Open Educational Resources (OER)

The fastest way to start using OER in your classes would be to adopt an existing OER textbook. Find a textbook that would work for you using some of the resources in this guide, like "SUNY Open Textbooks", or "OpenStax". SUNY Online and SUNY OER Services collaborate on a variety of initiatives that leverage the resources and expertise available to faculty interested in Open Educational Resources (OER) from exploration to adoption to creation. Lumen Learning and SUNY OER Services have many ready to adopt courses. Please contact Faye Starman at (x5894) for more information.

Some OER Resources

Evaluating OER Quality

There are various lists and rubrics for evaluating OER available online. Five common elements of these rubrics include: 

  • That the content of the OER is accurate and free of major errors and spelling mistakes

  • That the license of the content can be used or altered for the course's needs

  • That the OER is clearly written and appropriate for the students' level of understanding

  • That the accessibility of the content is appropriate for all students

Examples of rubrics for evaluating OER are available below:


Evaluating OER Accessibility


Besides their general quality, the accessibility of OER is also an important factor to consider, especially in light of the online nature of most OER. Information about creating and evaluating the accessibility of OER is listed below. 

NEW SEARCH TOOL for OER Open Content (added 9/18)

OASIS (Openly Available Sources Integrated Search)

OASIS includes the ability to limit search results by license, type, subject, source, and reviews available.  Through OASIS, you can also suggest new sources to be added to the catalog and/or share items of interest through email.


Creative Commons search

Search the web with Creative Commons filtered search engine to find web sites, articles, videos, images, and other resources licensed for sharing.

How to Search for Openly Licensed Educational Resources

From Visually.

Important: Depending on the subject you teach, finding a variety of OER in your discipline may be difficult. If you are having issues locating OER in your discipline, contact your subject liaison. (see list of library liaisons.)

A few collections with discipline-specific resources available online are listed below:

OER in the Sciences

 OER in the Arts & Humanities

 OER in the Social Sciences

Most of the icons used throughout this guide are from icons8. Their use/reuse guidelines are here

More and more textbook authors are opting to share their textbooks open platforms. Use these links to browse through some of the major open textbook repositories or use MERLOT's ISBN search to find comparable open textbooks..

Open Access is not the same as OER. Open Access materials are still under traditional copyright. They cannot be copied, shared, or remixed. The thing that makes them distinctive is that, unlike traditional journal articles, you can read them on the web without having a subscription or paying for a download. This is important for the free flow of scholarly communication and the sustainability of libraries; however it doesn't allow you to embed the content in your course. You can still only link to Open Access articles, not copy or share them.

Below, you'll find a list of resources helpful for finding open access journals. If you are not using a curated list of open access journals, but rather searching on the open web for open access journals, you may get results that include predatory / low-quality titles.