What is Open Scholarship?

The following is excerpted from the CTLT Edubytes June 2023 Newsletter, which provided an introduction to open scholarship and highlighted trends and resources emerging in this area.

Open scholarship is the application of open practices throughout the teaching, learning, and research environment. These practices include the use of open copyright licenses, collaborative efforts, and networked technologies to lower barriers to knowledge by making the processes and products of scholarship more distributed, transparent, and accessible.

Open scholarship is a broad and somewhat loose term that has emerged to include open access publishing, open research, open education, open data, and more. As an umbrella term, open scholarship is based on the idea that knowledge creation and dissemination should be understood as social practices, and that barriers to participation in – and the sharing of – scholarly outputs and processes should be lowered or removed. In recent years, there has also been increased emphasis on open methods to advance the speed, sharing, and integrity of scientific discovery.

Examples of open scholarly practices include:

  • The use of open copyright licenses that grant permission for others to freely access, reuse, redistribute, or build upon one’s scholarly work.
  • Creating and using educational resources that are free of costs and copyright restrictions in order to lower student costs and access barriers for learning materials, such as textbooks.