Find and use open educational resources (OER)

SUNY Geneseo’s OASIS tool searches more than 115 sources for open content.

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How to find OER

Open Education Librarian Cheryl Casey is happy to help instructors locate OER and other free or low-cost course materials. Contact her for a consultation.

Open textbooks

In addition to using the OASIS search box above, browse these recommended sites for free online textbooks that can be customized:

  • Open Textbook Library features more than 1,300 complete open textbooks in a range of subjects. Most have faculty-authored reviews. You can also see textbook topics in development.
  • Pressbooks Directory features more than 6,000 open textbooks published on the Pressbooks platform. Content can be cloned in our UA Pressbooks platform and customized for a UA audience.
  • OpenStax offers college-level, peer-reviewed textbooks in math/statistics, science, sociology, psychology, business, economics, history, American government, writing, and student success, plus Advanced Placement titles. OpenStax textbooks are included in the Open Textbook Library, but this site provides additional free resources for instructors, such as PowerPoint slides and solutions to end-of-chapter problems. Optional courseware is available at an additional cost.
  • OER Commons can be browsed by grade level, subject area, and material type. The Open Author tool lets instructors combine text, pictures, sound, files, and video.
  • LibreTexts has OER in a range of subjects and in Spanish in their "Explore the Libraries" tab. Materials vary by subject but include laboratory experiments, case studies, visualizations and simulations, demonstrations and techniques, and interactive fossils.
  • Cool4Ed (California Open Online Library for Education) features open textbooks for specific courses in their "Course Showcase" tab. Textbook evaluations cover quality and accessibility. The "Faculty Showcase" tab features extensive resources for instructors teaching similar classes.

Subject-specific OER

Open courses

How to use OER

Free access doesn't always equate to OER. While University of Arizona affiliates can freely access the library's licensed ebooks, those are copyrighted with all rights reserved and not OER.

To be OER, materials must:

  • Be free to access, and
  • Give users the freedom to retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute the content

The freedom to retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute content is usually granted by a Creative Commons license or because a resource is in the public domain.

About Creative Commons licenses

The six different Creative Commons licenses tell users exactly what they're allowed to do with the content. OER can't have an ND (No Derivatives) element in the Creative Commons license because that doesn't allow revisions to be shared. ND content is still free to use, but it can't be customized.

Remixing OER that have different Creative Commons licenses can be tricky. A Creative Commons chart shows which remixes are allowed. Also keep in mind that some content collections, such as MERLOT, have a mixture of OER and free resources. Check individual licenses before using.

If you have Creative Commons questions, contact open education librarian, Cheryl Casey. Contact scholarly communications librarian, Ellen Dubinsky, about copyright.

How to print OER

Online access to OER is free, so print copies are optional. You're allowed to print as many pages of OER as you like.

The UA BookStores sell print copies of certain OpenStax textbooks and also offer print-on-demand services. Contact Fast Copy about print-on-demand.