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Open Educational Resources are an option supported at Johnson County Community College. Learn more about OER and related resources here.

The Five 'R's:

5 rs graphic

The terms "open content" and "open educational resources" describe any copyrightable work that is either (1) in the public domain or (2) licensed in a manner that provides users with free and perpetual permission to engage in the 5R activities:

  1. Retain - the right to make, own, and control copies of the content (e.g., download, duplicate, store, and manage)
  2. Reuse - the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
  3. Revise - the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
  4. Remix - the right to combine the original or revised content with other material to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
  5. Redistribute - the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)

For more information, head to

License Cheat Sheet

CreativeCommons AotearoaNZ CC-BY

Image Source: The Ultimate Image Guide.  CC-BY-SA 3.0

Copyright Guidelines

Materials taken directly from the library resources have copyright restrictions in place and so the best practice would be to link to an educational resource rather than putting it directly into your course. Many other online OER materials will have Creative Commons licenses, which will give you varying rights to use and modify an item. Be sure to read these restrictions carefully and ask if you have questions about whether or not you can use a resource in your course.

For information and/or questions about copyright and fair use, please visit the college's websites on this topic:

Or consult with Mark Swails , Associate Professor/Copyright Librarian.