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  • Viking Open Educational Resource Research Guide: Open Textbooks

    Open Textbook Collections

    The Open Textbook movement focuses on the creation of books that are built specifically for use as free or low-cost options for education.  Many of the collections will have links to the same books, but each repository has a particular focus and items you can't find in other collections.

    • The University of Minnesota Open Textbook Catalog (
      • This site is a clearinghouse of links to books housed in various locations, including OpenStax, Saylor and others, with over 140 books.
      • To be on the list, the books must be used by author's institution and by at least one other institution.
    • OpenStax College ( These books were developed following traditional textbook publishing methods, including peer review, editorial support, and creation of ancillary content.  These books are available in multiple formats (PDF, print on demand, on the Web) and are licensed to be revised and remixed by faculty who want to create a custom solution for a course. 
    • College Open Textbooks ( hundreds of textbooks (many peer reviewed) indexed by the College Open Textbooks Collaborative
    • British Columbia Open Campus Textbook list
      • This collection includes texts written specifically for the BC OpenTextbook initiative as well as books from other sources.  
      • You can find out more about the BC textbook project.
    • Lumen Learning (
      • Lumen provides open courses in a variety of high-demand subjects and disciplines. These courses are collections of high-quality OER, not necessarily traditional textbooks.  You can use them as-is or modify them to fit your instructional style and students’ needs.
    • Teaching Commons (
      • "The Teaching Commons brings together high-quality open educational resources from leading colleges and universities. Curated by librarians and their institutions, the Teaching Commons includes open access textbooks, course materials, lesson plans, multimedia, and more."
    • HathiTrust (
      • HathiTrust is a partnership of academic & research institutions offering a collection of millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world. 
    • The Directory of OpenAccess Books ( 
      • This site is a clearinghouse of links to books hosted in various locations and includes a large selection of international textbooks.
    • Bookshelf (
      • This collection includes books written specifically for as well as the original editions of the FlatWorldKnowledge textbooks (subsequent editions are only offered for purchase).  
      • You can view all their resources by subject area in their library
    • JSTOR Open Access Books (
      • Access to open eBooks from the University of California Press, University of Michigan Press, UCL Press, Cornell University Press, and others.
    • Flatworld Knowledge (
      • Flatworld provides faculty customizable books for a relatively low cost to students.  Access to the content is primarily through their website. Flatworld is strongest in business.
      • Many of their original books are available under a more open Creative Commons license by-nc-sa 3.0, (the newer books from their site require student purchase and use of the Flatworld site).
    • Open Access Publishing in European Networks (
      • The OAPEN Library contains freely accessible academic books mainly in the area of Humanities and Social Sciences. OAPEN has books in multiple languages and covering a large variety of topics. 
      • There is a range of licensing for the books, but each book is clearly marked with the license.  
    • The National Academies Press (
      • Unlike some of the open textbook initiatives these books are publicly available but not openly licensed.  You can link to the content, and even link directly to specific pages.  However, you cannot remix and redistribute the content.
    • Open Book Publishers (
      • Publicly available but not openly licensed. "We are a Social Enterprise run by scholars who are committed to making high-quality research available to readers around the world. We publish monographs and textbooks in all areas, and offer the academic excellence of a traditional press, with the speed, convenience and accessibility of digital publishing. All our books are available to read for free online.
    • Open Course Library (
      • From the Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges comes the Open Course Library, an extensive collection of courses and course materials (such as syllabi, classroom handouts, readings, multimedia resources, and assignments) for use by college-level students and instructors. As the authors of this website emphasize, these materials are not intended to replace classroom instruction; rather, these materials are made available in order to provide affordable classroom materials for students and resources for faculty members to consider integrating into existing courses. A central stated goal of the Open Course Library is to reduce costs to students. All courses included here can be taught without a textbook or utilize textbooks that cost $30 or less. As of this write-up, the Open Course Library features over 80 courses, including courses in English composition, symbolic logic, mathematics, and foreign languages. All course materials can be easily accessed as Google Docs.