What are Open Educational Resources?

Open educational resources are materials that are available online for anyone to use. "Open" means the creator has chosen to grant certain uses to anyone, such as distribute and remix their work for free, as long as you credit them for the original work. The library can help you find OERs for your class.

About the Licenses

The key distinction about open resources is their use of an alternative to copyright called a Creative Commons  license. Here's a good OER basics video to help you get started.

Evaluating Open Textbooks and OERs

Quality Considerations


How do I properly attribute material offered under a Creative Commons license?

Downloads - Creative Commons

CC license logos for print and web publications

OPEN Attribution Builder

An application to help you cite open materials, from Open Washington

Find Open Educational Resources



  • Google Books Citations and previews of books and magazines, full text is available if for public domain items

  • Project Gutenburg - Full text of over 45,000 free ebooks in the public domain, available to read online or download

  • Wikibooks - Instructional textbooks that editable by anyone. It is NOT a repository for literature or published texts.

Free Textbooks

  • BCcampus - From British Columbia, Creative Commons licensing, available as free ebook or printed books at cost

  • OpenStax College - Peer-reviewed science and math textbooks, available free online or low-cost print, customizable by instructors

  • Open Textbook Library - Peer-reviewed multiple subject textbooks, PDF versions available for free, printed books available at cost

Low Cost Textbooks

  • Boundless - Textbooks in many subjects, optional customization by instructors, all textbooks cost $20.00

  • Flat World Knowledge - Digital textbooks in many subjects, able to be personalized by instructors, print versions available

Courses and Curricula

Online Courses Available to Everyone

  • Khan Academy - Free online classes in many subjects, using video lectures, also keeps statistics and earn badges

  • Lumen Open Courses - Free access to CC BY-licensed classes, which include readings and videos

  • Open Learning Initiative - Free online courses in math, science and technology

Curriculum for Use by Faculty

  • Academic Earth - Searchable listings of free online college courses available from U.S. universities and colleges

  • MIT Open Courseware - Created by Massachusetts Institute of Technology

  • Open Course Library - Course materials, including syllabi and activities, Creative Commons licensing, from WA State

  • Open Michigan - Course materials in many subjects, Creative Commons licensing

  • Saylor.org - Free peer-reviewed online courses in many subjects

OER News and Promotion

Other Resources

Images and Video

Language and Social Sciences

  • BBC Learning - Covers many subjects, includes clips from BBC programs

  • Duolingo - Learn Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese and Dutch for free online, phone apps available

  • Library of Congress American Memory Project - Documents, images, maps, sound recordings and more chronicling the American experience



Search Engines of Resources and Books