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Open Educational Resources (OER)

An introduction to finding, evaluating, and using Open Educational Resources

Other Affordable Options

If you cannot find OER to fits your needs, there are several other high-quality, affordable course material options. You might need to take a multi-pronged approach and utilize several of these options. 

Fair use law permits the limited use of copyrighted material without having to first acquire permission from the copyright holder. When determining whether the use of a work is a fair use, the following factors should be considered:

  1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

  2. The nature of the copyrighted work;

  3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

  4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

To learn more information about fair use, visit the IU Libraries’ fair use guide or contact Copyright Program Librarian Naz Pantaloni at nazapant@indiana.edu. 

IU has partnered with numerous publishers to supply students with multiple forms of digital learning materials that enhance both traditional and flipped classroom environments. IU eTexts are powered by the Unizin Engage e-reading platform, which integrates with Canvas to provide access to course materials via any device for the duration of a student’s enrollment. For more information about this initiative or to search the eText catalog for course materials, visit the university’s eTexts homepage.

The Document Delivery Services (DDS) Department coordinates various methods of document retrieval for IU Bloomington students, faculty, and staff free of charge. Its services provide access to physical and digitized materials both within and outside of the IU Libraries collection. To learn more about DDS scanning services for your course, visit the Document Delivery Services homepage.

IU Libraries offers thousands of journals, research articles, maps, and data sets for use by university students, faculty, and staff. Additionally, the Libraries’ research guides provide introductory content and recommended resources for over 70 diverse topics. Faculty may easily link these resources to their course in Canvas.

IU Libraries also provides access to countless video and audio resources that can enhance the remote learning experience. Listed below are a few databases that contain useful content for many areas of study:

  • JoVE - JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments) provides access to peer reviewed scientific video journals and over 5,500 videos demonstrating experiments from laboratories at top research institutions. JoVE allows unlimited simultaneous users.
  • Kanopy Streaming Video - Kanopy Streaming Video gathers streaming films and documentaries from a variety of producers and makes them available to students. Faculty and instructors may request titles for purchase by the Libraries via the Kanopy Streaming Video site.
  • Alexander Street Press - Alexander Street Press houses millions of pages, audio tracks, videos, images, and playlists in literature; music; women's history; Black history; psychological counseling and therapy; social and cultural history; drama, medical, theater, film, and the performing arts; religion; sociology; and other emerging areas.

Additionally, faculty may submit an Online Streaming Request for a course.

If the Libraries do not already own an e-book version of your course material, request a purchase. Ability to fill each request depends on availability, licensing restrictions, costs, etc. Alternatively, you may contact your subject specialist librarian to discuss your course material needs.