This exploratory study, framed in an interpretivist paradigm and hermeneutic approach, examined a world-wide collection of 28 dedicated open educational resources (OER) policy documents published on the Internet from post-secondary institutions. The guiding research question was how to understand OER in a dedicated OER policy corpus, that was answered through an interpretation of the policy texts. Thus, a rich picture of post-secondary institutional dedicated OER policies developed with close and distant readings that revealed emergent patterns, control patterns, and key terms such as liability. Emergent patterns in the dedicated OER policy corpus were: branding, Creative Commons, liability, licenses, metadata, OER definition, preamble, and roles. Emergent patterns of the corpus texts and institutional OER policy templates illuminated differences in consistency, commitment, and comprehensiveness of the policy texts for how OER was expressed within the dedicated OER policy corpus. Patterns of control for institutional entities in production, support, collaboration, and voluntariness revealed inequalities in student production, support, and collaboration. An interpretation of dedicated OER policy is that it is more about institutional organization than OER material. The utility and opportunities of the findings suggest that institutional dedicated OER policy could evolve with consideration for, but not limited to, standardisation, engagement of academic community, role modelling free and open source software (FOSS), liability for OER stakeholders, and students as primary stakeholders for development and implementation of dedicated OER policy. OER activities, such as online open etextbook publishing, could benefit from a supportive dedicated OER policy for guidance, promotion, development, and sustainability of OER.

Keywords: dedicated OER policy, hermeneutics, close reading, distant reading, FOSS, Voyant Tools, Zotero, Carrot2

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