Finding & Selecting O.E.R.

Finding O.E.R. in your discipline

For the last 15 years, the amount of high quality O.E.R. have been growing, and there are large collections for you to search on the City Tech OER site. Resources available to you range from collections of entire open textbooks like the University of Minnesota Open Textbook Library, to advanced search settings that enable you to limit your Google image search by license type (select “usage rights”).

Start your search

We recommend getting started by searching from open textbook collections, O.E.R. repositories, and search tools.

  • OpenStax Textbooks
    “Our free textbooks are developed and peer-reviewed by educators to ensure they are readable, accurate, and meet the scope and sequence requirements of your course.”
  • Open Textbook Hub (O.E.R. Commons)
    Collection of open books and course materials across disciplines, curated by ISKME’s digital librarians.
  • O.E.R. Commons
    O.E.R. Commons “offers a comprehensive infrastructure for curriculum experts and instructors at all levels to identify high-quality O.E.R. and collaborate around their adaptation, evaluation, and use to address the needs of teachers and learners.”
    “Find peer reviewed online teaching and learning materials. Share advice and expertise about education with expert colleagues. Be recognized for your contributions to quality education.”
  • Search: Mason O.E.R. Metafinder (MOM)
    The Mason O.E.R. Metafinder searches: American Memory Project (Library of Congress), AMSER (Applied Math and Science Education Repository), BC Campus Textbooks, Digital Public Library of America, Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB), HathiTrust (Full View Available), MERLOT II, MIT OpenCourseware,, O.E.R. Commons, O.E.R. at Internet Archive, Open Textbook Library, OpenStax CNX, Project Gutenberg, World Digital Library.
  • OASIS search tool under development by SUNY Geneseo
    “Openly Available Sources Integrated Search (OASIS) is a search tool that aims to make the discovery of open content easier. OASIS currently searches open content from 61 different sources and contains 160,717 records. OASIS is being developed at SUNY Geneseo’s Milne Library in consultation with Alexis Clifton, SUNY O.E.R. Services Executive Director.”


As you search for materials, check to see if the following information is included with the learning object:

  • ​Authorship and credentials
  • Peer review and affiliations
  • Intellectual property licensing:
    • Is the license displayed?
    • Are there terms of use? Terms of service?
    • Is there a fee model associated with this resource? Is it provided by a company or a non-profit?
    • Are users required to register or pay for any services?

Remember two things:

  1. You are the subject expert so trust your instincts
  2. Not all subject areas are represented equally in the form of O.E.R. If you’d like additional support finding cost-free materials – especially if you think your course subject would be better represented through library resources, contact your library subject liaison.

This short guide (PDF) can help you during the search process.

Extra tips for finding relevant course materials!

Evaluate your materials

Think about the licensing of the course material and how students will be able to access it.

  • Is it in the public domain?
  • Is it Creative Commons licensed?
  • Is it freely available to link to?

More info: Evaluate & Adopt OERs


Use any of the resources introduced in this module to locate a cost-free course material that would be useful to incorporate into the curriculum for any of the courses you teach. Describe the material and why you chose it. (Note: feel free to select any type of learning material; don’t limit your options to textbooks only).

The material you submit may be any of the following:

  • an O.E.R. – the course material is Creative Commons licensed
  • in the public domain – the material is not copyright protected; examples include government documents / resources, and works with a copyright term that has expired
  • free to link to  – the material is publicly available and students can access it for free by going to a website directly

Submit assignment

Submit via Google Forms.

  1. Course name
  2. Describe the course material you’ve chosen to incorporate into your course
  3. Describe where you located the material and the process of finding it. Was it a seamless search? Was it fraught? Would you do something different next time?
  4. Describe how the course material you’ve selected aligns with the curriculum and course learning objectives.
  5. Describe the user permissions. Include intellectual property license and other usage identifiers (e.g. Creative Commons CC-BY).
  6. Provide the URL to the course material.


Print this page