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Syracuse University Libraries

Copyright for Online Instruction: Open Educational Resources

Discover resources that could help you navigate complicated (and important!) copyright issues related to online courses and resources.

What are Open Educational Resources?

Open educational resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under a copyright license that permits anyone to freely use and repurpose them. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, journal articles, and any other tools or materials used to support learning. The real power of OER comes in the '5R permissions' that entitle you to not only access these materials free of charge, but also to make them better:

  • Retain: Make, own, and control copies of the content
  • Reuse: Use the content in a variety of ways 
  • Revise: Adapt, adjust, modify, improve, or alter the content (e.g., translate the content into another language)
  • Reorder: Combine the original or revised content with other OER to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
  • Redistribute: Share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., post a copy of the content online for others to download)

Source: Lumen Learning