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Navigating support models for OER publishing: case studies from the University of Houston and the University of Washington

Ariana Santiago (Department of Libraries, University of Houston, Houston, Texas, USA)
Lauren Ray (Department of Libraries, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA)

Reference Services Review

ISSN: 0090-7324

Article publication date: 22 July 2020

Issue publication date: 25 November 2020




The purpose of this paper is to describe programs that support open educational resources (OER) publishing in academic libraries. Insights, opportunities and challenges are shared in relation to the broader open education movement.


This paper provides two case studies describing the development of OER publishing programs at large, public research universities – the University of Houston and the University of Washington. Each program takes an Author DIY approach to publishing support and is in the early years of supporting OER adoption and creation.


These case studies demonstrate the need for a greater focus on decision-making and workflows. They illuminate challenges and opportunities for librarians supporting OER initiatives, including adapting existing models of OER publishing, navigating institutional culture, moving OER programs beyond affordability and how to sustain and scale OER programs with shifting institutional support.


OER is an emerging program area within academic libraries, and much of the focus has been on outreach and advocacy around affordable alternatives to commercial textbooks. Little has been written about programmatic initiatives to support OER publishing. This paper adds unique examples to the OER literature and raises new questions around support for OER publishing.



Santiago, A. and Ray, L. (2020), "Navigating support models for OER publishing: case studies from the University of Houston and the University of Washington", Reference Services Review, Vol. 48 No. 3, pp. 397-413.



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