VALA2022 Onsite Session 5 Chang

Five years of OER publishing: lessons and directions


Tuesday 14 June 2022, 15:55 – 16:25

Steven Chang
  • La Trobe University

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View the presentation recording and slides here:


The COVID-19 pandemic has supercharged an accelerated leap into online learning in universities. This has shone a global spotlight onto open educational resources (OER) as a paradigm for new models of learning. These approaches are tackling contemporary challenges in higher education like inequity and inflexible legacy models of pedagogy.

This paper and presentation will focus on how La Trobe University Library has confronted these challenges since 2016 by establishing a bold early adopter program for a Library as Open Knowledge Creator service called the La Trobe eBureau.

The eBureau model is scaffolded around a principle of “La Trobe authors for La Trobe courses”, where open textbooks and educational resources are developed and published to tackle local pedagogical challenges, but are made openly available to the global community for adoption, reuse, and collaboration. The eBureau platform provides an array of services including features such as:

• author consultation support
• double peer review
• copyright reviewing and advice
• structural and copy editing
• visual design and identity kits
• sourcing multimedia
• minting DOIs and ISBNs
• discoverability via indexing in open repositories, discovery layers, National Library indexes, etc
• marketing and promotion
• book launch events

The main aim of this paper will be to reflect on five years of learning to be an OER publisher – and particularly to share lessons learnt about the barriers, solutions, lessons learnt from engaging in this ambitious project. It will conclude with recommendations for colleagues aiming to pursue similar directions, and future steps to advance Australian OER creation in academic libraries.


Steven Chang is the Coordinator, Open Education and Scholarship at La Trobe University. He is passionate about equity in higher education and coordinates the La Trobe eBureau, a Library as Open Publisher platform that empowers communities to create equitable learning resources. Steven’s background has spanned diverse areas including open repository advocacy, open data, medical librarianship, and research data management. He is the former chief editor of Health Inform and his articles and presentations can be found via his Figshare profile.

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