'. Also referred to as 'open access resources'. Open Access refers to resources that are freely available for viewing and/or use. Open Access is not the same as Public Domain, and most Open Access creators do retain their copyrights.
Open Access is part of a continuum ranging from completely closed, subscription/purchase only access to completely open, no barrier publishing. Open Access is not related to the quality of materials or the peer-review/non-peer-review status of the publications.
Open Access differs from Open Source or Open Licensed in that the primary use of Open Access materials will be viewing or reading, while Open Source materials are available for modification of the underlying software or text. An increasing number of Educational Resources are being published with Open Licenses, allowing for modification, re-editing, and other customization.
There's no question, open access truly expands shared knowledge across scientific fields—it is the best path for accelerating multi-disciplinary breakthroughs in research." — An open letter to the U.S. Congress signed by 25 Nobel Prize winners