One of the major advantages for users of OER Commons is that resources are categorized and indexed. This allows teachers and others to search and discover open educational resources in a way that helps them find relevant materials.


If your organization is interested in importing large sets of resources, ISKME’s curation team can help to index resources with keywords and metadata. Contact us and our team will share our site metadata schema and documentation with you. We will then review your content, and assist in mapping your metadata formats to OER Commons so that your content is searchable on our site.


Step 1: Complete the Template

In order to be published, each of your resources will need to be listed and described in the metadata template. Describing your resource helps others find it in OER Commons.


To begin, open the import template. In the first sheet, you will find a spreadsheet with (1) field names, (2) field descriptions, and (3) sample content. The field names represent all the metadata fields that can be used to describe your resources. The field descriptions explain what we mean by each field name, and the sample content provides a sample from a real resource. 


The metadata fields fall into one of two categories: Required (highlighted in yellow) and Suggested (Highlighted in blue). 

Metadata_Template.png


Required Fields

Required fields must be completed before resources can be published. Some of the required fields have specific vocabulary terms that you can choose from (such as Subjects). The list of vocabulary terms is located on the third tab "Field Use & Vocabularies". 

NOTE: Each resource should be listed in its own row, with the associated metadata listed in the appropriate columns. 


  1. Title: Provide a Title for your resource. In most cases, the resource title is listed at the top of the page. 
  2. URL: This is the URL or web address of the resource (for example https://openstax.org/details/books/biology.) If your resource does not have a URL, such as a word document saved on your computer, then contact us or consider adding your resource using Open Author.
  3. Material Type: Select one or more Material Types from our controlled vocabulary terms. See the third tab in the spreadsheet for the list of Material Types. 
  4. Sub-level: This is the education level most appropriate for your resource. Sub-levels are a controlled vocabulary and include Preschool, Lower Primary, Upper Primary, Middle School, High School, Community College/Lower Division, College/Upper Division, Graduate/Professional, and Career/Technical, and Adult Education. Note that content intended for pre-service and in-service teachers can be marked as Graduate/Professional. You can also add "Pre-service" or "In-service" as a keyword to make the resource more discoverable. 
  5. Abstract: This is a summary of your resource. It can be as brief or a detailed as you like.
  6. Language: Select the language(s) in which the resource is available. 
  7. COU Title: Conditions of Use (COU) Title. This is the copyright license associated with the resource. You can usually find this information on the resource website, frequently in the footer. For more information on Copyrights see Usage Rights
  8. Primary User: Who is the intended user for this resource? Is this a student-facing resource or something for instructors or administrators? Select one or more of the designated vocabulary terms. 
  9. Subject: Select the primary subject for your resource from our designed terms. You can also select a secondary subject if desired. Subjects are separated with a bar "|" character, for example, Business|Accounting.
  10. Keyword: These are any keyword terms that you think would be helpful to other users as they search. For example, things like "inquiry-based learning" or "tide-pools." Keywords should be separated by a bar "|" symbol like this, "inquiry-based learning|tide pools”. Note that sometimes keywords are used to support Collections. If that is the case, your OERC librarian will provide a list of your recomended Collection keywords. 

Suggested fields

  1. Provider: This is the content provider. It could be the same as the Copyright holder, but in some cases, it may be different. 
  2. Create date: This is the date the content was created, and not the date you are adding it the index. 
  3. Author name: The name of the resource author, if known. 
  4. Provider set: Provider sets are created and maintained by the OERC staff. If this field would be helpful for your indexing process then our librarians will provide you with the needed data. 
  5. COU_URL: Conditions of Use (COU) URL. If your resource includes a copyright URL with detailed information on usage rights, you can add that URL here. 
  6. COU Description: The Conditions of Use (COU) Description is useful for any unique or extenuating circumstances, particularly under Custom Permissions. 
  7. Author Email: Here you can provide contact information for the author. This is helpful in case there are any questions regarding copyrights or usage. 
  8. Author Country: Author's country of origin. 
  9. Media Format: Here you can designate the format of your resource, such as Downloadable docs, eBooks, Interactives, etc. See the third tab for a list of Media Format terms. 
  10. COU Copyright Holder: This is the copyright holder of the resource.
  11. Educational Use: Educational user covers the following options Curriculum/Instruction, Assessment, Professional Development, and Other. Select the term that is most accurate for your resource. 
  12. Educational Standards: Educational standards are organized into numeric codes so that that standards tags can be searched across the site. An OERC library can provide you with a full list of educational standards to choose from or see the Educational Standards tools on the site. 


Step 2: Review and Submit the Template

Once your template is complete, you can notify your OERC Project manager and/or your designated OERC Librarian. Our team will review your template, confirm copyright licensing, and reconcile any data you have provided that overlaps with our existing records. Then our team will import and publish your resources. 

Once published, your resource will appear on OER Commons and will be added to the group(s) and collection(s) you may have discussed with the OER Commons team.