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Open Educational Resources (OER)

Information about OERs at Southworth Library

OER Searching Tools

  • New from SUNY Geneseo, OASIS is a search tool that aims to make the discovery of open content easier

  • OER Commons ( 
    • Curating best in class learning materials from around the world since 2007.  The OER Commons is a single search source that pulls from multiple OER collections, including MERLOT and Connexions.  It is a great first step in an OER search, but often more results can be found by searching the specific collection.  
  • Creative Commons Search Tool
    • This search tool allows you to search for Creative Commons content based on the way that you want to use the content. You can search using Flickr, Fotopedia, Google, Google Images, YouTube, and SoundCloud.
    • This site allows you to search only the Creative Commons licensed material on Flickr.

Explore the three tabs below:

The Open Textbook movement focuses on the creation of books that are built specifically for use as free or low-cost options for education.  Many of the collections will have links to the same books, but each repository has a particular focus, and items you can't find in other collections. Here is an additional document for browsing open textbooks by subject/course catalog.

  • Open Textbook Library ( – OTL, with over 350 books, is a clearinghouse of links to books in various locations, including OpenStax, Saylor and others. Books in the OTL have been peer reviewed for quality, and the Open Textbook Library has multiple criteria for inclusion in the Library.

  • OpenStax ( – These books were developed following traditional textbook publishing methods, including peer review, editorial support, and creation of ancillary content. Books are available in multiple formats (PDF, print on demand, on the Web) and are licensed to be revised and remixed by faculty who want create a custom solution for a course.

    • Note: Several faculty members at OU have adopted or adapted OpenStax books, including Dean Kelly Damphousse, Glen Kurtz, Heather Ketchum, and others.

  • Pressbooks Directory - it provides an index of 5,101 books published across 144 Pressbooks networks. It is more powerful when paired with Pressbooks Create, which allows you to clone, revise, remix, and redistribute all of the openly licensed content found through this Directory.

  • BC Campus OpenEd ( – This site includes texts written specifically for the BC Open Textbook initiative, as well as books from other sources.

  • Lumen Learning ( – Lumen provides open courses in a variety of high-demand subjects and disciplines. These courses are collections of high-quality OER, not necessarily as a traditional textbook.  You can use them as-is or modify them to fit your instructional style and students’ needs.

  • Milne Open Books: Milne Library Publishing at SUNY Geneseo manages and maintains Milne Open Textbooks, a catalog of open textbooks authored and peer-reviewed by SUNY faculty and staff.

  • HathiTrust ( – HathiTrust is a partnership of academic & research institutions, offering a collection of millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world.   

  • The Directory of OpenAccess Books ( – This site is a clearinghouse of links to books hosted in various locations, and includes a large selection of international textbooks.

  • Bookshelf ( – This collection includes books written specifically for as well as the original editions of the FlatWorldKnowledge textbooks (subsequent editions are only offered for purchase). You can view all their resources by subject area in their library. 

  • LibreTexts: The LibreTexts mission is to unite students, faculty and scholars in a cooperative effort to develop an easy-to-use online platform for the construction, customization, and dissemination of open educational resources (OER) to reduce the burdens of unreasonable text book costs to our students and society.

  • Library Genesis: It is a "shadow library. The website boasts millions of journal articles and over a hundred thousand books found that are typically only available through costly academic journals. To download a PDF textbook, all you need to do is enter your search query, either by the author's name, the subject, or book title in the search box and click on the textbook you want to download.

  • ScholarWorks: Best for range of search methods to find free college textbooks easily. It has a collection of works by Grand Valley State University scholars and is maintained by GVSU itself. Users can search college textbooks PDFs across title, author, citation, keywords, etc.

  • Open Access Publishing in European Networks ( – The OAPEN Library contains freely accessible academic books, mainly in the area of Humanities and Social Sciences. OAPEN has books in multiple languages and covering a large variety of topics. There is a range of licensing for the books, but each books is clearly marked with the license.

