What is the difference between OER and e-reserves?

If I am making content free to students, is this OER? 


E-reserves content comes from copyrighted material usually. It is typically a copy from a portion of a work or a copy of the entire work (if fair use, permission, or licensing applies) that is uploaded to an online course or through an online system where only specific enrolled students have access to that material. It does not include linking to content found free online, such as news articles, within the course. If you need help navigating whether or not you need a license or permission for scanned material (ie "copies") to be posted, please contact the Access Services Office (contact info below). 

OER, however, is content created specifically to be free and reusable usually under specific open licenses like the Creative Commons licenses. Sometimes it contains portions of copyrighted material if used under fair use (other copyrighted works do this too), but it is ultimately an original work itself and published to be open material. Material that is not OER is copyrighted material that can only be used in a course if the students buy the material (as a textbook, for example), or by making it an e-reserve if fair use or licensing allows. See below for more info on OER. 

Find more definitions on the "Copyright Topics/Glossary" tab of the Copyright Guide.



  • Last Updated May 03, 2022
  • Views 18
  • Answered By Amanda Ross

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