Skip to Main Content Ramsey Library UNC Asheville

Open and Subscribed Educational Resources: Open Educational Resources

Recommended Open Educational Resource Collections

Open Educational Resource repositories listed here cover a wide variety of educational disciplines.  They include OERs targeted at lower education levels as well, but advanced search can often be employed to refine results to university-level content.

  • OER Commons ( Curating best in class learning materials from around the world since 2007.  The OER Commons is a single search source that pulls from multiple OER collections, including MERLOT and Connexions.  It is a great first step in an OER search, but often more results can be found by searching the specific collection.  
    • Users can create collections of existing content and create their own content pages to share.
    • The OER Commons is a supported by ISKME (the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education).
    • Recommended for the Business, Education, History, Life Sciences, Psychology and Sociology subject areas.  
  • MERLOT ( is a free and open peer reviewed collection of online teaching and learning materials and faculty-developed services contributed and used by an international education community. MERLOT was opened in 1997 and is supported by the California State University System.  
    • MERLOT does not house content, but is a collection of links to other content.  The materials can be ranked and many are peer-reviewed.  There are discipline specific Communities that curate and review the content.  
    • You can create and share personal collections of content links.
    • Recommended for the Business, Education, Music, Political Science and Sociology subject areas.  f
  • MIT OpenCourseWare - Intended for students but also licensed (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) for other non-commercial educational uses, this massive resource library of open courses can be helpful for coming up with new, effective teaching ideas, and adding high quality resources to your courses. Just make sure to attribute the original author in your work. "The underlying premise and purpose of MIT OpenCourseWare is to make course materials used in MIT courses freely and openly available to others for non-commercial educational purposes. Through MIT OpenCourseWare, MIT grants the right to anyone to use the materials, either "as is," or in a modified form. There is no restriction on how a user can modify the materials for the user's purpose. Materials may be edited, translated, combined with someone else's materials, reformatted, or changed in any other way." -MIT OpenCourseWare intellectual property details page. Also available is MIT's much smaller, more instructional resource focused OCW Educator Portal.
  • OpenWashington - (  is a site designed to help you understand the OER movement and find OER.  They have links for finding textbooks, content, images and video, as well as stories from faculty who have adopted OER in their classrooms.
  • is a non-profit organization sponsored by the Saylor Foundation, they are focused on bringing "freely available education to all."  Founded in 1999 by Michael Saylor, they have created online courses curated from open content found on the Web.  The courses are marketed toward students who just want to learn, and are working on some methods for offering credentials. For faculty, Saylor is a great site to start your search for OER by subject.  
    • does not house content, but link to outside resources.
    • Lists of the Academic Consultants by subject area are available.
    • Lists of the Content Review Panels by subject area are also available. 
    • They also have a collection of open textbooks.
    • Recommended for the Accounting, Advertising, Sales, Marketing, General Business, Science & Mathematics, Management & Leadership, Business Law & Ethics, Social Sciences, and Writing & Communication subject areas.  
  • Europeana – is a gateway to European cultural assets, through through this one site you can search (use the hourglass at top right) in many European national libraries and archives for artworks, cultural items, books, and various archival documents from participating institutions all around Europe. The use permissions are usually clearly marked, though some will require contacting the hosting institution for clarity. Some hosting institutions will not have English translations but pasting the URL into Google Translate may be helpful in such cases. To find an item with the Creative Commons or public domain licensing you prefer - 

  1. Once you type in your initial search on the main page, you will have a list of filters
  2. Use the "Can I use it?" and "By Copyright" filters to narrow down your results


Although every effort is made to ensure that only reliable, up-to-date OER sites are recommended here, and that the content included by the sites themselves is actually licensed as listed, the responsibility ultimately falls on individual users to ensure that the license (including Creative Commons, Public Domain, and paid for/ individually agreed upon with the rights holders) is correct to the reuser's individual use case. Please make a diligent, good faith effort to ensure the resources you use are validly licensed for your intended uses before you reuse them. Librarians are here to help you, and UNCA general counsel is also available as a professional resource for some questions.