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Open Educational Resources (OER): Finding OER

Information and resources for finding, creating, and engaging with OER

Tips for Searching

Tips for Searching

Use the right tool for your needs

If you aren’t sure where to start, use a metafinder that pulls in content from multiple repositories, such as SUNY’s Openly Available Sources Integrated Search (OASIS). If you are looking for open textbooks, try the Open Textbook Library. If you are looking for videos, start with YouTube or Vimeo. A more comprehensive list of OER repositories can be found in the boxes on the right.

Start broad

Start by searching with basic keywords, such as "psychology" or "abnormal psychology," rather than specific terms, such as “mental disorders."

Branch out with subject-specific terms

As you keep looking, use alternate search terms specific to the discipline you are looking for. You can identify terms by looking at your course syllabus or schedule, or by browsing the topics in your current textbook's Table of Contents. 

Save useful search terms

Approach your search like you would research for an ongoing project. If a particular tool or search term provided you with good results, save those terms in your note-taking tool of choice so you can trace back your results and try again later. As new OER are being produced annually, you will want to check back regularly for additional resources that may be available. 

Review as you go

Check the OER you find for basic accessibility markers, and make note of any particularly well-crafted content you come across for later. For items with clear and present issues, make note of those and how they could be overcome or adapted for future use.

Leverage curated lists

Seek out lists of resources that have been compiled by instructors and OER professionals already. The number and depth of resources you find through this method will vary widely, but it is a great way to quickly find any resources that have already been pulled together for a specific course.


Adapted from Iowa State University Library, "Open Educatonal Resources (OER) - Tips for Finding OER" by Abbey Elder

Finding OER

OER Repositories, reviews, courses, textbooks, and journals

This tab highlights large repositories of OER and/or freely available resources in multiple subject areas or disciplines.

Multidisciplinary OER collections

This tab highlights collections of OER textbooks, many of which come from state or institution-specific sites.

An open textbook is an openly-licensed textbook offered online by its author(s). The open license sets open textbooks apart from traditional textbooks by allowing users to read online, download, or print the book at no additional cost.

For a textbook to be considered open, it must be licensed in a way that grants a baseline set of rights to users that are less restrictive than its standard copyright. A license or list of permissions must be clearly stated by the author. (Source:  Varied Characterizations of Open Textbooks by Open Access Textbooks)

General or multi-institution:



This tab includes sites and repositories that include peer reviews and/or accessibility reviews of OER texts and course materials.

This tab highlights collections of OER courses, many of these are from specific state or institution sites.

General or multi-institution:



K-12 / Adult Education:






This tab highlights sites of materials in the public domain.

Public domain means there is no copyright attached to these materials. This term can refer to both historical resources whose copyright has expired as well as to modern works whose creators have released their materials into the public domain and waived copyright.



Please note that open access materials are NOT necessarily openly licensed. In general, you can link to open access materials, but you must check each site's terms of use for any further copyright or usage restrictions (e.g. restrictions on downloading or making copies of materials).

Open access (OA) refers to online research outputs that are free of all restrictions on access (e.g. access tolls or subscriptions). Open access can be applied to all forms of published research output, including peer-reviewed and non peer-reviewed. 
Each site linked below may contain content which may vary in open licenses or usage permissions.

Inclusive image sites:

Public domain image sites:

Image sites with a mix of openly licensed and public domain images:

Each site linked below may contain content which may vary in open licenses or usage permissions.
Each site linked below may contain content which may vary in open licenses or usage permissions.


Except where otherwise noted, the content on this page is adapted from Tacoma Community College Library and is licensed under CC BY SA 4.0