by PRU MITCHELL
The year 2020 shone a light on many issues in our sector. Amongst these was the challenge of equitable access to research and learning resources. The benefits of open access are blindingly obvious in the context of a global pandemic, where timely and universal sharing of research findings is critical in the race to find solutions. A challenge for 2021 must be to build on this knowledge, and improve access to all our publicly-funded research.
Open access advocates such as the Australasian Open Access Strategy Group (AOASG) work to highlight the path to open access publishing amongst researchers, policymakers and funders. We already have the infrastructure to make research FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable), and this is an opportunity to acknowledge the Australian university open access research repositories that are enabling this change.
A newcomer to the open access repository scene is the Universities Australia Learning and Teaching Repository, a cross-institutional collection of Australian learning and teaching research. The Repository holds over 1,000 reports and related resources, including templates and links to project websites developed through Australian university partnerships, much of it funded under the auspices of the Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) and its predecessor bodies.
The Repository’s content is 100 per cent openly-licensed, meaning not only no paywall, but the resources are open for re-use and adaption with attribution. The diverse range of content covers a mix of cross-disciplinary projects, plus others that contextualise learning and teaching in specific disciplines.
In conjunction with the Australian Learning and Teaching Fellows and Australian Awards for University Teaching, the Repository is also a place to find Australian researchers and partners who have expertise in specific areas of learning and teaching.
The primary mission of the Repository is to provide ongoing access to the research produced for the disestablished OLT to ensure this investment in learning and teaching in higher education research remains accessible for future generations of academics. Thus the Repository includes many seminal works in areas such as e-assessment, retention, English Language proficiency, employability, discipline standards, transition pedagogy, and teaching first year classes.
The Content Advisory Group for the Learning and Teaching Repository welcomes original submissions of research and resources from authors associated with Australian Universities and higher education providers for inclusion in its expanding collection.
Manager, Information Services, ACER firstname.lastname@example.org