Open access resources

A guide to finding freely accessible resources and scholarly research

Finding open educational resources

Like open access in other domains, teachers and educators are producing online educational materials and resources designed for anyone to freely access and reuse. Open Educational Resources (OER) are materials such as lesson plans, text, videos or software that are openly available for use, reuse, adaptation, and sharing. Part of a broader Open Educational Practice (OEP) movement, OERs are a tool for making education more accessible and learning more affordable. 

The Open Education Resource Foundation is a great resource to find out more about OERs.  

The Smartcopying website for Australian schools and TAFE provides lists of where to find OERs. One of the largest Australian OER websites is Scootle, which provides access to thousands of digital resources aligned to the Australian Curriculum. 

OER Commons is another large online library of resources that is based in the United States.  


Access to open textbooks is a focus within Open Educational Resources. A number of universities in Australia have collaborated on the Open Textbook Initiative which aims to keep educational resources up-to-date through constant evolution and collaboration, while also reducing the cost of textbooks for students, therefore increasing accessibility to education.

You can look through some other open textbook resources below:

Collections and archives

Over time, archives and collections of artefacts are being made freely available online as open-access research and educational resources. These collections can be valuable for lesson plans or research in the fields of history, archaeology, humanities and the arts. The resources listed here are both rich in content and easy to navigate, making them easy to get lost within!