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Open Educational Resources (OERs)

What are Open Educational Resources?

Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that are available in the public domain, freely accessible, free to reuse.  OERs include any medium and any format from full courses, specific course material, textbooks, videos, or any other format to support learning.

The 5 R Permissions of OER


The “5 Rs” is a framework that encourages educators to capitalize on the unique rights associated with open content. These rights include the ability to:      

  • Retain - Make and own copies of the work (e.g., download, duplicate, store, and manage)
  • Reuse - Use the work in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
  • Revise - Adapt, modify and translate the work (e.g., translate the content into another language)
  • Remix - Combine it with another resource to make a new work (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
  • Redistribute - Share the work with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)

These rights, or permissions, are made possible through open licensing. For example, Creative Commons open licences help creators of OER retain copyright while allowing others to reproduce, distribute, and make some uses of their work.


The 5 Rs of OER is a derivative of the 5 R Permissions of OER by Lumen Learning, licensed under CC BY 4.0

Resource Management Librarian

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Robyn Gleasner
HSLIC Room 323

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Feel free to make a copy or re-use this page as long as you credit UNM HSLIC.

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This guide was created by a Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center staff member and is licensed by the Health Science Library and Informatics Center of the University of New Mexico under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.