Open (but not shut) case for an Australian universities press

Jessica Thiel (QUT) proposes national open access in education resources

In her recent PhD thesis, Dr Thiel argues that while publishing technology is transformed, ,access to content is not.

She propose an open publishing alternative, “that could promote and support human development” and explains the how and why to build one.

Including a national open education resource universities press, publishing texts on core subjects “that form the foundations within each of our most popular undergraduate courses.” She suggests, texts for subjects in arts, business, education, laws and science business.

Overall recommendations to expand open education resources include

* legislation, “which supports the use and creation of open education content”

* institutions cooperating on the creation of open textbooks for national markets

* including work on open education resources in academic rewards and incentives

* universities upskilling staff to work on open publishing

As to creating an open text book programme. She suggests a national publishing fund, with contributions from institutions and the Commonwealth – managed by Universities Australia, What’s in it for students appears obvious, as an example she sets out savings from an open textbook for students taking IP law course at QUT. But as for institutions, “as the resources are open, each university may edit, remix, and revise the materials as they see fit and to tailor them to their audience.”