The Ellen Clarke Bertrand Library

Open Educational Resources (OER)

OER Search

George Mason University's aggregated OER search engine looks for OER content in Hathi Trust, the Internet Archive, DPLA, OpenStax, Merlot, and other sources. Use the advanced search feature to apply a range of limiters.

Search Mason OER Metafinder

What is OER?

According to UNESCO, "Open Educational Resources are teaching, learning or research materials that are in the public domain or released with an intellectual property license that allows for free use, adaptation, and distribution." OER include curriculum maps, course materials, textbooks, streaming videos, multimedia applications, podcasts, and any other materials that have been designed for use in teaching and learning.

The Creative Commons has gathered a number of definitions of OER from different organizations.

What can I do with OER?

Open content is licensed in a way that grants users the permission to:

Retain Make, own, and control copies of the content (e.g., download, duplicate, store, and manage)
Reuse Use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
Revise Adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content (e.g., translate the content into another language)
Remix Combine the original or revised content with other material to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
Redistribute Share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., post a copy of the content online for others to download)

This material is based on original writing by David Wiley, which was published freely under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license at: Defining the "Open" in Open Content and Open Educational Resources.

What is a Creative Commons license?

Creative Commons licenses provide a standardized way for authors and creators to grant the public permission to share and use their creative works. Creative Commons licenses mix and match the following elements:

attribution symbol Attribution (BY)
Give credit to the original author
share alike symbol Share Alike (SA)
Distribute derivative works under the same license
non-commercial symbol Non-Commercial (NC)
Only use the work for noncommercial purposes
no derivatives symbol No Derivatives (ND)
Only use verbatim copies of the work
CC BY license CC BY ND license
CC BY SA license CC BY NC SA license
CC BY NC license CC BY NC ND license

Using OER? Tell us about it!

Guide Reuse and Attribution

Creative Commons License Open Educational Resources (OER) by UWM Libraries and Kristin Woodward is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Get Help from Your Librarian

OER at Bucknell

Since late 2012, Bucknell University has been working to better understand the still-developing world of Open Educational Resources (OERs). 

For some background on the development of OER initiatives at Bucknell, be sure to read the summary of the 2013 President’s Task Force Report.

Further reading on OER

OER in the News