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Open Textbooks/Open Educational Resources: Locating and Using OER

Ask Your Librarian

Kathy Essmiller is Oklahoma State University's OER Librarian, and is available to provide support for faculty wanting to make the switch from commercial textbooks to using OER and library resources. Contacting Kathy is a great first step for those interested in locating and using OER. Email her at

As You Explore

The selection and use of OER centers faculty expertise and understanding of their students' needs. The rubric linked below was developed by OSU faculty to help identify and prioritize elements of importance when exploring and evaluating available resources. You are welcome to download and edit it for your own use.

Where to Look?








Pressbooks Directory

The Pressbooks Directory collects and displays all public books created on PressbooksEDU networks (such as OpenOKState) in one searchable, filterable directory. These resources can very easily be imported into our OpenOKState platform and modified or mixed with other OER to create teaching, learning and research materials customized for your course and teaching style. It also enables increased visibility of OER modified or created by the OSU community. Once on the home page, you can click the 'Take the Tour' button if you welcome guidance about how to navigate the site. PressbooksEdu is also collecting user feedback regarding the tour and would be grateful if you would share your experience using this form. It only took me (Kathy) about three minutes to complete.

Peer-Reviewed Textbooks

Open Textbook Library Logo

    Open Stax Logo





The Open Textbook Library and OpenStax collections include peer-reviewed textbooks curated by OER experts. Many of the textbooks include ancillary materials, as well.

Open Textbook Library

The Open Textbook Library is supported by the Open Education Network, and publishes OER created and used by faculty researchers in higher education. These resources have frequently been adopted and modified at a number of different institutions. Most are licensed such that they can be remixed and adapted for localized use, and the authors are open to further collaboration. The Open Education Network actively promotes these publications, which makes it a great place to share out your own work. OSU is a member institution which gives us access to some usage metrics for works our faculty have published in the Open Textbook Library. Contact Kathy if you have created course materials you would like to see have a broader impact on your field; she can help curate them and submit them to the Open Education Network to be considered for publication. 


OpenStax is an educational initiative whose mission is to "transform learning so that education works for every student." This is a great place to look for traditional textbooks supporting large enrollment general education courses. They are very widely used. The texts are available for free online, and print versions can be made available for purchase through our bookstore. Each text has been created by a team of subj ect matter specialists under the guidance of a coordinating author. The books are licensed such that they can be modified and mixed with other similarly licensed resources, which comes in handy because they are fairly comprehensive and likely to include more material than you plan to cover in your course. Contact Kathy if you find something there you want to consider; we can help customize it.

Openly Available Sources Integrated Search (OASIS) is a search tool that aims to make the discovery of open content easier. OASIS currently searches open content from 52 different sources and contains 155,375 records.

The Mason OER Metafinder searches across 18 sources of OER. This federated search will yield even very recently posted content from these sites. Results will update as the search continues running while you view your results. 

MOM iconMason OER Metafinder (MOM)
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