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Open Educational Resources

A resource guide on Open Educational Resources

Where to Start

Maybe you are using a textbook and you want to know what OER are comparable or similar. Maybe you want to take a look at open syllabi to see what sorts of OERs are in use at other institutions. Maybe you just want to see what is out there. If so, you are in the right place. Looking for an OER is not that different from looking for any other textbook or material. It takes time and consideration, you will find some peer-review to lean on, you could take part in the OER community and create peer-reviews of your own (see our Grant page) but whatever you find, because of the 5Rs, you can modify the resource, shaping it for your students and course goals. That is the unique and pedagogically dynamic quality of an OER.

OER Textbooks and Materials

Complete Texbooks

BCcampus Open Textbook Collection — Open textbooks for an array of subjects, reviewed by faculty.

Coerll: Collection of openly licensed language learning resources. Languages include French, German, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and more. Created by the University of Texas at Austin.

DOAB (Directory of Open Access Books) — DOAB is a community-driven discovery service that indexes and provides access to scholarly, peer-reviewed open access books and helps users to find trusted open access book publishers. All DOAB services are free of charge and all data is freely available. Not necessary OER, but all open and free to read.

DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals) — DOAJ is one a several good directories for open access journals and articles. Not necessarily OER, but all open and free to read.

LibreTexts: A multi-institutional collaborative venture to develop the next generation of open-access texts to improve postsecondary education at all levels of higher learning. The LibreTexts approach is a highly collaborative open access textbook environment is under constant revision by students, faculty, and outside experts with the aim of supplanting conventional paper-based books. Created by UC Davis.

Luminos: Publisher of Open Access monographs. Supported by the University of California Press and costs are shared among libraries, author or institution and the publisher.

Milne Open Textbooks (formerly: SUNY Open Textbooks) - Collection of open textbooks produced and published by State University of New York schools. Supported by the SUNY Initiative Technology Grant.

Open Book Publishers: Publishers of Open Access monographs and textbooks in all areas.

OpenStax: A large collection of peer-reviewed intro-level textbooks in all disciplines hosted by Rice University.

Open Textbook Library: Collection of peer-reviewed textbooks on a broader array of subjects, including advanced topics, hosted by University of Minnesota.

Pressbooks Directory: Pressbooks Directory is a free, searchable catalog that includes 5,331 open access books published by 156 organizations and networks using Pressbooks.

UMN Open Textbook Library: Collection of openly licensed textbooks. Books within the Open Textbook Library must be peer reviewed for quality and have multiple criteria for inclusion within the library. Supported by the Center for Open Education and the Open Education Network.


Large Repositories

OER Creative Commons: OER repositories and resource list: textbooks, classes, modules, images, video, audio, simulation and animation, complete courses.

OER Commons: Offers a wide range of subjects and levels. As a member of the OER Commons, Smith is a provider to the Commons, and Open Massachusetts: A Public Higher Education Repository, has a hub there as well, committed to achieving equitable access for all students.

OAPEN: The OAPEN Library contains freely accessible academic books, mainly in the area of humanities and social sciences.

OASIS: OASIS (Openly Available Sources Integrated Search) offers the ability to search a range of OER materials from multiple sources, such as textbooks, courses, corresponding materials, interactive simulations, and public domain books and resources.

OERSI: Open Educational Resources Search Index - a search engine for free educational materials in higher education. As a central search entry point, OERSI connects OER repositories of distributed state initiatives, institutional repositories of universities and libraries, and subject-specialized repositories for OER. OERSI has been developed since the beginning of 2020 as a jointly initiated project by the Hochschulbibliothekszentrum des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen (hbz) and the German National Library of Science and Technology (TIB) as an open source-based service.

Merlot: One of the biggest OER repositories: also includes peer-reviewed lessons, videos, and exercises on a broad variety of topics from beginner to advanced levels. The materials can be ranked and many are peer-reviewed. There are discipline specific Communities that curate and review the content. 

Mason OER Metafinder: Searches 15 OER repositories simultaneously. 

Skills Commons: World’s Largest OPEN Library of Workforce Training Materials Designed for 21st Century Employment.

Teaching Commons: The Teaching Commons showcases high-quality OER from leading colleges and universities hosted on the Digital Commons platform.

OER in Other Languages than English: The purpose of this site is to surface OERs created in other languages and to amplify those efforts.



Khan Academy: Specializes in video tutorials and interactive quizzes. Khan is strongest in math and science, but also has modules in history, economics, and computing. Most topics tend to be at the primary to secondary school level.

Saylor OER Courses by Subject: OER courses by subject/class created for instructors building open courses. 

MIT Open Courseware: MIT OpenCourseWare is an online publication of materials from over 2,500 MIT courses, freely sharing knowledge with learners and educators around the world.

nanoHUB: Provides over 1600 open teaching and learning resources: online presentations; course material; learning modules; podcasts; simulation tools. Created by the NSF-funded Network for Computational Nanotechnology.

#OpenCourseWare:  An open and free e-learning platform for individual learners and educational institutes with free integrated textbooks and completion certificates.

Academic Earth: Curated lists of online courses are hand selected to show the very best offerings by subject area.


Public Domain Resources

HathiTrust digital library contains millions of public domain books that can be downloaded, including a collection for United Stated Federal Government Documents Registry.

The Internet Archive contains many public domain materials.

The The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) Many items are in the public domain, check copyright status.

Government documents (with some minor exceptions) are in the public domain:, Catalog of U.S. Government Publications, Census publications, Census data

Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) through the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) distributes Government information free of cost to these libraries, and the libraries provide free access for all users to this information. In addition, information specialists are available at these libraries to assist researchers with locating Federal information.

Democracy's Library from the Internet Archive: freely accessible government data, documents, records, and research.


Library Resources

Consider filling in some of the gaps by using Smith library resources, such as ebooks and articles.

Palace Bookshelf: A collection of more than 15,000 open access ebooks available for free download. The collection includes classics, children’s books, textbooks, foreign language titles, and more. Made available from the Digital Public Library of America.

Internet Archive: A non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more.


Browse Smith College OER

Smith ScholarWorks

screen shot of Smith ScholarWorks

OERS in Smith ScholarWorks collections currently include open textbooks, video courses, open labs, and tutorials allowing faculty the opportunity to produce, teach, and engage with free, customizable, and openly-licensed materials. We are working with faculty to expand and build upon our open resource collections.

For faculty members interested in exploring how to create OERS or add their existing open educational resources to ScholarWorks, email

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