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Note to Faculty
Open Educational Resources (OER) are freely accessible online teaching and learning materials. They can be videos, textbooks, quizzes, learning modules and more. Using OER in your classroom will improve student engagement and success, provide immediate, equitable access to resources, save money for your students, and provide you a venue to use flexible, high-quality learning materials in your individualized curriculum. This guide collects the best-of-the-best OER and organizes them by college and department. Take a look and see what is available in your discipline.
- Open Textbook is a term used to indicate a Textbook that is fully OER.
- Public Resources are materials that are free, but licenses still protect the content in some way.
- Library Resources do not cost your students any money, and should also be considered as a means to lower the total cost of learning for your students.
- Low-cost resources: course materials that cost students $25 or less, in total.
Tips for finding and using OER and other affordable content:
- There are lots of OER materials out there. It takes time and persistence to find the ones that best fit your students' academic and research needs.
- Instead of focusing on the textbook that you want to replace, focus on what you want your students to know or do.
- Use the resources in this guide to find OER relevant to your discipline and courses. These links are great starting points but if you are not finding the OER that work for you, contact your subject librarian for personalized help.
- If you find an article in a library database that you want to use in a course, Library staff can help you with copyright considerations and provide access to the resource through reserves, embed in an online course, or on a website.
- Talk with your subject librarian with any questions you have about finding and using OER.
Links to more detailed information about OER and copyright:
Find eBooks owned by the Library
PLOS Biology (eISSN-1545-7885; ISSN-1544-9173) is an open-access, peer-reviewed general biology journal published by PLOS, a nonprofit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a public resource.
Public LIbrary of Science (PLOS)
PLOS (Public Library of Science) has helped to liberate tens of thousands of research articles and to advance scientific discovery as a pioneer of Open Access (OA) publishing.
National Science Digital Library
Provides high quality online educational resources for teaching and learning, with current emphasis on the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines
Demonstrations can be used to enliven a classroom or visualize complex concepts, while others shed new light on cutting-edge ideas from academic and industrial workgroups. Each is reviewed and edited by experts for content, clarity, presentation, quality, and reliability.
PubMed Central® (PMC) is a free full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM).
TRAIL - Technical Report Archive & Image Library
The mission of TRAIL is to ensure preservation, discoverability, and persistent open access to government technical publications regardless of form or format.
PubAg - US Department of Agriculture
PubAg is a portal to USDA-authored and other highly relevant agricultural research. At launch, it delivers over 42,196 full-text journal articles by USDA staff and includes nearly 1,144,879 citations.
Biodiversity Heritage Library
The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) is a consortium of natural history and botanical libraries that cooperate to digitize the legacy literature of biodiversity held in their collections and to make that literature available for open access and responsible use as a part of a global “biodiversity commons.”
OpenStax - Biology
OpenStax College resources provide quality academic instruction. Three key features set our materials apart from others: they can be customized by instructors for each class, they are a “living” resource that grows online through contributions from science educators, and they are available free or for minimal cost.