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Open Educational Resources (OER)

Links to online open-access textbooks and other "open" educational resources.

Get Involved in OER at SCU

According to SCU's 2018 Campus Climate Study final report, 61.8% of student respondents said that books and course materials were a financial hardship--second only to tuition (65.6%). A direct response to issues of textbook affordability is the Open Educational Resources (OER) movement. The University Library is interested in holding faculty focus groups, or perhaps even a Faculty Learning Community, to discuss issues of textbook and course material affordability. If you are interested in participating, please email Anna Yang, Science Librarian at

What are OER?

open educational resources - book stack with plug 


Textbook costs have soared more than 800% since 1978, at more than four times the inflation rate. Student loan debt surpassed credit card debt for the first time in 2010. One study showed that 65% of students don’t buy textbooks due to the cost; other studies have recorded even higher percentages.

A growing solution to this problem of spiraling textbook costs is Open Educational Resources (OER): textbooks written and peer-reviewed by experts / academics and made available freely online.  Often OER collections are the result of a foundation-sponsored initiative. Below are a few well-regarded OER collections: 

The 5 Rs of Open Education Resources

In order for a resource to be considered open, users should be able to:

Retain - Make and own copies

Reuse - Use in a wide range of ways

Revise - Adapt or modify

Remix - Combine two or more OERs

Redistribute - Share with anyone

This is adapted from The 5 Rs of designing an OER course from eCampus News. 

Why Open Education Matters

This video by David Blake is licensed under Creative Commons.