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Open Access Publishing

What are Open Educational Resources?"Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning and research materials...that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions" (UNESCO)

  • OER materials are diverse: While Open Textbooks may be the most talked about form of OER, any document, from a syllabus, to a lesson plan, a video, or an activity worksheet can be made openly accessible to be usable by other instructors.
  • The adoption of OER materials benifits students: Including OER in a course can not only reduce the cost of course materials for students, but it can help faculty find new ways to increase student learning using new tools and new open pedagogical models of education, such as the flipped classroom.
  • Faculty can use OER materials in many ways: They can adopt a complete OER resource into their course, adapt them to better fit existing course content, or remix a collection of OER materials into a new resource to use in the classroom.
  • Faculty can create their own OER materials: Share them with a Creative Commons license, making them available for other instructors to use and adapt.

To learn more about evaluating, creating, and modifying OER resources, visit the Gutman Library's OER guide.

Finding OER materials

Instructors can search for OER materials on the web by limiting their search to retrieve materials that are free to use and modify. For example, Google's Advanced Search page has the option to limit search results by usage rights. 


Federated search tools can help faculty search OER content from multiple sites at once. Use advanced search features & filters to make your searches more specific.


OER and the Health Sciences

The Health Sciences literature will include articles about OER and the use of those resources in education. Search databases such as PubMed for articles from your subject area which discuss how schools are using OER in their programs.

Use the terms Open Educational Resources (OER) & Free Open Access Meducation (FOAM) combined with discipline or topic specific keywords to start your search.

Many well known OER websites also include discipline specific collections, or, are searchable by topic or educational level. Below are a few popularly recommended resources:

OER Grant Opportunities

Apply for an Open and Affordable Learning Grant: Applications Due May 9

Instructors adopting Open Access Resources (OER) into their courses can apply for grant funding to support their work. The Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund is providing Pennsylvania Grants for Open and Affordable Learning (PA GOAL), and the program is designed to support student success and increase equitable affordable access to higher education.Get details on the application process, eligibility, and grant guidelines on the PA GOAL website. The first cycle of applications will close on Sunday, May 9.