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Open Educational Resources (OER) for Educators

Adopt and adapt resources published with an open licence to enhance your teaching and increase student access to materials

How to find OER

Below you'll find websites and online search tools you can use to find OER by format. 

Remember just because a resource is Open Access doesn't mean it can be adopted and adapted; always check what the licence permits. For more information on licenses, see the Understanding licences page in this guide. 

The OER Evaluation Checklist can help you assess the appropriateness of an OER for your purposes

If you’re not sure how to find the right OER for your teaching, your Library team can assist you. 

These are large collections or directories of OER content in many different formats. 

While you can search for textbooks in OER search platforms, some collections and directories have mostly textbooks. These include:

  • Directory of Open Access Books 
    Discovery service indexing nearly 70,000 open access books
  • Open Textbook Library
    Referatory indexing numerous open textbooks from a variety of authors and publishers
  • Pressbooks Directory 
    Publishing platform used to create, adapt, and share accessible, interactive, web-first books
  • BCcampus OpenEd
    Publisher of open textbooks covering a wide range of subjects, many of which are peer-reviewed and include ancillary material such as quizzes and videos

Australian OER textbooks

The OER movement is growing in Australia, especially open textbooks. Below are some key sources of Australian-authored OER textbooks

CAUL OER Collective catalogue
Launched in 2022, the Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL) OER collective provides a shared open textbook publishing platform for participating CAUL Member institutions in Australia and New Zealand, with the aim of facilitating independent, collaborative, cross-institutional publishing. Browse the growing catalogue of textbooks. UWA has published the following textbooks as part of the collective: 

Australian University Publishers
Several University publishers publish open ebooks. They include:

  • ANU Press 
    First and largest open access university press in the world, covering topics including Asia and Pacific studies, Australian politics, humanities, arts, Indigenous studies and science. Over 1,000 publications​​​​​​.
    University of Technology Sydney (UTS) has published open access books on a range of topics including arts, education, history and science.
  • Sydney Open Press
    Collection of academic monographs and textbooks published by Sydney University Press, covering subjects across the humanities and social sciences.
  • Open Textbooks @UQ
    The University of Queensland’s Pressbooks library, which includes titles on a range of topics such as arts, law, business, science, social sciences, and more. 
  • JCU Open eBooks
    James Cook University’s Pressbooks library. The collection covers topics including education, history, geography, health and medicine, law and more.
  • UiSQ Pressbooks
    The University of Southern Queensland’s Pressbooks library. Browse for titles on topics like science, health, history, education, social sciences and more. 

Open Access journal aggregators, directories and lists:

Some of the largest open-access journal publishers:

  • SpringerOpen
    200+ peer-reviewed fully open access journals, ranging across all areas of science
  • Taylor Francis
    180 fully open access journals, ranging across disciplines and subject areas
  • Elsevier
    600 fully open access journals

The Library's Image, Video and Places guide includes a list of places to source free-to-use images. You can also find openly licensed images in the following image collections:

Openly licensed images can also be found with Google Advanced Image Search by selecting the Creative Commons licenses usage rights filter:

Find openly licensed video resources in the following locations:

Openly licensed videos can be found on YouTube by selecting the Creative Commons filter on the results screen:

Find openly licensed audio resources in the following locations:

Using OneSearch to locate open resources

There are thousands of open access materials indexed in OneSearch. Just remember that Open Access doesn't necessarily mean the resource has been licensed for reuse and adaption - always check the license conditions. To locate open materials:

  1. enter your topic into OneSearch
  2. on the left-hand side of the search results page filter Availability to 'Open Access'
  3. Use the Resource Type filter to limit to a particular kind of resource, such as 'Books' or 'articles'
  4. select APPLY FILTERS


Adding OER to Unit Readings

In practice, adopting OER, particularly open textbooks, means adding them to your unit's reading list via Unit Readings—UWA's system for sharing reading lists with students.

Please refer to our FAQs on adding a website to a reading list for instructions on how this can be done.


 Except for logos, Canva designs or where otherwise indicated, content in this guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence.