Institutional OER Policy

1.    Preamble

Our Vision

We aim at democratising the second language teaching and learning.

Our Mission

To create Open Educational Resources for Teaching and Learning Second Languages which can be reused, modified, and shared and that provide unconstrained materials for the benefit and the enjoyment of others

It is a place in which teachers can find resources for their language courses (rather than create them from scratch) and personalize them. This way they can meet their students’ particular needs.

Books4Languages also aims to create an environment where people can learn any language at their own pace and no matter what their mother tongue is. The students can use our materials in a way that is more beneficial to them as we give them the control over the way they use the resources.

We create a place where people can share knowledge aimed exclusively at languages, with a structure that allows for daily improvement of the linguistic abilities of our users.

Understand what OER Policy is and why it’s important.

This “Free to Learn” guidebook, developed for higher education leaders, provides a helpful primer about open educational resources and the role of campus leadership in creating an environment that supports their use by faculty and students.

This Policy Development Video Series from Open Washington provides video segments from OER experts along with and supporting materials to help you through the process of assessing, reviewing, formulating, and enacting an OER policy at your institution.

2.    Definitions

  • Open Educational Resources (OER): Based on the 2012 Paris OER Declaration (UNESCO, 2012, p.1)[1], Books4Languages interprets OER as teaching, learning and research materials in any medium, digital or otherwise, that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions. Open licensing is built within the existing framework of intellectual property rights as defined by relevant international conventions and respects the authorship of the work.
  • OER Creation: The development and production and online sharing of quality assured OER.
  • OER Adoption: A practice of adopting existing OER for use in a course without any change.
  • OER Integration: This is viewed as a logical and systematic approach to the “five Rs” (Hilton, Wiley, Stein & Johnson, 2010) [2]of reusing, revising, remixing, redistributing and retaining of OER.
  • OER Sharing: Making OER freely accessible, especially online.
  • Content Developer: Any person (typically author) engaged in the development of teaching and learning materials used by the institution.
  • Copyrights: Laws that regulate the use of the work of a creator, such as an artist or author. This includes copying, distributing, altering and displaying creative, literary and other types of work as per copyright law of Spain. Unless otherwise stated in a contract, the author or creator of a work retains the copyright. The author(s) retains the moral rights to assign the rights to any other person or legal entity, and share the materials with others in any other conditions he/she may desire.
  • Open License: “A license that specifies what can and cannot be done with a work (whether sound, text, image or multimedia). It grants permissions and states restrictions. Broadly speaking, an open license is one which grants permission to access, re-use and redistribute a work with few or no restrictions”.[3]
  • Institutional Repository: a set of services offered by an institution “to the members of its community for the management and dissemination of digital materials created by the institution and its community members. It is most essentially an organizational commitment to the stewardship of these digital materials, including long-term preservation where appropriate, as well as organization and access or distribution”[4].
  • Any other definition: [to be added or deleted as needed]

[1] UNESCO. (2012). 2012 Paris OER Declaration. Retrieved from

[2] Hilton, J., Wiley, D., Stein, J., & Johnson, A. (2010). The four R‘s of openness and ALMS Analysis: Frameworks for open educational resources. Open Learning: The Journal of Open and Distance Learning, 25(1), 37-44.


[4] Lynch, C.A. (2003). Institutional Repositories: Infrastructure for Scholarship in the Digital Age, ARL 226, Retrieved from


3.    Policy

  • Policy Declaration

The Books4Languages will promote and implement the creation, reuse, revision, remixing, redistribution and retention of Open Educational Resources (OER) within an Open Licensing framework.


  • Policy Statements
    • The management will promote, foster and reward all efforts towards the adoption, integration and sharing of OER in course design, development, quality assurance and delivery.
    • Books4Languages, as publisher and copyrights owner, will decide on the content to be published as OER.
    • Academic and academic support staff will be committed to the philosophy of OER in building capacity and positive attitudes for effective creation, adoption and integration of OER in the development and delivery of courses as well as other professional engagements.
    • Academic and academic support staff will plan and implement suitable academic activities involving the creation, adoption, adaptation and integration of OER to offer courses and programmes for the learners to enable them acquire appropriate competencies for desired qualifications.


