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Remote Access LibGuide: Textbooks

Distance Learning and Open Access Resources

During the COVID-19 crisis, while students are taking classes remotely, it is more important than ever to have access to free resources including textbooks and educational videos.  There are many, many websites that students can search and find these  open educational resources (OERs).

What are OERs?

Zero-cost educational resources include library materials such as articles, books, ebooks, DVDs and streaming videos, along with open educational resources (OERs). OERs are free or low cost teaching and learning materials that are licensed, often under a Creative Commons licensing term, to allows users to retain a copy of the content and reuse, revise, remix and redistribute it. OERs can include textbooks, videos, tests, entire courses, course modules and syllabi. These materials can be made available digitally or in print/hard copy.

Open Educational Resources (OER) - Textbooks

Open Videos - Simulations - Textbooks - More! Openly Available Sources Integrated Search (OASIS) is a search tool that aims to make the discovery of open content easier. OASIS currently searches open content from 75 different sources and contains 176,430 records. Developer: SUNY

A collection of openly-licensed and free-to-download textbooks created by institutional members of the Open Textbook Network (including Open Stax). The Library is hosted by the University of Minnesota. Business, Economics, Social Sciences, Natural and Physical Sciences, Humanities, and more.

An initiative of Rice University that offers open-source textbooks that have been peer-reviewed. Includes textbooks for biology, chemistry, economics, history, math, psychology, and sociology.

For more information, read their FAQs.   There is also a support page.


Additional Repositories (Many formats, subjects, licenses)

A portal to basic and advanced level textbooks reviewed and approved by the American Institute of Mathematics.

COERLL's mission is to produce and disseminate Open Educational Resources (OER) for the Internet public (e.g., online language courses, reference grammars, assessment tools, corpora, etc.). Materials for Arabic, Chinese, Czech, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Malayalam, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Yoruba

Free access to downloadable books in the Think series for computer science and statistics. The books in the series were written by Allen Downey, a professor of computer science.

LibreTexts cover topics in Chemistry, Biology, Geology, Mathematics, Statistics, Physics, Social Sciences, Engineering, Medicine, Agriculture and Photosciences.

The LibreTexts approach is highly collaborative where an Open Access textbook environment is under constant revision by students, faculty, and outside experts to supplant conventional paper-based books. The LibreTexts project is currently directed by UC Davis Professor and project Founder Delmar Larsen.

Drill down from a Major Topic to Sub-Topic or Specialty. Limit formats as wanted to Video/Audio Lectures Student Work, Lecture Notes, Assessments, Online Textbook, Interactive Simulations.

Over 5,000 titles available for free PDF download from the National Academies of Science.

A free and open collection for psychology, sponsored by the Diener Education Fund (DEF).

George Mason University developed this metasearch tool. Search across many Public Domain, OER, and OA repositories simultaneously using multiple criteria.

PhET provides free, interactive, research-based science and mathematics simulations. Written in Java, Flash or HTML5, these can be run online or downloaded to your computer. All simulations are open source.

More OER Textbooks

The following list includes open educational resources repositories featuring textbooks from various disciplines.

  • BC Campus textbooks: Based in British Columbia, Canada, the BC Campus site provides access to open textbooks from various authors, platforms and disciplines.

  • Bepress Teaching Commons: Hosted by Bepress, the platform for CUNY's institutional repository known as Academic Works, this site includes textbooks, course materials, lesson plans, multimedia, lectures and more.

  • Book Boon: A Danish publisher of online educational literature, Book Boon provides free access to over 1000 college-level textbooks (these titles contain ads). Textbooks are written by professors from institutions around the world exclusively for Book Boon.

  • Intech: Specializes in open access book publishing in the sciences, technology and medicine.

  • MERLOTx: Aggregates and links to free textbooks, courses, learning modules and more. Includes peer reviews and user ratings.

  • MIT Online Textbooks: Provides access to MIT course content including openly licensed electronic versions of print books, self-published online books and "course notes which are so thorough that they serve as an alternative to a conventional textbook."

  • OER Commons: Aggregates and makes searchable textbooks from a variety of publishers and platforms.

  • Open Grove: A Florida State based repository of open educational resources.

  • OpenStax: Based at Rice University, OpenStax provides access to peer-reviewed textbooks written by educators.

  • Open SUNY Textbooks: Textbooks are written and reviewed by SUNY faculty.

  • Open Textbook Library (from the University of Minnesota): A catalog of free, peer-reviewed, openly licensed textbooks culled from a variety of authors and publishers.

  • Skyline College: A list of OER links to multiple subjects such as Health Sciences, International Business, Accounting, Business and more.  The list is updated frequently.

  • Teaching Commons: OER from Leading Colleges and Universities

Evaluating a Textbook Structure

5 Rules of Textbook Development in a chart
Textbook Evaluation Criteria
BCcampus lists 12 criteria that can be used to evaluate an open textbook.