Library:OERR/User Guides/Curating/Finding

From UBC Wiki

The identification of open education resources for use within a course or program of study can be a complicated process. Unlike libraries, where content is evaluated and curated from a set of items identified through publishers, open education resources can be found everywhere and anywhere and have no set form of evaluation before they are made available to the public. This lack of evaluation for open education resources, makes selecting where to search extremely important.

This guide is created and maintained by librarians, who keep up-to-date with the most recent open education research, publications and resources within their subject areas. For additional resources not listed here, go to the Open Education Guide.

Searching for Open Education Resources

A guide created by UBC Library dedicated to open education and open access resources.

The following guides were developed to suggest tools and sources for finding open education resources. While there are many more resources available to you, the following sources have been evaluated or curated by librarians to make the searching process easier.

Open Education Resource Repositories

An open education repository is an online storage system that allows educators to share, manage and use education resources. The repository contains a collection of learning items that support instruction. These items include: open textbooks, lesson plans, quizzes (e.g. iclickers, etc.), videos, animations, handouts, interactive activities and tools (e.g. apps), and powerpoint presentations. UBC Library has created a guide of vetted open education resource repositories. The repositories have been evaluated according to the Open Education Resource Repositories (OERR) Rubric created in collaboration with 10 academic libraries in British Columbia. The assessment process is ongoing and this page will be updated as new OERR's are added.

Open Access Journals

UBC Library's Open Collections are publicly-accessible collections that reflect the research interests of the UBC community and beyond.

The basic idea of Open Access is simple, make research literature available online, without price barriers and without most permissions barriers (aside from attribution). There are a number of open access journals that can be used when providing instruction in open environments.

  • Finding Open Access Journals Guide
  • Directory of Open Access Journals - This site contains more information on Open Access publishing, as well as a directory of nearly 10,000 Open Access, full-text, and often peer-reviewed scholarly journals. These journals are freely available online, and typically allow authors to retain the copyright to their work.

UBC Library's Open Collections

UBC Library's Open Collections include digital photos, books, newspapers, maps, videos, theses and more. These publicly-accessible collections are constantly growing and reflect the research interests of the UBC community and beyond. Open Collections also allows you to run an API. Run powerful queries, perform advanced analysis, and build custom views, apps, and widgets with full access to the Open Collections' metadata and transcripts.

Finding Open Textbooks in UBC Library

UBC Library has several open collections, including open textbooks, accessible through the Library search Summon. Among the collections are:

All of the collections may not be accessible through the UBC Library systems. To review additional open textbook collections and their full catalogue of items, review the "Open Textbooks Databases" content below.

Finding Open Textbooks Using Summon

Step 1

Go to UBC Library and search for "open textbooks" in the General search bar.

Step 2

Using the filters on the left side of the results page, limit the search results to Full Text Online and Books/Ebooks. This will yield a list of items that are either open textbooks or cover open textbook issues.

Step 3

To find textbooks in your discipline, limit to an area of study using the Discipline filter.

Open Textbook Databases

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While UBC Library has a number of accessible open textbook collections, there are additional external open textbook databases you can use to find the perfect text for your course.

Mason OER Metafinder

  • George Mason University's OER Metafinder searches fifteen of the leading OER repositories with a single query. Users can perform broad queries across all sources or they can search for terms in full record, title, or author(s). They can also specify a date range and narrow their searches to a specific date range.

BCcampus Open Textbooks

  • The B.C. provincial government announced on 16 October 2012 it will fund Canada’s first official open textbook project. It wants open textbooks for the 40 most popular post-secondary courses in the province. In May of 2014, the project was expanded to include 20 open textbooks for targeted trades and skills training programs.

Open SUNY Textbooks

  • Open SUNY Textbooks is an open access textbook publishing initiative established by State University of New York libraries and supported by SUNY Innovative Instruction Technology Grants.

OpenStax College

  • OpenStax College offers students free textbooks that are peer-reviewed & written by professional content developers.

Open Academics Textbook Catalog

  • Hosted by the University of Minnesota, this site is a catalog of 150 open textbooks covering Business, Accounting, IT, Economics, Math, Humanities, Law, Math & Statistics, Natural, Physical and Social Sciences.

Orange Grove Text

  • Florida’s operational repository project of open source educational materials.

College Open Textbooks

  • Lists open textbooks by subject, many of which have been peer reviewed.

Global Text Project

  • The Global Text Project is a joint project of the Terry College of Business of the University of Georgia and The Daniels College of Business of the University of Denver. A collection of open textbooks in the areas of Business, Computing, Education, Health, Science and Social Science.


  • Content Commons of free, open-licensed educational materials in fields such as music, electrical engineering and psychology.


  • The MERLOT collection consists of tens of thousands of discipline-specific learning materials, learning exercises, and Content Builder web pages, together with associated comments, and bookmark collections, all intended to enhance the teaching experience of using a learning material.

Open Culture:The best free cultural & educational media on the web

  • Open Culture is a site with a variety of open education resources including textbook, audio books, online courses, and MOOCs.