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Connexions, now called OpenStax, is a global repository of educational content provided by volunteers. The platform is provided and maintained by Rice University. The collection is available free of charge, is available for remixing and editing, and is available for download in various digital formats.
Founded in 1999 by Richard Baraniuk, Connexions is based on the philosophy that scholarly and educational content can and should be shared, re-used and recombined, interconnected and continually enriched. As such, it was one of the first Open Educational Resources (OER) initiatives along with projects such as MIT OpenCourseWare and the Public Library of Science. The materials in Connexions are available under a CC-BY Creative Commons license.
Connexions contains educational materials at all levels—from children to college students to professionals—organized in small modules that can be connected into larger courses. Material is authored by people from all walks of life. Much content is created by university professors, but the collection also contains very popular music content created by a part-time music teacher.
Connexions popular material is translated into many languages, aided by the open-content licensing.
To ensure the legal reusability of content, Connexions requires authors to license materials they publish under the Creative Commons Attribution License (presently, version 3.0). Under this license, the author retains the right to be credited (attributed) wherever the content is reused. The author grants others the right to copy, distribute, and display the work, and to derive works based on it, as long as the author is credited.
Three key factors enable the collaborative environment in Connexions:
The Connexions project was started in 1999 [reference?] and initially supported by individuals and Rice University. That support has been substantially supplemented by grants from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.