What are open educational resources?

Open educational resources (OERs) are teaching resources available in a variety of formats that have an open copyright license. This allows anyone to use, adapt and share them as needed. There are different types of open copyright licenses that allow a range of permissions to the user. Many of these are administered by Creative Commons.

Open educational resources and open pedagogy have many benefits for both faculty and students. 

  • Allowing faculty to adapt teaching materials to match the content of their courses. 
  • Providing students the opportunity to create, collaborate, and share their learning. 
  • Lowering the cost of education making it more accessible and affordable for all. 

Support for OERs

  • For assistance with finding, adapting, or creating OERs, faculty and instructors at University of Manitoba can contact the Open Educational Resources Librarian. To request a search for relevant OER for your course, please fill out this form.

    Sign up for our email list to receive occasional updates on OER support and community at UM.

  • Campus Manitoba

    • Review an open textbook and receive an honorarium in recognition of your work.
    • If you have used an open textbook, fill out the adoption form to improve the quality of OER statistics in Manitoba.

Find open educational resources by subject

Open educational resources can be accessed and downloaded from several different websites. Many of these sources allow you to search by subject area making it easy to identify potential textbooks for your courses.

OER by Discipline Guide

Visit OER by Discipline Guide

The OER by Discipline Guide is a reference resource for open textbook materials organized by subject area. It is an open work in progress that is updated regularly.

Find Textbooks by Subject

  • Scroll down to choose your faculty and department.
  • Click on the book title to access the book from its original source.

Open Ed Manitoba

Visit OpenEd Manitoba

  • Choose your subject on the left.
  • Click on the title of the textbook to view the different versions available to download.

Open Textbook Library

Visit Open Textbook Library

The Open Textbook Library includes textbooks authored by academics at several American universities and can be searched by subject area. The collection is made available from the University of Minnesota Centre for Open Education.

How to Find Textbooks by Subject:

  1. Follow this link to the Open Textbook Library catalogue
  2. Choose your subject from the list.
  3. Click on “Read More” to view the contents and download options.

Other sources for OERs

The websites below can be searched for additional OER content. Some websites such as ECampus Ontario provide access to publications already available through BC Campus. Other websites, such as OASIS and George Mason allow you to search multiple catalogues simultaneously.


Visit eCampusOntario

E-Campus Ontario is a shared collection of textbooks and other OERs, including textbooks from the BC Campus and Campus Manitoba catalogue. The collection also includes learning modules and video lectures.

Open Stax

Visit OpenStax

Open Stax is a collection of open peer-reviewed materials from Rice University. The textbooks available are for introductory U.S. college level courses. Open Stax requires users to create a free account.

OER Commons

Visit OER Commons

OER Commons provide a database of OERs for a wide range of levels and disciplines. The collection includes textbooks, lesson plans, lectures, and other modules.



OASIS is an OER search engine available from SUNY that indexes 97 different sources for OERs. In addition to textbooks, OASIS can be searched for videos, primary sources, lessons, and other course materials.



MERLOT is a major OER repository, consisting of tens of thousands of learning materials. Materials in MERLOT are reviewed for suitability prior to adding, resulting in a more selective collection.

Mason OER Metafinder (MOM)

Visit Mason OER Metafinder

The Mason OER Metafinder (MOM) searches 21 different sources of OERs but unlike other search engines it also searches for materials in public databases such as Hathi Trust and DPLA.

Directory of Open Access Books

Visit Directory of Open Access Books

The Directory of Open Access Books is an extensive collection of peer reviewed materials from several international publishers. DOAB materials are also available through the UM Libraries search.

Adapting OERs

You may find an OER that requires modification for your context. Or you may find multiple OERs that you would like to combine parts of, which is referred to as “remixing.” In these cases, you can adapt the OER to meet your needs. The Campus Manitoba catalogue offers resources to help you get started on adaption and self publishing. Here are some examples.

Import, edit, format, incorporate interactive content, and publish your adapted OER in multiple formats using Pressbooks. Contact us to learn how to access Pressbooks through the UM Libraries partnership with the Campus Manitoba network.

Creative Commons licenses

OERs are usually licensed using Creative Commons (CC) licenses. To learn about what the different CC licenses allow, see the Creative Commons guide