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Open Educational Resources at UAlbany: Introduction

Sandbox for OER stuffs

What are OERs?

"Open educational resources (OER) are any resources available at little or no cost that can be used for teaching, learning, or research. The term can include textbooks, course readings, and other learning content; simulations, games, and other learning applications; syllabi, quizzes, and assessment tools; and virtually any other material that can be used for educational purposes. OER typically refers to electronic resources, including those in multimedia formats, and such materials are generally released under a Creative Commons or similar license that supports open or nearly open use of the content. OER can originate from colleges and universities, libraries, archival organizations, government agencies, commercial organizations such as publishers, or faculty or other individuals who develop educational resources they are willing to share."

For more information:  

Resources from SUNY OER Services:

The 5 Rs and Open Educational Resources

Learning resources are OERs if they satisfy the Five Rs Test.                                                           


















The Five Rs play a vital role in raising the quality standards of OER by allowing for more contributors. A scholar's OER efforts maybe used broadly within the discipline, even worldwide!


CC by Keerthi Padamata

What's not an OER?

OERs are openly-licensed, freely available educational resources that can be modified and reused by users. 

  • Openly-licensed: The user can freely and legally share the work.
  • Freely Available: There is no fee for access to the work. 
  • Modified: Permission is given via an open license to allow sharing, remixing and reuse of the work.

Some free resources may not be OERs. A learning resource is considered as non-OER if it is:

  • Not clearly identified as such
  • Not marked as being in the public domain
  • Not having an open license

Non-OER Examples

Material Type

Openly Licensed

Freely Available


Open Access Articles




Library Collections (subscribed content)




Free Web Resources (under copyright)





  • Some OA articles are able to be modified based on the author copyright permissions.
  • Library collections are available for students and faculty without cost, but are paid for by the institution and not available outside the University community. 
  • Most web resources are freely available but cannot be modified or reused.



Attribution and Authorship

Guide Authors: Library: Elaine M. Lasda, Associate Librarian and Keerthi Padamata,  Radkowski-Lee Graduate Assistant 2019-2020