Open Education Global 2022

OER Search Index for international repositories
05-23, 16:00–16:20 (Europe/Paris), Salle 200


Throughout Germany, but also internationally, there are already numerous decentralized platforms for the exchange and joint further development of OER in all areas of education. However, as the number of sources on the web increases, so does the effort that teachers and learners have to find suitable content for their interests. The Open Educational Resources Search Index (OERSI) project addresses this problem by providing a central entry point for searching distributed repositories for Open Educational Resources in higher education. Since the beginning of 2020, the OERSI project has been developed as a jointly initiated and self-financed project by the North Rhine-Westphalia University Library Center (hbz) and the German National Library of Science and Technology (TIB) as open source and has been available since the summer of 2020 as a national, cross-institutional entry point with currently more than 38,000 Open Educational Resources in different languages. The entire development takes place openly on the GitLab platform at
The modular and flexible technical infrastructure for collecting and transforming data offers the possibility of integrating a wide variety of sources, provided they have an API or a sitemap. In this way, the index is continuously expanded. The integration of new sources is mainly based on the Metafacture framework, a toolkit for processing semi-structured data with a focus on library metadata. It provides a versatile set of tools for reading, writing and transforming data. Beside the integration processes with Metafacture it is also possible to integrate new sources with any other programming language. In addition to centralizing the search offerings, it is also possible to integrate the search and search results into other portals via open interfaces for selected subsets of the OERSI. The state portals of North Rhine-Westphalia ( and Lower Saxony ( are first examples of this integration.
With the current development, OERSI is aiming for greater international networking. In this sense, a mapping of multilingual search terms and a translation of the user interface with controlled vocabularies for the search filters is planned for implementation in the coming months. Currently, the search index is already available in German and English with translated vocabularies for subjects and materials. Interested platform operators are invited to participate in the Open Source development and may recommend additional sources for inclusion.
This session will describe the basic functionality of OERSI, demonstrate the reuse in other portals, and provide insight into the open source development process on GitLab. Another point to be demonstrated in this session is the connection of GitLab instances as distributed working environments for collaborative work on Open Educational Resources. GitLab can be used to collaboratively create, extend, and publish open educational materials in the form of lessons, courses, presentations, and scripts, and the environment provides numerous opportunities for collaboration in Open Science projects in addition to versioning and transparency. With the help of easy to setup templates and support for metadata maintenance, metrics for quality can also be integrated in a simple way. The approaches presented here are still under development but offer great potential for reuse in international projects.

Axel Klinger, CTO at Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB) in Hannover, Germany, supports the development of open infrastructures for Open Science and Open Education.