Skip to Main Content

Open Education: Revising & Remixing OER

A guide to open educational resources, open pedagogy, and the open ed movement at Gettysburg College

Creative Commons

Types of Creative Commons Licenses

All Creative Commons licenses are made of a combination of 4 facets, which describe what a user can do with the licensed work:

  • Attribution (BY) - Anyone can copy, perform, redistribute, revise, build upon, etc. the work as long as they credit the original author.
  • NonCommercial (NC) - Users can copy, perform, redistribute, revise, build upon, etc. the work so long as they do not gain monetary profit from the use.
  • Share-Alike (SA) - Users can copy, perform, redistribute, revise, build upon, etc. the work, so long as any redistribution is done under the same license as the original work.
  • No Derivatives (ND) - Users can copy, perform, or redistribute the work, but cannot revise it or combine it with other works without permission from the author.

These facets can be combined to make six different licenses.

Creative Commons licenses with full name and logo

For more information on CC Licenses and how they work, please visit the Creative Commons website.

How to cite resources from the Creative Commons

When citing works from the Creative Commons, the best practice is to include at least the:

  • Title
  • Author/creator
  • Source of the work
  • CC License Type

It's also advisable to include any relevant links, embedded in each element. As an example:

Cute sleeping puppy

Adorable sleeping puppy by Doriguzzi from Wikimedia Commons, licensed under Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0

When citing a Creative Commons object in a formal citation style (e.g., MLA) it's best to include the license information after the citation. For the image above this might look like:

Doriguzzi. Adorable sleeping puppy. 2019. Wikimedia Commons,
Licensed under Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0.

Resources for...

Editing Open Textbooks

LibreTexts: LibreTexts contains a large library of open textbooks available for editing and remixing (including many OpenStax titles). Their web-based Remixer tool allows for integrated editing and re-organizing of texts. Sections and chapters can be downloaded as a PDF for easy printing or imported into an LMS. The LibreTexts Construction Guide provides additional details on editing with the platform.

Pressbooks: Pressbooks is an online software for use in editing open books that allows authors to publish in a wide variety of formats—web, PDF, EPUB, and more. It's interface functions similarly to other in-browser editors, with tools for importing content, editing, organizing chapters and sections, and customizing the book's appearance. A full guide to using the Pressbooks platform is available. Note: Although this version of Pressbooks is free to use, it places limits on the types and amount of content than can be uploaded. At this time, Gettysburg College does not have a PressbooksEDU plan.

Word processors: Many open textbooks are available to edit in .DOC or similar file formats. These files can be edited using Microsoft Word, Google Docs or other word processing programs, many of which have options for exporting into other file formats. If you can't find an editable version of an open textbook, please contact us, and we'll do our best to help get you one! 

Finding Images

Creative Commons Search: Searches a variety of web sources for images licensed under the Creative Commons. Results can be sorted by license, file type, image type, source, etc.

Noun Project: Simple free icons, published with CC licenses or in the public domain.

Wikimedia Commons: Wikipedia's repository of openly licensed media files. The page for each file contains license and author details. 

Google Image Search: Google's image search tool provides filters that can be used to search for freely-licensed content. See their guide to finding free-to-use images to learn how. 

Getting started with revising OER

Textbook Remix: An Introduction to LibreTexts for OER Editing

So, you’ve found an open textbook that you really like, but it’s not quite right for your class? LibreTexts might be the answer! Join us for this informal webinar to learn a little more about this online platform designed for customizing and distributing open textbooks. From Gettysburg College, Scholarly Communications Librarian Mary Elmquist will provide an introduction to the platform, its structure and features, and Dr. Alice Brawley Newlin, Assistant Professor of Management, will speak on her ongoing experiences using LibreTexts to edit and implement an open textbook for a Statistical Methods course.

View the recording of this live Zoom session on The Cupola.