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For Faculty

Defining Open Education Resources (OER)

Open Educational Resources are defined as "teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others". (Hewlitt Foundation).  Intellectual property licenses are created using Creative Commons (link below). 

Course Redesign Grants (VIVA)

VIVA (our Virginia consortium) offers grants to empower Virginia faculty with the resources & time they need to redesign courses by swapping out textbooks and other expensive course materials for open, no cost, or library options. These materials may be adopted as is, adapted, or created from scratch.  

  • This initiative was introduced December 1, 2018.  
  • The grant process happens about every six months.
  • VIVA offers webinars / workshop to help with the process.
  • Full or part-time faculty may apply.
  • Proposals may involve one person or teams (including teaching faculty, librarians, instructional designers, editors, graphic designers, etc.)
  • Grants range from $1,000 to $30,000.
  • See website (link below) for full information (or contact Vickie).

Open Textbook Review Stipends (VIVA)

In an effort to encourage faculty to consider Open Textbooks for their classroom, VIVA (our Virginia consortium) has teamed up with the Open Textbook Network to pay faculty for their time & evaluation. Stipends of $200 available for open textbook reviews.  Contact Taylor at for more information or to apply.

Open Educational Resourses (OER) at Bridgewater

If you are already using Open Textbooks (or OER) ....

  • Each year, we survey the faculty to find out what Open Textbooks (and OER) are being used in classroom.  This happens in May.  Please contribute to this survey (even outside of May) by sending info to Vickie.
  • We have access to some money through VIVA to print faculty copies of Open textbooks.
  • We keep up with OER listservs and can connect you to other campus faculty members using similar open textbooks.

If you are thinking about using Open Textbooks (or OER) ...

  • We hold OER workshops on campus (scheduled or by appointment) to discuss
    • Possibilities and what other colleges are doing (ie. Community Colleges' Z-Degrees)
    • Bridgewater SGA purchased textbooks and our library's reserve system
    • What is OER? and Places to find Open Textbooks
    • Creating or adapting OER / Creative Commons Licenses
    • Resources to help you
  • or Vickie can come by your office to give you a quick overview or answer questions.  (Vickie is the campus OER leader for Bridgewater College and works on behalf of our faculty.) 

What is Open Access?

Open Access is an alternative method to research publication, often with a focus on peer-reviewed materials. According to SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), "Open Access is the free, immediate, online availability of research articles coupled with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment. Open Access ensures that anyone can access and use these results—to turn ideas into industries and breakthroughs into better lives."

Open Access is not just a method for publication but a set of principles that pushes for more equitable access to information. Because information can be expensive to access (as is the case for the content you can access through our subscription databases), a barrier is created for those that are lower income, which widens the information gap between those with and those without. Open access is intended to bridge that gap.

This symbol is the official symbol of the Open Access movement, so databases in our Databases A-Z list with this symbol indicate that the item is openly accessible. 

Image attribution: art designer at PLoS, modified by Wikipedia users Nina, Beao, and JakobVoss, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Open Access Publications - fees covered by VIVA

Starting January 1, 2020, if you choose to publish Open Access with Wiley Journals, VIVA will cover your fully Gold OA article publication charges.

Publishing your article open access will give you:

  • High visibility – articles are made freely available
  • Easy compliance – meeting open access requirements automatically
  • Copyright retention – under a Creative Commons license
  • Automatic deposit – to PubMed Central for appropriate articles

Wiley has a portfolio of over 100 peer-reviewed, fully open access journals in its Open Access journal portfolio. All will ensure that your research is immediately and freely available online to read, download, and share.