Skip to Main Content

Open Educational Resources (OER)

A guide to educational material that are freely available to use, adapt, share, and reuse.

Search for resources

OPTION 1: Explore content within the various repositories.
Hint: Use broad search terms (i.e. Psychology) 

Pressbooks Directory 

A directory of all books (textbooks, handbooks, and other text-based media) published on Pressbooks, a popular OER-authoring tool.


        Open Textbook Library          
The Open Textbook Library provides an easy-to-use interface for locating and evaluating OER. Along with peer-reviewed textbooks,                            OTL provides reviews from faculty who have adopted their texts for courses.



OpenStax is one of the most popular OER repositories in use today, and provides textbooks for college as well as high school AP courses.

  OER Commons
From a single point of access in OER Commons, you can search, browse, and evaluate resources in OER Commons' growing collection of over 50,000 OER. 


           BC Campus OpenEd Library

The British Columbia Campus Consortium's OER repository, BCCampus OpenEd collects textbooks from a variety of resources, including the books housed in OpenStax and others.


TOME: Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem 


A joint initiative focused on the Humanities and Social Sciences.  Note: Not all materials included are, by definition, OER. Be sure to check out the license restrictions. 

OPTION 2: Find specialized material by searching metafinders.
Hint: Use specific search terms (i.e. Abnormal Psychology) 


Faculty Textbook Portal 

  • VIVA shared e-books
  • E-books for purchase (EBSCO DRM-free e-books, EBSCO DRM-light unlimited user e-books, Taylor & Francis e-books)
  • Open Educational Resources from the following collections:
    • BC Open Textbook Project
    • OAPEN Library
    • Open SUNY Textbooks
    • Open Textbook Library
    • VIVA Open Collaboration course content


The Mason OER Metafinder (MOM)

AMSER (Applied Math and Science Education Repository); BC Campus: Open Ed; College Open Textbooks;; MIT OpenCourseware;; OASIS; OER Commons; OERs at Internet Archive; Open Michigan; Open Research Library; Open Textbook Library; OpenStax CNX; American Memory Project from the Library of Congress; Digital Public Library of America; Library of Congress (online collections only); National Emergency Library; NYPL Digital Collections; HathiTrust; Project Gutenberg; World Digital Library, Directory of Open Access Books.

OPTION 3: Round up your search.
Hint: Subject-specific and institutional repositories and directories can help you quickly hone-in on material. 

Subject-specific Repositories
Discipline Directories

OER by Discipline Directory (last updated June 28, 2019), Ed. Josie Gray

The BCcampus Open Education OER by Discipline Directory lists a wide range of open educational resources organized by discipline. This directory is updated as new resources are identified. Note that textbooks in the B.C. Open Textbook Collection are not included in this directory.

OER by Discipline Guide: McMaster University (last updated October 29, 2019), Ed. Joanne Kehoe, Olga Perkovic

The guide parallels five of the six Faculties at McMaster, namely, the DeGroote School of Business and the Faculties of Engineering, Humanities, Science and Social Sciences. As this guide evolves, other OER — case studies, courses, games, simulations, videos, and more — may also be evaluated and added.

Institutional Repositories


When you deposit work in LibraOpen, UVA's institutional repository, Libra creates a persistent URL for your work (“DOI”), that is immediately available for sharing and promotion. Within 24 hours of depositing material in Libra, your work is discoverable through Virgo. Beyond UVA, the entry is immediately discoverable by search engines and thus is available for educators, scholars, and the public, all around the world.

Open Michigan

Open Michigan enables the University of Michigan community to make the products of its research, teaching, and creative work available to the world. This includes expertise and services for open educational resources, open data, and open publications.

Digging Deeper

   Resources by Discipline 


Arts & Humanities

Art & Architecture




Philosophy and Religion










Computer Science


Health Sciences

  • Open RN is a repository of Open Education Resources for Nursing

Open Software

  • OME (Open Microscopy Environment) is a consortium of universities, research labs, industry and developers producing open-source software and format standards for microscopy data. Their products include:
    • OMERO - Handles your images in a central repo from microscope to publication
    • BIO-FORMATS - standalone library for reading and writing microscopy file formats. It can be used from standard applications like ImageJ and MATLAB, or from your own code.


Free but NOT open


Introduces first and second-year college students are introduced to this expanding new field, comprehensively exploring the essential concepts from every branch of knowldege – including engineering and the applied arts, natural and social sciences, and the humanities. As sustainability is a multi-disciplinary area of study, the text is the product of multiple authors drawn from the diverse faculty of the University of Illinois: each chapter is written by a recognized expert in the field.


Social Sciences

Social Work


Open Textbooks Reviewed by UVA Faculty











Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

The VIVA Faculty Textbook Portal is a catalog to assist Virginia public college and university faculty in finding and selecting open and affordable textbooks for their courses. It contains over 200,000 titles from VIVA’s shared library collections, open access textbooks, and ebooks available for VIVA to purchase on behalf of public colleges and universities throughout the state. The Portal is part of a wide-scale Open and Affordable Initiative by VIVA to provide no-cost and barrier-free access to course curriculum resources for students and researchers.

