Making OER

Making Open Education Resources (OER) can include revising existing resources, remixing two or more resources, and creating new resources.

Revising Existing Resources

Revising existing resources means you revise an existing CC resource to include new content that you are contributing to the existing resource.

For example, say you want to revise Introduction to Political Science Research Methods: An Open Education Resource Textbook ( to include a chapter specifically on Conducting a Literature Review. You can download the PDF, make a copy of it, revise the copy to add the “Conducting a Literature Review” chapter in between Chapter 1 Introduction and Chapter 2 History and Development of the Empirical Study of Politics, publish the revised Introduction to Political Science Research Methods textbook with the chapter you added.

It is important to note that any CC-licensed resource that includes ND, which stands for Non-Derivative, cannot be revised in any way. Therefore, only the following CC licensed materials can be revised:

Again, any resource licensed CC-BY-ND and CC BY-NC-ND is not considered “open” because they cannot be edited. However, the whole resource can be included in a CC-collection, such as a course Reader.

Remixing Two or More Resources

Remixing two or more resources means you are remixing to existing resources together or remixing an existing resource with a newly created resource.


For example, say you want to revise Introduction to Political Science Research Methods: An Open Education Resource Textbook (, which is licensed CC BY-NC, with an existing OER textbook that goes into greater detail about writing research papers in political science.

You can download the PDF of both textbooks, make copies of them, mix and match the chapters based on your logical ordering and understanding of the topic as you’d like to present it to your students, and then publish the remixed textbook that includes chapters from both of the existing OER textbooks. The remixed textbook that you published is now a derivative OER that you generated.


Remixing can also be known as curating because curating is the process of combining two or more existing resources together.

For example, if you have 10 CC licensed peer-reviewed journal articles that you like to put together in a single course reader, you can do that whether their licensed ND or not ND because what you are doing is bringing together different licensed resources together to create a new object.

Bringing together differently CC licensed resources is not revising the underlying resource, therefore you can bring together ND or not ND together into a single CC licensed course reader.

Creating New Resources

Creating new resources means you are generating a resource that does not exist and is not a derivative of a resource that already exists. Creating resources is one of the most time consuming processes when making OER. The challenges range from having the time needed to develop an idea for a resource and/or assembling a team to help develop the resource to having a template for a textbook, generating a list of potential chapter quiz questions, and compiling a textbook or textbook equivalent that is accessible.