Module 4: Finding OER/ZTC

Finding Openly-Licensed Materials | Finding library-licensed materials | Assignment & Discussion

Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify multiple OER repositories.
  • Find resources that are openly licensed or in the public domain.
  • Conduct searches for course materials to replace proprietary textbooks.

Finding openly-licensed materials

The difficulty in finding open materials is a key barrier to using OER.  Among the challenges associated with finding and adopting OER, the lack of a centralized location for searching is certainly the biggest.

Watch: How to Find and Evaluate OER by Abbey Elder

When searching for OER, a good first place to start is one of the OER search tools, which search across multiple OER repositories. Note that OER may be included in more than one collection. For example, you can find an OpenStax textbook on the OpenStax website and also in the Open Textbook Library.



Many universities have built up OER repositories.  Below are some of the best known.

    • Open Textbook Library [Curated catalog of open textbooks with faculty reviews housed at the University of Minnesota]
    • OpenStax [Non-profit open textbook publishing company housed at Rice University that offers optional add-ons from outside partners]
    • OpenStax CNX [A large collection of CC BY licensed OER supported by Rice University]
    • BCcampus OpenEd [A collection of textbooks created in British Columbia]
    • Merlot [Led by California State University, along with 23 other universities and institutional partners that support the operation of this repository.]
    • Open SUNY [Textbooks developed by the SUNY system]


CCNY guide to finding OER materials lists additional OER collections by subjects:


This module was created by Ching-Jung Chen. Portions of the content were adapted from: