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Recent News

UC and Elsevier Reach Agreement in 10-year Deal

March 16, 2021 12:39 PM
On 16 March 2021 the University of California reached a 10-year deal with Elsevier to publish UC-authored journal articles openly. You can read the entire story at:

New Faculty Watch Report (2020) Published

February 25, 2021 09:03 AM
The Faculty Watch report provides faculty perceptions and behaviors to allow you to effectively understand the evolution of course content. The report explores the course materials selection process, tracks faculty usage of materials, and analyzes faculty attitudes toward the college store.

Best Practices in Fair Use for Open Educational Resources

October 23, 2020 02:20 PM
This is a great resource for understanding the use of OER within the context of Fair Use. It is a list of links to webinars by employees of the American University Washington College of Law.

The Impact of OER Initiatives on Faculty Selection of Classroom Materials

August 13, 2020 02:48 PM
The adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER) is on the rise, driven in part by increasing awareness of OER. But while faculty and institutions have shown increasing awareness and acceptance of OER, many remain unfamiliar with what they are, or how to utilize them.

McGraw Hill and Cengage Merger Stopped

July 01, 2020 03:38 PM
Early 2019 saw two large textbook publishers (McGraw Hill and Cengage) proposed a merger causing push-back from academics worldwide. Thanks for the efforts of many, including SPARC, the merger was called off in early May 2020.

A Looming Challenge for OER

March 20, 2020 09:37 AM
Results of a new survey by Bay View Analytics (formerly Babson) sheds new light on the status of OER and affordability. Issues related to faculty awareness, inclusive access, and adoptions are addressed.

CSU / Elsevier ScienceDirect Renewal Supports the Future of Research in California

March 09, 2020 02:59 PM
California State University has renewed their licence with Elsevier ScienceDirect reducing cost and increasing access across all campuses.

AUTOMATIC TEXTBOOK BILLING An offer students can’t refuse?

February 28, 2020 11:32 AM
Attending college in America is one of the largest expenses someone will have in their lifetime. For more than 30 years, textbook publishers have added to that financial burden by driving up textbook costs through a variety of tactics. The latest effort is to automatically charge students for textbooks on their tuition bill.

Elsevier Exit

February 26, 2020 01:13 PM
Q&A with Florida State University about their Big Deal Cancellation(s)

Smithsonian Releases 2.8 Million Images Into Public Domain

February 26, 2020 07:53 AM
The launch of a new open access platform ushers in a new era of accessibility for the Institution

Association for Computing Machinery signs new open-access agreements with four leading universities

January 24, 2020 09:21 AM
New ACM open publishing model promises to accelerate ACM's transition to full open access

Some Praise and the Criticism of the UNESCO OER Recommendations

January 08, 2020 03:17 PM
After first lauding the UNESCO OER Recommendations, agreed upon by the 40th Congress, David Wiley explores the deeper and more disappointing meaning of the message. Somewhere between the release of the public version of the OER Recommendation and the version voted upon by the Congress wording was changed which muddied the waters of meaning.

Congress to Renew $7 Million Open Textbook Pilot!

December 17, 2019 02:01 PM
A bipartisan budget agreement reached in the U.S. Congress will renew and strengthen the federal Open Textbook Pilot Grant Program with $7 million in funding for Fiscal Year 2020—a $2 million increase over previous years. Supported by advocates of higher education affordability, the renewal of this program for a third year is a resounding endorsement of the positive benefits that open textbooks can achieve for students. The funding is included in the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020, part of a $1.37 trillion budget package that Congress is expected to approve this week.

Bookstores oppose Cengage/McGraw-Hill merger

December 04, 2019 09:55 AM
The National Association of College Stores (NACS) has come out in opposition to the proposed merger of Cengage and McGraw-Hill. The story in Inside Higher Ed explains their position.

Intergovernmental Expert Meeting adopts revised Draft Recommendation on Open Educational Resources

December 03, 2019 12:40 PM
At the 40th session of the 2019 UNESCO General Conference An important step forward: Intergovernmental Expert Meeting adopts revised Draft Recommendation on Open Educational Resources by consensus – submission to UNESCO’s General Conference in November 2019. Full Article

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) releases its report on Public Access Policies

November 22, 2019 09:21 AM
Relating to U.S Federal Agency compliance with the current U.S. requirements for Public Access to Federally Funded Research Outputs The Report describes the current state of 19 agencies and recommendations for improved compliance

Open Publishing Awards Announced

October 23, 2019 10:46 AM
The Open Publishing Awards were announced on 16 October 2019. The awards are given in four categories; Open Content, Open Source Software, Open Publishing Models, and Open Publishing Lifetime Contribution. Information for recipients is available at

The University of Texas at Arlington sets aside $500,000 for OER

October 02, 2019 08:57 AM
In an effort to improve access to course materials, the University of Texas at Arlington academic administration has approved the allocation of $500,000 to support the creation of OER. The UTA library will manage the projects using this funding. See the full story at

University of British Columbia's New OER Fund Grants

September 12, 2019 02:46 PM
On September 10, the Office of the Provost and Vice-President Academic, UBC Vancouver announced the Open Educational Resources (OER) Fund. In alignment with UBC’s Strategic Plan, Shaping UBC's Next Century, the Office of the Provost has committed $250,000 in annual funding for the next four years to support OER resources, course enhancements and events.

Principles for Open Scholarly Infrastructures

August 19, 2019 03:00 PM
"Everything we have gained by opening content and data will be under threat if we allow the enclosure of scholarly infrastructures. We propose a set of principles by which Open Infrastructures to support the research community could be run and sustained." - Geoffrey Bilder, Jennifer Lin, Cameron Neylon

Paywalls block scientific progress. Research should be open to everyone

August 19, 2019 02:58 PM
Worldwide organizations are vying for open access research papers. Academics need to take action.

UC terminates subscriptions with world’s largest scientific publisher

August 19, 2019 02:56 PM
In an effort to combat excessive costs associated with Scientific journals, UC System cancels subscription with Elsevier.

How Merger of Two Textbook Giants Could Impact Course Materials

August 19, 2019 02:50 PM
McGraw-Hill and Cengage hope to move forward with a 100% subscription based business model which would mean no more options for students to find more affordable options on their own.

What the McGraw-Hill, Cengage merger means for textbook prices

August 19, 2019 02:45 PM
Merger may provide cheaper prices in the short run, but critics fear that as the market trends towards a monopoly, prices will again rise. Could also limit the material accessible to professors and students.

Barnes and Noble Partner with OpenStax to Expand OER

August 19, 2019 02:43 PM
A Business Law textbook will now be included in the OpenStax library of free educational resources.

University Students Saved $177 Million in 2018 by Using OpenStax.

August 19, 2019 02:41 PM
Universities around the country are utilizing the OpenStax open educational resources. Schools are saving students millions every year and students are enjoying the benefits.

Cengage & McGraw-Hill Merger Faces Major Opposition

August 19, 2019 02:39 PM
Over the past two months, SPARC has been working with industry and antitrust experts to build a complaint against the merger, which they intend to file with the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Textbook

August 19, 2019 02:34 PM
Here are 6 helpful tips that every student should know about as they study their textbooks.

SPARC Urges Department of Justice to Block Merger Between Cengage and McGraw-Hill

August 14, 2019 11:00 AM
Today SPARC submitted a detailed filing to TheJusticeDept opposing the Cengage/McGraw-Hill Merger.