When looking for OER, a Google search may not be sufficient or even efficient. Here are some tips and resources to guide you through the process.

OER by Discipline Guide

Start by consulting the OER by Discipline Guide: University of Ottawa

  • Suggested resources for specific courses offered at uOttawa
  • High-level assessment by librarians
  • Evolving list

Points to consider when searching for OER

  • May not find an exact replacement for a commercial resource: some adaptations and using more than one OER may be required
  • OER repositories are often multidisciplinary
  • Resources come in a variety of types and formats
  • Not all repositories are organized the same way: some offer filters and reviews to help refine search results
  • The quality of the metadata associated with each resource will vary greatly, which can make it difficult to apply filters or perform a federated search of multiple repositories simultaneously
  • Some repositories include resources that are "free" but not necessarily "open", therefore take the time to verify the copyright or licence terms of each item to confirm if it is an OER

Search tips

  • Search by discipline or subject first
  • If searching by keyword, start with broader concepts and then narrow down using discipline-specific terms and/or limiters available on the platform
  • Look at the table of contents in commercial textbooks for inspiration
  • If available, use the "advanced search" function
  • Look for a copyright notice, conditions of use, or a licence to confirm the resource is “open” (not just "free")

See also "Finding Open Content" and "Repositories and Search Tools" by Ariana Santiago in OER Creation Toolkit, edited by Isaac Mulolani (University of Regina), CC BY 4.0

Suggested OER repositories and sources

Link Description
B.C. Open Collection (BCcampus)
  • Multidisciplinary
eCampusOntario Open Library
  • Multidisciplinary
  • Some recent resources created as part of the Virtual Learning Strategy (VLS) have an Ontario Commons licence, which is more restrictive than a Creative Commons licence. See Open licence and copyright for more details. 
LibreCommons by LibreTexts
  • Multidisciplinary
Lumen Learning
  • Multidisciplinary
Mason OER Metafinder (MOM)
  • Federated searching
  • This tool makes it possible to search two types of collections: OER repositories and "Deeper Search", i.e. archives and other content in the public domain
  • Multidisciplinary, federated searching
  • MERLOT includes copyright-protected content. Search results are presented in three categories: "MERLOT Collection" (mostly OER), "Other Libraries" (pointing to other open collections), and "The Web" (including education and government sites)
Milne Open Textbooks (formerly OpenSUNY)
  • Multidisciplinary
OASIS (Openly Available Sources Integrated Search)
  • Federated searching
OER Commons
  • Multidisciplinary
Open Michigan
  • Organized by discipline
  • Multidisciplinary
Open Textbook Library
  • Multidisciplinary
PennState University Libraries ROAM
  • Multidisciplinary
Pressbooks Directory
  • Multidisciplinary
  • This directory includes copyright-protected content

Other sources to consider: open access books 

Unless otherwise noted, the content on this page is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.

chat loading...