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Shapiro Library

Open Educational Resources: Environmental Studies, Science, & Sustainability

This Guide provides access to Open, Online Resources in Environmental & Sustainability Fields.

What Is OER?


blue door with a sign that reads Welcome We are Open

"Open is Welcoming" is in the public domain.

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation defines Open Educational Resources as "teaching, learning and research materials in any medium – digital or otherwise – that reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions."

The 5 Rs of Open


The Open Education movement is built around the 5Rs of Open. These represent the gold standard in openness:

  1. Retain – the right to make, own, and control copies of the content
  2. Reuse – the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in class, in study group, on a public website, in a video)
  3. Revise – the right to adapt, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
  4. Remix – the right to combine the original or revised content with other open content to create something new (e.g. mashup)
  5. 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)