  • Policy Objectives

The objectives of the policy are to:

  • Formulate the necessary strategic inputs, outputs, tasks and performance indicators to achieve OER creation, adoption, adaptation and integration in the development of courses;
  • Develop awareness about the concept and practices related to OER among all staff;
  • Build capacity among academic and academic support staff to use OER appropriately in their professional engagements;
  • Prepare institutional guidelines and manuals for OER creation, adoption, adaptation and integration;
  • Establish an institutional repository to distribute OER;
  • Continuously monitor and ensure that the policy is implemented effectively;
  • Develop and incorporate an effective feedback mechanism that will facilitate informed decisions for any mid-term corrections during OER implementation; and
  • Consider and incorporate changes to the process based on new developments in the field of OER and the circumstances of the institution.


  • Scope and Applicability

Unless notified by Books4Languages as special exclusion, this OER policy is applicable to:

  • All academic and academic support departments of the Books4Languages;
  • All content developers within the institution and those engaged by the institution on temporary basis;
  • All types of learning materials released in physical or electronic format;
  • In cases where the material is developed in collaboration with other institutions, the guidelines governing the collaboration as indicated in the MOU/MOA will prevail. However, any such agreement should duly consider this OER Policy before any deviation is agreed upon and approved by the competent authority of the institution.


  • Copyrights and Licences
    • Books4Languages is the absolute owner of the copyright of any content created by it;
    • Unless otherwise specified, the institution supports free and open access to all educational content it owns or co-owns and will make them available through the OER repository under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives (CC) or a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike  (CC) license[1]
    • The Authors may make exceptions to the sharing of intellectual property it owns on a case by case basis.
    • Access to intellectual property of the institution that it considers to be commercially sensitive may also be restricted.
    • The choice of license will be decided by the Department who has developed the material and will be vetted by the internal OER Quality Review Board.
      All materials developed by the institution will comply with and be released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International or Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International. Books4Languagers at its sole discretion will decide who receive the permission to create derivative works of the Content.
    • It is the responsibility of the author(s) of the content to comply with the received license when revising or remixing existing OER.
    • The license declaration on the OER will be in the following format:

© 2020 Books4Languages. Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International. To view a copy of this license, visit

© 2020 Books4Languages. Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International. To view a copy of this license, visit

    • Books4Languagesreserves the copyright of the institutional logo used in all of its materials, and does not permit use of its logo without written permission for derivatives of its works.


  • Quality Assurance and Review System
    • The OER repository will strives to provide quality assured resources.
    • Learning resources developed by the institution through peer reviewing and strict quality assurance mechanism inbuilt in the course development process will not require further review prior to uploading on to the OER repository. All other contributions will be peer reviewed within the department before uploading on the OER Repository.
    • An OER Quality Review Board (OER-QRB) will be notified to review policy as well as the production, delivery and access of OER.
    • The OER-QRB will constitute the following members: Chair of the Internal Quality Assurance Cell and the Head of the departments, and selected 2/3 OER experts from the staff on rotation basis
    • The OER-QRB will adopt a set of quality assurance (QA) guidelines and indicators to help teachers focus on the quality of OER.
    • The OER-QRB will report annually to the Academic Board through the President.


  • Liability
    • All OER materials in the institutional repository will carry a disclaimer indicating that the material is for educational purposes only and that the Books4Languages absolves itself of any practical misuse of the OER materials or their content. OER materials authored and published by staff of the Books4Languages do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Books4Languages.
    • An additional caveat will indicate that derivatives of this work are not authorized to use the institution’s logo without prior written authorisation from the institution.


  • The disclaimer will have the following format:


The publication is released for educational purposes, and all information provided are in ‘as is’ basis. Although the author and publisher have made every effort to ensure that the information in this publication was correct at press time, the author and publisher do not assume and hereby disclaim any liability to any party for any loss, damage, or disruption caused by errors or omissions, whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident, or any other cause. Any views expressed in the publication are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Books4Languages. All products and services mentioned are owned by their respective copyrights holders, and mere presence in the publication does not mean endorsement by Books4Languages. Derivatives of this work are not authorised to use the logo of Books4Languages.


  • Institutional Arrangements
    • The OER produced by the Books4Languages will be hosted in an online institutional repository.
    • The IT department will be responsible for providing access, maintaining the repository and providing technical support.
    • Capacity building will be conducted for stakeholders engaged in OER creation, adoption, adaptation and integration.
    • Regular updates/training on new developments in the field of OER will be provided by the staff training unit.