  • Project Gutenberg ( – A volunteer effort to digitize and archive cultural works. Most items in this collection are digitized works from the public domain, making it a rich source for those in the Humanities

  • The National Academies Press ( – Unlike some of the open textbook initiatives these books are publicly available but not openly licensed.  You can link to the content, and even link directly to specific pages.  However, you cannot remix and redistribute the content.

You may also choose to explore an option that is closer to home:

Open SUNY Textbooks is an open access textbook publishing initiative established by State University of New York libraries and supported by SUNY Innovative Instruction Technology Grants. This pilot initiative publishes high-quality, cost-effective course resources by engaging faculty as authors and peer-reviewers, and libraries as publishing service and infrastructure.

Open Educational Resource repositories listed here cover a wide variety of educational disciplines.  They include OER targeted at both primary and secondary students.  

  • OER Commons ( Curating best in class learning materials from around the world since 2007.  The OER Commons is a single search source that pulls from multiple OER collections, including MERLOT and Connexions.  It is a great first step in an OER search, but often more results can be found by searching the specific collection.  

    • Users can create collections of existing content and create their own content pages to share.

    • The OER Commons is a supported by ISKME (the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education).

    • Recommended by OU Librarians for the Business, Education, History, Life Sciences, Psychology and Sociology subject areas.  

  • OpenStax CNX (formerly Connexions) ( includes lectures, assignments, and written educational materials.  Content can be created in the Connexions interface and housed within the Connections servers.  Users can create collections of existing content and create their own content pages to share. 

  • MERLOT ( is a free and open peer reviewed collection of online teaching and learning materials and faculty-developed services contributed and used by an international education community. MERLOT was opened in 1997 and is supported by the California State University System.  

    • MERLOT does not house content, but is a collection of links to other content.  The materials can be ranked and many are peer-reviewed.  There are discipline specific Communities that curate and review the content. 

    • You can create and share personal collections of content links.

    • Recommended by OU Librarians for the Business, Education, Music, Political Science and Sociology subject areas.  

  • OpenWashington - (  is a site designed to help you understand the OER movement and find OER. They have links for finding textbooks, content, images and video, as well as stories from faculty who have adopted OER in their classrooms. 

  • Open Culture is a considerably one of the best and biggest online platforms for e-learning. The website was founded in 2006 and has information and resources covering every possible knowledge base. Features: free textbooks online, free courses with certificates of completion, language learning resources, and audiobooks. 

  • Orange Grove ( is a online library of openly available instructional resources for Florida's educators. 

    • The Orange Grove does not house content, but is a collection of links to other content.

    • Only Florida educators are allowed to have registered accounts, but anyone can search for and use content linked in the Grove. Some resources are only available to registered users. 

    • This site is predominantly focused on K-12 content but there are links to content useful for introductory courses. 

  • Europeana – is a gateway to European cultural assets, through this one site you can search for artworks, cultural items, archival collections from participating institutions all around Europe. This site is a gateway, and once you have selected the items you want you will be redirected to the website of the institution that owns the item, and often these sites will not have English translations. To find an item with the Creative Commons licensing you prefer - 

  1. Once you type in your initial search on the main page, you will have a list of filters on the left hand side of the page

  2. Use the "Can I use it?" and "By Copyright" filters to narrow down your results  

  • Canadiana - is a coalition of members dedicated to providing broad access to Canada's documentary heritage. Through our membership alliance, Canadian libraries share tools and capacity, partner on open-source projects, and spearhead digital preservation in Canada.

OER Evaluation

OER Creation

  • OER Toolkit
    • "This is an open educational resources developed by the University of Mary Global Campus. Information contains OER toolkit, finding, using, and creating OERs and much more."
  • Blended Learning Toolkit
    • This site helps you organize learning objectives, resources and assignments for your course. Especially helpful for blended courses.
  • BookBuilder
    • Another great book-building tool with nice features such as a text reader and student annotation tool.

Examples of OER Quality Assurance?