Academic Guidelines

ACG02 Open Availability and Open Licensing of Instructional and Other Materials

Policy Status: 


Subject Matter Expert: 

Ana Enriquez,

Policy Steward: 

Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs



Penn State is committed to harnessing technology to expand access to knowledge and advance pedagogy through the open availability and open licensing of instructional materials and other materials. Making instructional materials openly available, including in some cases with an open license, helps to reduce course materials costs for students at Penn State, elsewhere in the Commonwealth, and beyond, fulfilling the University’s land-grant mission. The University and the broader world also benefit from open availability and open licensing of other materials produced at Penn State.

Open Access to Instructional Materials

Further, units are encouraged to make university-owned instructional materials and other university-owned materials openly available when appropriate (e.g. increasing access not to the detriment of academic integrity), including University-directed works (see IP01). Owners of instructional materials not owned by the university are also encouraged to make these materials openly available. Open availability may include a Creative Commons or other public or open-source license. Whether to release a University-directed “academic” work under an open license shall be determined by the Head/Dean of the administrative unit, or their designate.

Open Access to Other Materials

University Researchers are further encouraged to make presentation slides, presentation notes, unpublished reports, works in progress, data sets, software, software versions and other distinct contributions, and other scholarly communications openly available when appropriate.

Date Approved: 

September 26, 2019

Date Published: 

December 13, 2019

Effective Date: 

January 1, 2020