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Open Educational Resources

A resource guide on Open Educational Resources

Create OER

How to Create OER

For basic OER, such as slides or syllabi, simply add an open license to your resource and upload it to the web. Smith ScholarWorks can host your OER. Contact ScholarWorks for information on how to add your work to our OER collection.

To create book-length OER, there are many guides and platforms you can use.

Watch this ~5 minute primer by Abby Elder:

"Creating Open Educational Resources" by Abbey Elder is licensed under a CC BY 4.0

Some Platforms to Create OER 

Manifold: As OEN members we have access to Manifold, an open source publishing workflow, developed in collaboration between the CUNY Graduate Center, the University of Minnesota Press, and Cast Iron Coding. People use Manifold in a variety of ways, including to publish open educational resources, create open pedagogy projects, and as an open repository/curation tool. You can form public and private reading groups as well.

LibreText: Easy-to-use online platform for the construction, customization, and dissemination of open educational resources (OER) to reduce the burdens of unreasonable textbook costs to our students and society. Check out the "Smith Campus Book shelf" in the Chemistry section of LibreText: create a shelf for your discipline! Check out their LibreText Construction Guide or this simple overview: LibreText: A quick start guide

OER Open Author: Open Author helps you build Open Educational Resources, lesson plans, and courses to share openly on the OER Commons platform.

Pressbooks User Guide: Find answers for common questions you may have while writing and publishing your book with Pressbooks Create.

General Guides

The Rebus Guide to Publishing Open Textbooks (So Far)

The OER Starter Kit: By Abby Elder

How do I Create and Share My Own OER? Complete Module for faculty for creating OER, see part 1.3 for how to create and share OER.

University of British Columbia OER Accessibility Toolkit: The goal of the OER Accessibility Toolkit is to provide the needed resources needed to each content creator, instructor, instructional designer, educational technologist, librarian, administrator, and teaching assistant to create a truly open and accessible educational resource — one that is accessible for all students.

What About Peer Review?

About Peer Review: UMass has a great guide on peer review, "written for those who want a better understanding of how peer review works in scholarly communication ecosystems, and for those who are providing peer review in different contexts."

The Rebus Guide to Publishing Open Textbooks (So Far) has a helpful section on peer review.

Rebus Guide Template: Guide template for peer reviewers.

Citation Tools and Guides

See our Creative Commons and Copyright tab for details and background information, but if you are creating an OER, here is some helpful guidance:

  • Wondering if the item is subject to copyright?
    • Look for any copyright or other licenses marks on the item or metadata attached to item.
    • Look for date of publication.
    • Search the Public Catalog of to see it was registered (after 1978).
    • Understand the the nature of the work—is it a government document? A database? A type of work not protected by copyright?
    • TinEye: Can't remember where you got an image? Use this reverse image search to help you track down the details.

Can I Use That? Fair Use in Everyday Life [pdf]: Excellent guide from the University of Minnesota Libraries

Fair Use Evaluator: Maybe you don't even have to worry about copyright?

Creative Commons Wiki: But maybe you do, so use these best practices for attribution.


Open Attribution Builder: From Open Washington, this is a tool to help you build attributions. As you fill out the form, the app automatically generates the attribution for you.

Creative Commons License Chooser: Which CC license should you use for your work? Let the License Chooser guide you.

Marking Your Work with a CC License: Don't forget to share your work with an appropriate license! Use this guide to find out how to mark your work.

Why CC BY?: Article from the Open Access Scholarly Publishing Association on why CC BY is the best license for your open access work.