What are Not OERs?

If a resource is not free or openly licensed, it cannot be described as an OER. For example, most materials accessed through your library’s subscriptions cannot be altered, remixed, or redistributed. These materials require special permission to use and therefore cannot be considered “open.” Table 1 below explains the difference between OER and other resources often misattributed as OER.

Table 1. Components of an OER

Material Type Openly Licensed Freely Available Modifiable
Open educational resources Yes Yes Yes
Free online resources under all rights
reserved copyright
No Yes No
Materials available through the university library  No Yes No
Open access articles and monographs Yes Yes Maybe

The OER Starter Kit by Abbey K. Elder is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted