The Access Compromise and the 5th R

David Wiley revisits his “4 R” framework (Reuse, Revise, Remix, Redistribute) for understanding the spectrum of permissions that define an open education resource (OER). Wiley discusses an access compromise to ownership of learning resources in which “programs like textbook buyback, textbook rental, digital subscription programs, and DRM-laden ebook programs, each of which results in students completely losing access to their required textbooks at the end of term.” Wiley suggests that the open education community should advance the idea of ownership and asks, “For all of their willingness to share access to open educational resources, how many OER publishers go out of their way to make it easy for you to grab a copy of their OER that you can own and control forever?” To this end, he has introduced a fifth “R” into his OER framework: Retain–the right to make, own, and control copies of the content.