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Open Education

This is a guide on how to find, create, and share Open Educational Resources (OER).

Searching for OER by Material Type

If you are looking for a particular kind of material (images, audio, data), there are a few places you can start. Below you will find a list of repositories that specialize in particular material types. Many general repositories also have search filters that allow you to limit by material type.

Note: Review the license on each OER before choosing is, since many sites have mixed-licensing.

Source About (taken from website)
Big Sound Bank is a library of royalty-free, free of charge, and public domain sounds.


Music is uploaded by musicians with either a CC-BY, CC-BY-NC, or purchasable copyrighted music.

Free Music Archive

Visitors are able to browse, listen and download music for free.
Free Sound Freesound is a collaborative database of Creative Commons Licensed sounds. Browse, download and share sounds.
Free PD Free PD offers music that is available for commercial use and has a Creative Commons 0 license.


Musopen provides recordings, sheet music, and textbooks to the public for free, without copyright restrictions.

Source About (taken from website)
ABACUS Open Data Collection A collection of publicly available data including censuses and surveys.
ArcGIS Open Data Open GIS data from Esri.
AWS Public Data Sets Includes datasets available via Amazon Web Services resources.
City of Vancouver Open Data Portal Explore City of Vancouver public data using tables, maps, and charts. Export it in many formats for more analysis. 
Deep Blue Data A repository for sharing and archiving research data developed at the University of Michigan.
Federated Research Data Repository (FRDR) Portage, Compute Canada (CC) and the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) are collaborating to provide a scalable federated platform for digital research data management (RDM) and discovery.
Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) GBIF is an international network and data infrastructure funded by the world's governments and aimed at providing anyone, anywhere, open access to data about all types of life on Earth.
NASA Open Data Portal NASA's clearinghouse site for open-data provided to the public. Tens of thousands of datasets are available. Some datasets are harvested from other NASA data archives and other datasets only exist here.
Open Data Network (American) A global search engine that allows you to search across tens of thousands of datasets from hundreds of open data catalogs.
Open Government (Canada) Data from the Government of Canada.
openICPSR Open data from the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research. All openICPSR data is governed by the Attribution 4.0 Creative Commons License.
OpenStreetMap OpenStreetMap is built by a community of mappers that contribute and maintain data about roads, trails, cafés, railway stations, and much more, all over the world.
Scholars Portal Dataverse Dataverse is a publicly accessible data repository platform, open to affiliated researchers (UBC is affiliated) to deposit and share research data openly with anyone in the world.
Twitter APIs Public Twitter data.
Source About (taken from website)
Creative Commons Search A tool by the makers of CC licenses that allows you to discover and use openly licensed and public domain works.

Flickr Creative Commons Search

You can search for CC-licensed images on Flickr by using the "Any License" drop down menu.
The Flickr Commons Public domain photography collections supplied by libraries and museums from around the world.
Foodie's Feed Food photographers from all around the world share their photos under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license.
Gratisography Gratisography bills itself as the world’s quirkiest collection of high-resolution free stock images.
The Gender Spectrum Collection The Gender Spectrum Collection is a stock photo library featuring images of trans and non-binary models that go beyond the clichés. All images are licensed under a CC BY-NC-ND license.

IM FreeI

A curated collection of free web design resources for commercial use.
ISO Republic An independent website that provides curated collections of the best high-resolution CC0 photos and videos.
The Noun Project Noun Project launched in 2011 and includes nearly 3 million community-contributed icons.
Open Street Map

OpenStreetMap is built by a community of mappers that contribute and maintain data about roads, trails, cafés, railway stations, and much more, all over the world.

Picjumbo Free stock photos for personal and commercial use. Search by categories including animals, food, technology, and more.
Picography Picography is a source for high-resolution, free photos.
Pixabay Pixabay includes copyright-free images and videos released under the Pixabay License, which makes them safe to use without asking for permission or giving credit to the artist.
Smithsonian Open Access Collection The Smithsonian has made available nearly 3 million 2D and 3D digital items from their collections with more to come. This includes images and data from across the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives, and the National Zoo.
Startup Stock Photos Free photos of start-up culture, people working, office spaces, etc.
Stokpic Free stock photos that deal with a variety of subjects. New photos added every two weeks.
Travel Coffee Book Free travel photos from around the world.
Unsplash Over 1 million free high-resolution community-contributed images.
Wellcome Images Images from the Wellcome Collection which is a free museum and library that aims to challenge how we all think and feel about health.
Wikimedia Commons Wikimedia Commons is a media file repository making available public domain and freely-licensed educational media content (images, sound and video clips) to everyone, in their own language. It acts as a common repository for the various projects of the Wikimedia Foundation, but you do not need to belong to one of those projects to use media hosted here.

