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Open Educational Resources (OERs): Home

This guide is designed to help Minnesota State University, Mankato faculty find, create, evaluate, and incorporate Open Educational Resources and Affordable Textbooks in the classroom and online.

Open Educational Resources (OERs)

Open Educational Resources (OERs) are teaching, learning, and research resources that are free of cost and access barriers, and which also carry legal permission for open use.

Open Educational Resources are:

  • Works found in the Public Domain
  • Works that include a license (such as a Creative Commons License*) that allows users the freedom to Retain, Reuse, Revise, Remix, or Redistribute (see David Wiley’s definitions below on the 5Rs). 
    *Some exceptions apply - See our page on Creative Commons Licenses. 

Open Educational Resources can take on many forms from textbooks, course packets, games, supplemental or ancillary materials - anything that is used to support access to knowledge or materials used for educational purposes.  

The 5Rs

The 5R Permissions as defined by Dr. David Wiley are:

  1. Retain - the right to make, own, and control copies of the content (e.g., download, duplicate, store, and manage)
  2. Reuse - the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
  3. Revise - the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
  4. Remix - the right to combine the original or revised content with other material to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
  5. Redistribute - the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)

Source: This material was created by David Wiley and published freely under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license at

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License


Textbook Affordability

Librarians and instructional designers are always looking for ways to help students and faculty.  One way is through our Affordable Textbook Initiative, aimed at providing access to some textbooks in both print and digital formats.

See Dr. Carrie Miller's Textbook Affordability Starter Kit to Learn More! 

Also learn how the library can help provide and expand access to your course texts, articles, & more. 

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License