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Open Educational Resources - OER: Summed Up

This guide introduces Open Education Resources & the the philosophy behind the movement.

Carnegie Mellon University Libraries is committed to supporting the exploration, identification, evaluation, selection, adoption, and creation of open educational resources (OERs) in order to promote a free or low-cost, customizable, student-driven, and lasting educational experience. These  publicly accessible materials are characterized by the 5Rs: they allow authors to retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute said resources.

Based on your current understanding, how might you describe what OER is?

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DISCLAIMER: Material provided is only intended as a guide. This guide is not a substitute for professional legal advice.

Engaging with OERs
Workshops (forth coming)
OER Support
Learn More ... 

 OER Research

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Ethan Pullman
410A Hunt Library
Frew Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Primary Subjects: First Year Writing & Open Educational Resources
412 268 5018
Introduction to Open Educational Resources        OERs include:

brought to you by the Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC)
  • Content: Full courses, course materials, modules, learning objects, collections, guides, data, journals, and any materials used for teaching and learning.

  • Tools: Software to support the creation, delivery, use, and improvement of open learning content development, including but not limited to content management tools, and online learning communities.

  • Implementation resources: Intellectual property licenses to promote open publishing of materials, design-principles, and localization of content.
What can you do with OERs?
THE 5 Rs of Open Educational Resources


Download OERs and keep them on your device(s).


Use existing OER content as is as often as you need.


Make small or large scale changes to suit your needs.


Combine or blend existing materials to add your own touches.


Share your version with the community based on licensing outlined by original materials.


The content of this table is one instance of an OER content that was revised, remixed, retained, and retained from an infographic designed by SUNY OER Services.  See the bottom of this page for credits and license information for this guide.


Why OER?  Cost of Textbooks, for one.

This guide by Ethan Pullman is adapted from OER guides at the following Universities (in alphabetical order):  Oakland University by Julia Rodriguez, Portland Community College by Jen Klaudinyi, University of Pittsburgh by Lauren B. Collister, UMass Amherst Libraries, and Virginia Tech.

All original content and images on this page are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Any third party content or images are linked to the original source and are subject to their own license terms.