Skip to Main Content

Open Educational Resources (OER): Review

How to Review OER

OER peer review is similar to faculty publication review.  A review can be pre-publication and also open and post publication. These processes are tagged as peer review and crowdsourced reviews.

  • Peer review
  • Crowdsourced reviews

Not all OER resources are reviewed.  Review and assessment practices are determined by many factors, notably: the creator and the institution that is adopting the resource for teaching and learning purposes.   Academic quality control is entirely the responsibility of the creator, who is regarded as the academic content expert and understands the learning objectives, accuracy of content, accessibility, and usability of the content concerning the course that the product supports. Also, the repository or the university accepting the resource may adopt any of the review processes. The university's academic control guidelines may be used to grade the quality of the product and ensure that it meets the required academic standards.

Rubric for Evaluating OER

There are several rubrics that can help evaluate OER:



Peer Review

Many repositories created an adapted version of peer review for evaluating submitted OER. It has similar strengths as peer review for academic research.


MERLOT uses a complex peer review system. Each discipline community has an editorial board that sets standards and runs the evaluations for OER in their discipline. Peer reviewers that meet a set of requirements are selected and trained on the reviewing process. OER are assigned two reviewers who each evaluate the OER following their discipline's standards (most use the MERLOT Peer Review Report). Editors create a composite report and post the report with the OER. 

Crowdsourced Reviews

Crowd-source review allow users of OER to provide  feedback through a public forum about the quality and usability of the product after they have used it.  It is a great way to gather opinions, determine the quality of the product  and make improvements.


The Open Textbook Library  accepts OERs that meet  heir basic 4 criteria for inclusion, none of which require a quality review. Instead, quality is done through reviews by faculty who are members of institutions in the Open Education Network who have use the OER product. Reviewers follow a 10-criteria rubric for evaluating the OER covering both the quality of the content and the usability of the resource. 

Tenure and Promotion with OER