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Guide to Creating Reading Lists

Resources on this page

This page links to information about open educational resources (OER), Creative Commons licenses, open access journals, and the public domain.  It is meant as a starting point, as each of these areas have numerous websites, documentation, and literature dedicated to them.  Please contact the PG Library staff if you are looking for OER or other resources to fit your curricular needs.  

Open Educational Resources (OER)

Open Educational Resources, or OER, are an increasingly popular option for universities looking to find alternatives to the traditional textbook. OER materials are freely available resources, often textbooks, you can assign for your course. License terms for use are usually granted via a Creative Commons license.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons licenses have become a popular way for content creators to choose the rights they want for their works.  Creative Commons licenses usually grant terms that are far more generous than what is granted by fair use and current U.S. copyright law.  The terms in Creative Commons licenses spell out what users can do with it and what's required.  Often it's as little as giving attribution to the author, but there may be other stipulations.  

Use the links below to read more about Creative Commons licenses as well as search for CC licensed content.

Public Domain

Resources within the public domain are usable by everyone, for any purpose, because nobody can claim copyright on them.  Traditionally, works were in the public domain due to the copyright expiring.  As a general rule, any works published before 1923 is in the public domain.  However, works might be in the public domain for other reasons.  For example, Creative Commons licenses allow authors the option to put new works into the public domain immediately. 

The following site contains more information about what the public domain is. 

These websites are known to list content within the Public Domain and often lead to other sites with Public Domain content.  However, some may have content not in the Public Domain as well, so please evaluate each resource you find carefully.  

Open Access Research Databases

Open Access journal and e-book models provide free access to relevant scholarly research and writing. However, not all OA journals license for reuse clearly and many don't list license terms at all. If you find an OA journal article you want to assign, check the journal's site for terms. The most desirable to find is a Creative Commons license like the CC-BY license.