Open-access education resources

What is open education?

"Open education is a philosophy about the way people should produce, share, and build on knowledge.

"Proponents of open education believe everyone in the world should have access to high-quality educational experiences and resources, and they work to eliminate barriers to this goal." (Opensource)

The internet offers a bewildering amount of material, some of it behind a paywall, some of  it openly accessible, some of it reliable and some of it not. The purpose of this page is to provide links to reliable sources of open-access educational resources (aka OERs, or Open Educational Resources) and specialized search engines. Note that many of these resources combine free content with paid content, and most charge for course certificates.

Please be aware that some websites offering open-access materials are in breach of copyright and/or allow you to download files that may contain malware. The sites listed below have been carefully selected as legal and safe. If you are in doubt about the legality or safety of any open-access resource, avoid it!


Contact me if you have a query about an existing entry or a suggestion for an addition to the list.

John R. Yamamoto-Wilson
Project developer

Online resources

Resource

 

Comments

 


BASE

ASE


Bielefeld Academic Search Engline (BASE) indexes hundreds of millions of academic documents from thousands of content providers. About 60% of the content is open access.
Bioline
Bioline International

Bioline International is a not-for-profit scholarly publishing cooperative committed to providing open access to quality research biojournals published in developing countries, with the aim of reducing the North/South knowledge gap.
Class Central
Class Central

Class Central, founded by Dhawal Shah, is a listing of open-access online courses. Its aim is to make online education work for everyone. It currently lists some 50,000 MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)
Coursera
Coursera

Coursera offers free online courses on a range of topics, many of them led by top colleges or companies like Google. Learners can access all course materials and there's a small fee for a certificate of completion.

Crash Course

Crash Course

Crash Course is an educational YouTube channel started by John and Hank Green. The Crash Course team has produced more than 32 courses on a wide variety of subjects, including organic chemistry, literature, world history, biology, philosophy, theater and ecology.
CK12CK12
The CK-12 Foundation is a California-based non-profit organization which aims to increase access to low-cost K-12 education in the United States and abroad. CK-12 provides free and customizable K-12 open educational resource, with a library of free online textbooks, videos, exercises, flashcards, and real world applications.

University-level courses from Harvard, MIT and other institutions worldwide. Some are free, others require a registration fee.
FutureLearn
FutureLearn

 

FutureLearn is a MOOC, ExpertTrack, microcredential and degree learning platform, now owned jointly by the Open University and The SEEK Group. Many (not all) courses are free, but there is generally a charge for certification. 

Google Scholar
Google Scholar

Google Scholar is a freely accessible web search engine that indexes the full text or metadata of scholarly literature across an array of publishing formats and disciplines.It does not distinguish between open-access resources and those behind a paywall, but it is the go-to search engine for tracking down scholarly material.
How Stuff Works

How Stuff Works

This is more of an infotainment website than a purely educational one, but there's so much there and it's so well packaged that it merits inclusion here. Some of the links are to paid content, but there's a lot of free information. Especially useful for the younger learner.

Khan Academy
Khan Academy
Khan Academy is a nonprofit organization created by Sal Khan. Its mission is to provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. It produces short lessons in the form of videos, along with supplementary practice exercises and materials for educators.
Open Educational Resources
OER Commons

OER Commons is a freely accessible online library that allows teachers and others to search and discover open educational resources and other freely available instructional materials. It is owned by ISKME (Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education).
Open Culture
Open Culture

Open Culture brings together high-quality cultural & educational media for the worldwide lifelong learning community. Its mission is to centralize and curate online courses, ebooks, audiobooks and other open-access materials for easy access.
OpenStax
OpenStax

OpenStax is a nonprofit educational technology initiative creating peer-reviewed, openly-licensed textbooks, which are available in free digital formats and for a low cost in print. Most books are also available in Kindle versions on Amazon.com and in the iBooks Store.
RefSeek
RefSeek

RefSeek is a web search engine for students and researchers that aims to make academic information easily accessible to everyone by searching the entire Web for freely available academic information, providing relevant results while filtering out most commercial content.
ResearchGate
ResearchGate

ResearchGate is a commercial social networking site for scientists and researchers to share papers, ask and answer questions, and find collaborators. Users frequently upload copyright-free versions of their articles, or may make their material available on request.

Science.gov

Science.gov is a government-run United States initiative, searching a wide range of databases and scientific websites to provide users with access to more than 200 million pages of authoritative federal science information.Search results are in the form of article abstracts; some of the complete articles are open access, others are behind a paywall.
Springer
SpringerOpen

SpringerOpen is the open-access branch of Springer Publishing. It is a portfolio of fully open-access journals and books, covering all areas of science. The entire content published with SpringerOpen is freely accessible online immediately upon publication.


More links


If you can't find what you are looking for at any of the above locations, the Wikipedia  List of academic databases and search Engines may help. University College, London, maintains a list of Free Online Learning Resources, and there is also a list of Free Educational Resources for distance learning compiled by the California Department of Education.

 

Quickstart search

This customized searchbox is designed to filter out material behind a paywall and give results for open-access educational content. It is not possible to achieve 100% accuracy, but it should help you to find what you are looking for. Right-click to open search results in a new tab.

For a wider range of search options, CLICK HERE.