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Open Educational Resources: Home

This guide provides an introduction to Open Educational Resources (OER) and where you can find them.

OER Logo 2012 J. Mello, used under a Creative Commons license CC-BY

What are Open Educational Resources?

"Open Educational Resources (OERs) are any type of educational materials that are in the public domain or introduced with an open license. The nature of these open materials means that anyone can legally and freely copy, use, adapt and re-share them" - UNESCO

Why Use OERs?

Textbook prices around the world have risen rapidly in recent years, with some countries having observed the cost of tertiary textbooks just about tripling the overall CPI inflation rate in the past decade. Today, it is not uncommon for some university textbooks to be sold for approximately S$200 at bookstores, which can add up to thousands of dollars spent on purchasing textbooks for an entire degree.

The Chronicle of Higher Education noted that two-thirds to three-quarters of students avoided buying textbooks due to their cost. Not having the required cost material on hand could adversely affect students' scores and learning outcomes.

With the growing availability of OERs, course instructors can potentially find appropriate texts that meet course objectives and may be able to substitute pricey texts for these open license textbooks available at no cost to students.

OER Basics - a video by Open Oregon

This short video by Open Oregon provides a concise overview of OERs, where you can find them, and how they can contribute to managing the cost of textbooks at universities.

Research Librarian, Economics

Profile Photo
Melody Chin
SMU Libraries
6828 0352

The 5Rs

OERs are licensed in a manner that provides users with free and perpetual permission to engage in the 5R activities:


  1. Retain
  2. Reuse
  3. Revise
  4. Remix
  5. Redistribute


This material is based on original writing by David Wiley, which was published freely under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license at


The use of electronic resources must comply with the Appropriate Use of Electronic Resources Policy and Singapore Management University Acceptable Use Policy