Skip to Main Content

Creative Commons: Open Access and Open Educational Resources

For Students, Faculty members, and Librarians


Open Source Definition from the OER Commons websiteOpen Education Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials freely available for everyone to use, whether you are a teacher or a learner. This includes full courses, modules, syllabi, lectures, homework assignments, quizzes, lab activities, pedagogical materials, games, simulations, and many more resources contained in digital media collections from around the world.

The Texas Education Code, (TEC) §31.002 defines Open-Source Materials as electronic textbooks that are available for downloading from the Internet at no charge to a student and without requiring the purchase of an unlock code, membership, or other access or use charge, except for a charge to order an optional printed copy of all or part of the textbook. The term includes a state-developed open-source textbook purchased under the TEC, Chapter 31, Subchapter B-1. 

Books on open access at Ozuna library

Palomino Search

Palomino horse    Palomino Search

Open Access

Gold OA

Gold publishing the author, institution, or research funder pays an Open Access fee and publisher make the published version free to read.

  • They are scholarly/ peer reviewed
  • Utilize quality control mechanisms just like conventional journals
  • Freely and openly available on the web
  • No charge to readers

Green OA

Green publishing readers pay to read.

Authors self-archive pre-print¹ or post-print² copies of their articles or conference papers in:

  • Institutional repositories
  • Subject or discipline-specific repositories
  • Author's Personal Websites

(Croft, N.D. and Vanderbilt 2020)

Relationship between Open Access and Open Educational Resources

Most OA publishing prefer Creative Commons licenses of CC BY set by the Budapest Open Access Declaration. When using OER material look for Creative Commons license of CC BY, CC BY-SA, CC BY-NC, or CC BY-NC-SA. 

(College, 2022)

Importance of Open Access and Open Educational Resources for faculty and studentss

Open Educational Resources

Current landscape of open

OER vs Open Access vs Library Resources

Open Educational Resources (OER), Open Access (OA), and Library Resources all offer text/assignment materials that are free or low cost for students.  The difference can be important for you as instructor.

OER: For material to qualify as OER, it has to not only free to access, but users should also be able to retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute the content. 

Open Access: This can be any material that is freely accessible.  This includes material out of copyright, but also material that has been published as open access. Material published as Open Access can still be under copyright and cannot be edited without permission.

Library Resources: The library subscribes to many online resources which are free to access on and off campus by PAC students, faculty, or staff.   Copyright and fair use restrictions apply and this should be kept in mind when using library material in class.  All our streaming videos come with permission to show in class or assign to all students.  Most of our eBooks now allow for an unlimited number of simultaneous users and can be used as textbooks; however, we still have many that can only be viewed by 1 - 3 users at a time.


College of coastal Georgia library guide. 2022. Creative Commons: OA and OER.

Creative commons for educators and librarians (Creative Commons, Comp.) [PDF]. (2020). Unit 5: Creative Commons for Librarians . pp. 91 - 130. 

Croft, D. Elsevier, King, H. (N.D.). The different models of open access. 

Library Services. 2022. Open Access (OA) & OER. Fox Valley Technical College.

Stacey, P. 2018.Starting Anew In The Landscape Of Open. CC BY

Vanderbilt university library research guide. 2020. Open access publishing models.