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Scholarly Communications

Information for the Bates College community on topics in Scholarly Communications including: open access, author's rights, copyright, and more.

5 R's of OER

"5 Keys to Open Textbooks" created by GW Libraries is licensed under a CC BY 2.0 License.

Faculty OER Mini-grant Program

In 2019 we became members of the Open Textbook Network now the Open Education Network and started a mini-grant program that provided our faculty with stipends for either writing peer-reviews of Open Textbook Library materials or adopting an OER in their course.

For more information on our efforts, please contact:

Funding for this mini-grant program was made possible by the Davis Educational Foundation established by Stanton and Elisabeth Davis after Mr. Davis's retirement as chairman of Shaw's Supermarkets, Inc.

Who's Working with Open Education at Bates?

Michelle R. Greene, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience

Carrie Diaz-Eaton, Associate Professor of Digital and Computational Studies

  • The QUBES Alliance, a community of math and biology educators who share resources and methods for preparing students to use quantitative approaches to tackle real, complex, biological problems.

License Types for OER

Diagram showing from least free to most free for OER Creative Commons licensing.

Image from: Keynote Slides by Cable Green. Licensed under a CC BY 4.0 License.

What Are Open Educational Resources?

Open Educational Resources (OER) are "teaching, learning and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. OER include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge."

Source: The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation


  • Reduce the burden of textbook costs on students.
  • Collaborate with other educators and learners.
  • Create or adapt current, customized content for your syllabus that can evolve to suit the needs of your students.

How Can You Make Your Course More Accessible?

  • Select a standard textbook and place it on physical reserve in the library - here's the form. Be sure to inform your students about the library availability and reserves policies.
  • Select a textbook or journal articles where the library already offers digital access - here's the form.  Place these items on e-reserve and link to the item on Lyceum or include a link in your syllabus.
  • Select an existing OER using Mason OER Metafinder or any of the options below ("Where can I find OER").
  • Develop your own OER. Email for more information.

OER Search Tools

MOM iconMason OER Metafinder (MOM)
Advanced Search

The Mason OER Metafinder search tool is a federated, up-to-the-minute search that crawls all of the most recent publications from top OER repositories.

OASIS (Openly Available Sources Integrated Search) searches a range of OER materials from multiple sources, such as textbooks, courses, corresponding materials, interactive simulations, and public domain books and resources. It was developed at SUNY Geneseo.

Where Can I Find OER?

Ask the Library!

Contact the Research Librarian for your academic department or reach out the the Scholarly Communications Librarians directly:

General Education Search

  • Mason OER Metafinder - George Mason University Libraries one-stop search box for finding open and affordable educational resources. Various data sources include MIT OpenCourseware, OER Commons, OpenStax, Open Textbook Library, etc.
  • OASIS (Openly Available Sources Integrated Search) - search a range of OER materials from multiple sources, such as textbooks, courses, corresponding materials, interactive simulations, and public domain books and resources. 
    • Developed by SUNY Geneseo 
  • OER Commons - OER Commons is a single search platform that pulls from multiple collections.  Looking for Science in particular? Consult the National Science Digital Library.
    • Supported by ISKME (the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education).
  • OAPEN - The OAPEN Library contains freely accessible academic books, mainly in the area of humanities and social sciences.
    • Established by the University of Amsterdam (UvA), the University of Leiden (UL), the University library of Utrecht University (UU), the Netherlands Academy of Sciences (KNAW), the National Library of the Netherlands (KB) and Amsterdam University Press (AUP).
  • Teaching Commons - The Teaching Commons showcases high-quality OER from leading colleges and universities hosted on the Digital Commons platform. This search includes open-access texts, course materials, lesson plans, multimedia, lectures and more.

Open Textbook Search

  • OpenStax - Collection of openly licensed college textbooks which can be customized by you to fit your classroom needs.
    • Supported by Rice University.
  • UMN Open Textbook Library - Collection of openly licensed textbooks. Books within the Open Textbook Library must be peer reviewed for quality and have multiple criteria for inclusion within the library.
  • BCcampus Open Textbook Collection - Open textbooks for an array of subjects, reviewed by faculty.
  • LibreTexts - A multi-institutional collaborative venture to develop the next generation of open-access texts to improve postsecondary education at all levels of higher learning. The LibreTexts approach is a highly collaborative open access textbook environment is under constant revision by students, faculty, and outside experts with the aim of supplanting conventional paper-based books.
    • Created by UC Davis.
  • Coerll - Collection of openly licensed language learning resources. Languages include French, German, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and more.
    • Created by the University of Texas at Austin.
  • Milne Open Textbooks (formerly: SUNY Open Textbooks) - Collection of open textbooks produced and published by State University of New York schools.
    • Supported by the SUNY Initiative Technology Grant.
  • MERLOT - MERLOT is a curated collection of free and open online teaching, learning and faculty development services contributed and used by an international education community. MERLOT does not house content, but is a collection of links to other content. The materials can be ranked and many are peer-reviewed. There are discipline specific Communities that curate and review the content. 
    • Supported by the California State University System.
  • Luminos - Publisher of Open Access monographs.
    • Supported by the University of California Press and costs are shared among libraries, author or institution and the publisher.
  • Open Book Publishers - Publishers of Open Access monographs and textbooks in all areas. All digital editions are free and individuals affiliated with Bates College (faculty, students, staff) receive a discount on print. You may want to consider making customizable coursepacks using OBP content.  Email for more information!

Open Courseware