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What to Expect
- Like any type of research, searching for OERs takes time. Don't be discouraged if you don't find what you're looking for right away.
- If you don't want to conduct your own search, the Library takes search requests--contact your library liaison for details.
- Basic search strategy:
- Start with major OER repositories and meta-searches (tools that search multiple repositories at once).
- Continue to smaller repositories and subject-specific repositories (if there are any).
- Do a Creative Commons Search to find resources not in repositories.
- Ask for help. Your liaison librarian, professional organizations, and list-servs are all great resources.
- Networked search strategy:
- Check discipline-specific blogs, websites, and list-servs. Your colleagues may have created resources that you are unaware of!
- Use open-access scholarly articles, such as those listed on the "Open Journals & Articles" tab, or articles posted on the authors' personal professional websites.
- Check for other zero-cost resources, such as those listed on the "Other Zero-Cost Resources" tab, which include free websites and library resources.
- Since most open licenses allow editing, you may find multiple versions of the same resource.
- If you find something that is not quite perfect and the license allows it, consider doing some of your own editing.
Major Open Textbook Repositories
OpenStax is the gold standard for open textbooks. Their books are created at Rice University using grant funding from the Gates and Hewlett Foundations. All of their books are peer-reviewed and available in multiple formats, including in print. Most of them are accompanied by free instructor resources (available only after you have been verified as a faculty member) and student resources. OpenStax also partners with for-profit education companies to provide additional (paid) supplementary resources. OpenStax focuses primarily on core and introductory courses but is expanding rapidly.
Open Textbook Library
The Open Textbook Library (OTL) is a project of the Open Education Network, of which FHSU is a member. To be included in the OTL, an open textbook must be affiliated with a university, scholarly society, or professional organization OR currently be in use at multiple institutions. Books in the OTL are peer reviewed and allow editing, and most of them are available in multiple formats.
The Pressbooks Directory provides an index of open textbooks created using the Wordpress-based Pressbooks authoring platform. Pressbooks are easy to edit and can be exported in a number of common formats for readers, including PDF, epub, and Kindle .mobi.
Major Non-textbook Repositories and Meta-Searches
MERLOT, founded in 1997, is one of the oldest OER repositories in existence. The resources in MERLOT are crowdsourced, so double-check licensing before you use them. Highly-rated and peer-reviewed resources automatically sort to the top of search results. Since MERLOT has been around for so long, you may find earlier resources that have not been updated--if this is a concern, use the "find material by date" filter.
Mason OER Metafinder (MOM)
MOM searches several OER repositories at once. If you check the "deeper search" box, it will also search older materials that are in the public domain because their copyright has expired.
OASIS is a project of SUNY and CUNY and searches many smaller OER repositories at once, particularly institutional repositories. It is also browsable by subject and type of material.
BC Campus OER by Discipline Guide
This guide, updated frequently, lists popular OERs by subject.
Creative Commons Search: OERs
CCS allows you to search for openly licensed content on several large, public platforms, including Google and YouTube. It will help you to find OERs that might otherwise slip through the cracks because they are not listed in OER repositories. This should be the last step of your search.