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Chemistry: Open Education Resources (OER)

Library resources and web sites for chemistry

Open Education Resources for Chemistry

Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA, has compiled a list of open education resources in chemistry.

5R's of Open

The 5 Rs of Open Educational Resources

Open Educational Resources (OER) differ from traditional educational resources in their licensing and permissions. Namely, the “open” aspect of OER can be defined by David Wiley’s 5R Framework.

  • Retain the right to make, own, and control copies of the content
  • 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)
  • Revise the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
  • Remix the right to combine the original or revised content with other open content to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
  • 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)

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

Open Textbooks Are...

What is an open textbook?

Freely accessible textbooks, generally accessed online. Open Textbooks are part of the larger Open Educational Resources model, an effort to make high-quality learning materials freely available in electronic formats.

In general, open textbooks exhibit the following characteristics:

  • Developed by teams of authors, paid by academic departments or supported by grants.
  • Students pay nothing for online access, but may pay for print or specific electronic formats such as ePub.
  • Can be modified by the instructor or the students

An e-textbook becomes "open" when its copyright-holder grants usage rights to the public through an "open license." which typically includes the right afforded by the 5 R's of open: the right to retain, reuse, revise, remix and redistribute.

Where can I find open textbooks?

OER Repositories

OER Searchable Repositories

A list of repositories that allows you to search for OER content by discipline, type, level and other criteria.