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Open science

Open education

Open education is defined as educational resources, tools, and practices being free of legal, financial, and technical barriers so they can be fully used, shared, and adapted in the digital environment. 

Important concepts in open education include open educational resources (OERs, see the following section) and open educational practices.

Since the turn of the millennium, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has aimed for open educational resources (OERs) to promote global educational equality. Everyone should have an opportunity to find and access high-quality learning materials. Open educational environments and content create new models and flexible independent learning and support continuous learning. 

Teachers benefit from widening OERs too: It pays to use existing OERs compared to creating one's own materials from the very beginning; OERs also offer teachers possibilities to try out new and varied pedagogical practices and novel technical solutions; By adding their learning materials to OERs, teachers can raise their own professional profile; OERs are saved and remain available in the future.

Open educational resources

Open educational resources

Picture: Jonathasmello, CC BY 3.0.

Open educational resources (OERs) are learning, teaching and research materials in any format and medium that

  • reside in the public domain public domain, or
  • are under copyright that have been released under an open license, usually Creative Commons creative commons, which permits no-cost access, re-use, re-purpose, adaptation and redistribution by others than the author, with or without restrictions.

In the national Library of Open Educational Resources -, you can search for and share OERs from all levels of education. OERs can also be found in which gathers materials from museums, libraries and archives under one roof. More places where you can search for both national and international open educational resources are listed in Where to find open educational resources.

Teachers are encouraged to publish your educational resources in the national Library of Open Educational Resources -

When publishing open educational resources, plan in advance where, how, and under what terms of use to open the educational resources, and consider specifically the issues on open licensing, the authorship of the educational resources, and the preconditions for openness, e.g., the processing of personal data. Ensure that you have the necessary rights to publish the resources (e.g., copyright). All those who have made a significant contribution to the educational resources, including students, shall be properly acknowledged. The expert group at the Open Science Coordination has prepared a Recommendation on copyright issues to be taken into consideration in the open publication of educational resources which was published as Appendix 1 to the national policy on Open education and educational resources. National policy and executive plan by the higher education and research community for 2021-2025. Policy component 1 – Open access to educational resources (2020).

It is recommended to publish educational resources using a Creative Commons licence CC BY 4.0 or CC BY-SA 4.0The recommended format for a licence is: © [Author Name], Hanken School of Economics, 2021. CC BY 4.0/CC BY-SA 4.0.

Educational resources and other digital content shall comply with accessibility requirements. See especially the requirement for transcription of video and audio materials in File:PDF file icon.svg Hanken's instructions regarding transcription of material within the European Accessibility Act framework (PDF in Swedish and English).

Open publication of educational resources also involves the questions on, for example, the quality, accessibility, and merits of the openness, which are also covered by the policy and recommendations written by the Open Science Coordination. See Recommendations for open education 2021 which specifies the national policy and recommendations on:

  • quality criteria for open educational resources,
  • guidelines on accessibility of open educational resources,
  • recommendation on gaining merit in open education and open educational resources, and
  • competence requirements for open education. 

More information, see the LibGuide on Open educational resources where you can find answers to the following questions:

  • What are open educational resources?
  • Where can you find open educational resources? 
  • How can you use open educational resources? 
  • What should be taken into account when publishing open educational resources? 
  • What are CC licenses and how are they used in connection with open educational resources?

Additional resources