Copyright at UBC Image Sources Guide

Need images for your presentations, online learning modules, or teaching and training materials? This directory of image sources can help you find images that make it easy to satisfy copyright requirements. For more information on attribution, see the Image Citation Guide.

Source About (taken from website)


iBiology’s mission is to convey, in the form of open-access free videos, the excitement of modern biology and the process by which scientific discoveries are made.

JHSPH Open Courseware Freely and openly available John Hopkins School of Public Health course materials. You may share and adapt the materials on OCW under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.
Open Course Library The Open Course Library (OCL) is a collection of shareable course materials, including syllabi, course activities, readings, and assessments designed by teams of college faculty, instructional designers, librarians, and other experts. Unless otherwise noted, all materials are shared under a Creative Commons (CC BY) license.
Open Learning Initiative OLI can be used to create your own courses or modify existing courses and tools in the OLI collection.
Open Yale Open Yale Courses (OYC) provides lectures and other materials from selected Yale College courses to the public free of charge. The courses span the full range of liberal arts disciplines, including humanities, social sciences, and physical and biological sciences.
Saylor Academy Saylor Academy is a nonprofit initiative working since 2008 to offer over 100 free and open online courses. Excluding course final exams, content authored by Saylor Academy is available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. Third-party materials are the copyright of their respective owners and shared under various licenses.
UC Irvine Open CourseWare

The University of California, Irvine is a sustaining member of the Open Education Consortium (formerly the OpenCourseWare Consortium) and launched its own OpenCourseWare initiative in November 2006. Its OpenChem project contains video lectures and additional material for nearly all the courses needed to complete an undergraduate chemistry degree.

Source About (taken from website)
Genome Structure DataBase (GSBD) GSDB is a database of three-dimensional (3D) chromosome and genome structures reconstructed from Hi-C data by multiple 3D modeling tools in the field.
PhET Interactive Simulations PhET provides fun, free, interactive, research-based science and mathematics simulations.


Source About (taken from website)
American Institute of Mathematics Open Textbook Initiative

Mathematics Open Textbooks that have been judged to meet the evaluation criteria set by the AIM editorial board.

B.C. Open Textbook Collection The BCcampus B.C. Open Textbook Collection is home to a growing selection of open textbooks for a variety of subjects and specialties. Discover open textbooks that have been reviewed by faculty, meet our accessibility requirements, and/or include ancillary materials (quizzes, test banks, slides, videos, etc.).
InTech InTech publishes Open Textbooks based on quality, peer-reviewed research in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities.
NOBA NOBA allows you to modify textbooks using their modules to fit the scope and sequence of common courses. Instructor manuals, PowerPoint presentations, and test banks are available for many modules.
Open SUNY Textbooks Open SUNY Textbooks is a catalog of open textbooks authored and peer-reviewed by SUNY faculty and staff, and maintained by Milne Library Publishing at State University of New York (SUNY) Geneseo.
Open Textbook Library

The Open Textbook Library currently includes 683 textbooks, with more being added all the time. It is supported by the Center for Open Education and the Open Textbook Network.

OpenStax OpenStax publishes high-quality, peer-reviewed, openly licensed textbooks that are absolutely free online and low cost in print. 
Pressbooks Directory The Pressbooks Directory indexes public books created on PressbooksEDU networks and allowing users to search great open resources that can be accessed for free. The Directory includes Pressbooks which are a part of the BCcampus B.C. Open Textbook Collection. Books included in the Directory, depending on the license and the author’s export choices, can be accessed and downloaded in multiple formats for free or cloned into a Pressbooks network, where they can be remixed and redistributed easily and efficiently.
Skills Commons Open Textbooks SkillsCommons’ mission is to accelerate the democratization of education for all through open educational services and resources enabling individuals, communities, educational institutions, organizations, and businesses to prepare people for successful employment. You can search Skills Commons for Open Textbooks by choosing "Open Textbook" as a Material filter as a part of your search.

Requesting Open Textbooks at the UBC Bookstore

The UBC Bookstore offers print versions of open textbooks and can let students know that their course is using an OER resource. It is committed to supporting faculty in all of their course materials needs, and realizes the pedagogical and cost benefits of open resources to students. If you are considering using an open resource for your class, the Bookstore now lists OER links on their publisher rep list as a starting point for your reference.

If you have chosen an open resource, let the Bookstore know! Many students use the Bookstore online course list builder, or the course list terminals in-store, to know what course materials have been assigned for their courses. The Bookstore can add a note to these lists that lets students know that their course is using an open resource and, if the open source you decide upon is printable, the Bookstore can help students who would like a printed copy at cost. Please do not hesitate in contacting the course materials department at the Bookstore if you have any questions.