What to consider when creating an OER

When creating an Open Education Resource (OER) it’s helpful to keep in mind who the audience is and what the purpose is of your OER.

Check, do you have copyright permission to share all the assets you include in the resource? Have you looked for openly licensed images online and copied over the licence information with the image to show that you can use it?

Are you likely to need to offer alternative formats for those people who find certain resources hard to access because of visual impairment, dyslexia, mental health conditions or other special requirements? For example, if you are uploading a video will it include a transcript? If your resource includes images have they been alt tagged with descriptions for a screen reader?

Open Education Resource Policy Guidance

  1. It is the responsibility of staff and students to ensure that they have the necessary rights to publish an OER and that all resources published comply with all relevant policies (e.g. copyright, IPR, accessibility).
  2. Staff and students are advised to publish OERs using a Creative Commons attribution licence (CC BY). Other Creative Commons licences (for example to add a non-commercial use or share-alike element) may be used if the creators feel this is necessary or appropriate for their particular resource, or to comply with the license of any third party content used in the resource.
  3. When creating and publishing OERs, the copyright owner(s), author(s), date and Creative Commons licence applied must be visibly attributed. The copyright owner will normally be the University of Edinburgh for OERs created at the University. Author(s) should also be properly acknowledged, giving recognition for work undertaken, along with date and Creative Commons licence applied so that others can clearly understand what permissions for reuse are being granted. An example of good attribution would be:  © [Author Name], University of Edinburgh 2016 CC BY
  4. The University recommends that written and interactive digital teaching resources should be published in an appropriate repository or public-access website in order to maximise discovery and use by others. Where OERs have been created as part of an externally funded activity, any storage and/or repository locations mandated as a condition of the funding should be used.
  5. The University recommends that audio/video based OER teaching resources should be published in the University’s multimedia repository, Media Hopper.
  6. Staff and students are encouraged to collect data where possible on usage of their OERs for: quality assurance mechanisms (e.g. module/programme review); staff recognition, reward and progression; or recognition of a student’s portfolio-of-work.
  7. Where students are producing OERs as part of their programme of study or within a staff-directed project, these guidelines should be followed and OERs should be checked by a member of staff before publication.


The information on this page is also available as a PDF: What to consider when creating an OER (PDF 80kb)