VIVA Faculty Textbook Portal



The Open Textbook Library is the best one-stop site for locating open textbooks.  The library includes textbook reviews from faculty across the nation.


OpenStax logoOpenStax has a selection of open textbooks aimed towards large enrollment courses.  In addition to free online texts, they also offer low-cost print copies that can be ordered.


BC Campus logoBCcampus Open Education offers a collection of hundreds of open textbooks created by faculty at institutions in British Columbia. 


LibreTextsLibreTexts currently encompass twelve widely used college-level disciplines from chemistry to humanities withover 68,500 pages.



Open SUNY Textbooks is an open textbook publishing initiative established by State University of New York libraries and supported by SUNY Innovative Instruction Technology Grants and SUNY Geneseo.


The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine logoUnlike 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.

Directory of Open Access Books logo


The primary aim of DOAB is to increase discoverability of Open Access books.


The Digital Public Library of America aggregates openly-licensed books, making them available to libraries. Access more than 5,000 ebook titles–from the classics to contemporary fantasy and sci-fi–ALL FOR FREE by choosing DPLA as your library and tapping on the DPLA Collection. No sign in or library card required. To browse, use its free SimplyE app, available for iOS and Android.


Hathi Trust Digital Library logoHathiTrust Digital Library is a digital preservation repository and highly functional access platform that provides long-term preservation and access service for public domain and in copyright content from a variety of sources including Google, the Internet Archive, Microsoft, and in-house partner institution initiatives.



The OAPEN Library contains freely accessible academic books, mainly in the areas of humanities and social sciences.  



Open Culture logo

Open Culture's blog formatted repository seeks to bring together free resources on culture and education. logo is a place for individuals and institutions to join together in support of free ebooks. We work together to support authors, publishers, or other rights holders who want their ebooks to be free.

OER Commons logoOER Commons is a repository of over 50,000 OER of all types, and its “Open Author” platform can be used to create new resources.


Teaching Commons logoTeaching Commons brings together OER that have been curated by librarians at colleges and universities throughout the US.

Merlot Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online TeachingMERLOT is a collection thousands of free and openly licensed resources with 20 different material types, including assignments, case studies, textbooks, quizzes, and more.

CORA logoThe Community of Online Research Assignments (CORA) is an open compilation of research assignments.

Open Course Library logoThe Open Course Library (OCL) is a collection of sharable course materials, including syllabi, course activities, readings, and assessments designed by teams of college faculty, instructional designers, librarians, and other experts


Open Learning Initiative logo

The Open Learning Initiative (OLI) is a grant-funded group at Carnegie Mellon University, offering online courses to anyone who wants to learn or teach.  The aim is to create high-quality courses and contribute original research to improve learning and transform higher education 



Open Yale Courses provides free and Open Yale Courses logoopen access to a selection of introductory courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University.  The aim of the project is to expand access to educational materials for all who wish to learn


Open Michigan logo

Open Michigan enables the University of Michigan community to make the products of its research, teaching, and creative work available to the world beyond the campus


MIT Open Courseware logo


MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. OCW is open and available to the world and is a permanent MIT activity

Academic Earth logo

Academic Earth offers videos and lectures from respected instructors throughout the world


Coursera logoCoursera offers a large library of material--some of which is open to re-use


Founded at Harvard University and MIT in 2012, edX is an online learning destination and MOOC provider, offering high-quality courses from the world's best universities and institutions to learners everywhere

 Open Syllabus is a non-profit research organization that collects and analyzes millions of syllabi

to support novel teaching and learning applications.  Open Syllabus helps instructors develop classes, libraries manage collections, and presses develop books.  It supports students and lifelong learners in their exploration of topics and fields.  It creates incentives for faculty to improve teaching materials and to use open licenses.  It supports work on aligning higher education with job market needs and on making student mobility easier.  It also challenges faculty and universities to work together to steward this important data resource.

Open Syllabus currently has a corpus of nine million English-language syllabi from 140 countries.  It uses machine learning and other techniques to extract citations, dates, fields, and other metadata from these documents.  The resulting data is made freely available via the Syllabus Explorer and for academic research. 


Featuring: Inclusive Images



Other sites with free or openly licensed images


Remember the one condition of open licenses: You must provide attribution.

Ideal attribution for images should include Title + Author (linked to their profile when possible) + Source (linked to it in the title) + License (link to license deed). As example, these are the attributions for images included in this page:


Software for creating your own images

  • GIMP is a full-featured and open source image editing application with somewhat of a learning curve | GIMP tutorials.
  • GIMPSHOP, also open source and built using GIMP code, is an image editing application resembling Photoshop.
  • Greenshot is a free, open source tool for taking, editing, and annotating screenshots.