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Affordable Course Materials and Open Educational Resources (OER) for Students: Find & Use OER

Copyright and Attribution

OER Repositories and Aggregators

Open Access Content

When you are affiliated with a higher education instituion, you have information privilege. That is, you have access to Library-subscribed scholarly content that is not freely available on the open web. Little known fact: this access usually ends when you graduate.

Led by academic libraries and information activists, the Open Access movement provides an alternative: a bridge to to open scholarship, no matter your institutional ties. OA expands the content that is available across access barriers, and is gaining ground in the scholarly community. As you engage in your research, try exploring the following OA repositories:

logo for BASE

BASE is a vast cross-disciplinary international metasearch for OA content.

Openly Available Sources Integrated Search (OASIS) is a search tool that aims to make the discovery of open content easier. Discover:

  • textbooks
  • courses 
  • course materials
  • interactive simulations
  • modules
  • learning objects
  • public domain books 
  • audio books
  • open access books
  • podcasts
  • video

The Directory of Open Access Journals covers free, full text, quality controlled scientific and scholarly journals and aims to cover all subjects and all languages.

OpenDoar is an authoritative directory of academic open access repositories. From University of Nottingham, UK.

ROAR provides up-to-date visual access to a huge database of open access repositories.

Also, check out the Linked Open Data cloud:


These and many other OA resources will be available to you after you leave the University of California, San Diego. For more information on hundreds of open content and open data repositories, check out our Finding Data and Scholarly Communication guides.

OER Website and Search Tips

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 117 different sources and contains 388,707 records.

See options to search by subject and/or format..

OASIS is being developed at SUNY Geneseo's Milne Library.

Instructors can find OER in a variety of resources. Most OER organizations or collaborations have a database or central list of resources that faculty have added. Some databases also feature annotations or faculty feedback. Additionally, many disciplines have their own OER websites. The list below is not comprehensive but can instead be used as a starting point for faculty doing interdisciplinary work or work in any discipline. Remember that not all of the learning materials in these repositories and sources are OER for modifying but most of the content is freely available under Fair Use and/or with attribution.


Resources across Disciplines and Formats

OER Databases and Search Engines

Recorded Lectures & Video Tutorials Search

Open Textbook Search

Modular Course Components

Complete Courses



Language Learning

American Sign Language



Social Sciences

Nursing and Allied Health


These resources are arranged by format for those interested in using data or other types of content. See also the UC San Diego Library Open Access guide to locate open access books, journals, data, cultural materials, images, etc...

Open Access Data Sets

Tips for Searching OER:

  1. Use the advanced searching feature if there is one. This will save you some time and limit your search.
  2. Start with broad terms (ex. disease instead of cancer) and then narrow.
  3. As you narrow, think about disciplinary language. Is there something else this topic might be referred to as?
  4. If you still aren't getting good results, try to start with the browsing feature (even if it's very broad). Sometimes the term your searching isn't used but you still know it would be under a broad subject like "humanities" or "writing".

Also, see below for an infograpic which visualize the process of searching for OER.
*Note: this infographic was adapted and modified from the University of Texas at Austin's original infographic. For more information, see their Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning website.

Infographic about seaching for open educational resources