St. Lawrence College Libraries

Brockville, Cornwall, Kingston


What are Open Educational Resources (OER)?

Open Access Publishers to Avoid

Some open access scholarly publishers operate under questionable practices - for example with minimal or no peer review, charging fees after accepting papers, using editor's names without permission. [1]

If in doubt about the quality of a journal, check if it is a member of the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association or if it is listed in Ebscohost: Serials Directory  or the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) 


For a list of things to look for when assessing journal quality - both positive and negative - see Open Access Journal Quality Indicators at the Grand Valley State University.

1. Predatory open access publishing (2017). Retrieved from )

How can I use material?

Look for a license, often Creative Commons or GNU, this will give the details on how content can be used, shared, and adapted as well as stating an requirements (such as attribution or non-commercial use). Some material may have instructor content that cannot be shared with students.

See our Databases page, those marked with a unlock symbol are accessible to the public and many of them are open access or some of the content is.

Ways the Library Can Help

What We Can Do

  • Help faculty identify existing OER materials, including alternatives to textbooks
  • Use advanced search skills to find exactly what faculty need
  • Give options for ways that students can access resources
  • Advise on how to make resources more accessible
  • Advise on issues of copyright and fair dealing
  • Advise on use of Creative Commons licences

What We (Likely) Cannot Do

  • Be completely knowledgeable of your subject area
  • Make the final call on the quality of a resource
  • Choose your textbook or course material
  • Interfere with your academic freedom

Text a derivative of “How Libraries can Help”, in CCCOER: Faculty and Librarians Selecting High Quality OER, by Tina Ulrich, licensed under CC BY 4.0.

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