Finding Open Textbooks

The costs for what has been the standard for college course materials—the printed textbook—has become a major source of expense for students, and for some, a financial barrier to college completion. Open textbooks are one part of the solution to managing the costs of learning materials for students.

"Open textbooks are offered online under an open-source license that allows free digital access, low-cost print options and customization by instructors.

—from A Cover to Cover Solution, September 30, 2010.

Affordable Learning Solutions (from the CSU)
You can search by ISBN's to find an Open Textbook related to a book. The page also includes a keyword search tool by topic for the MERLOT database, and links to textbooks in MERLOT by subject.

MERLOT's Open Textbook Initiative
MERLOT's collection has over 3,300 Open Textbooks, and it allows you to search for textbooks by subject, whereas many other sites just provide list of books, which can get unwieldy. Click on a link to your subject area and you will get a hit list of Open Textbooks in different sub-disciplines.

Flat World
This commercial venture offers free and open high quality online textbooks. Open means that you can edit them, adapt them, and change them for your classes. Flat World makes their profits by selling supplements, and pdf and print copies of their books for students who want physical copies.

Rice University's Connexions is a repository of open materials. Their list of other sources includes the College Open Textbook group and the OER Commons Textbooks, which are worth looking at.

OpenStax College
OpenStax College provides your students with professional-quality textbooks that are free online and low-cost in print. The books are peer-reviewed and backed by quality supporting materials. The books are also customizable. Review a textbook to get started.

Free to Learn Guide
Open Educational Resources (OER) offer a solution to reducing costs imposed on students related to the purchase of expensive commercial textbooks and learning materials. Leading scholars around the world are participating in the OER movement. This resource includes an excellent index to other OER resources.