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Open Educational Resources: Open Journals & Textbooks


An open textbook is an openly-licensed textbook offered online by its author(s). The open license sets open textbooks apart from traditional textbooks by allowing users to read online, download, or print the book at no additional cost.

For a textbook to be considered open, it must be licensed in a way that grants a baseline set of rights to users that are less restrictive than its standard copyright.  A license or list of permissions must be clearly stated by the author.

Generally, the minimum baseline rights allow users at least the following:

  • to use the textbook without compensating the author 
  • to copy the textbook, with appropriate credit to the author  
  • to distribute the textbook non-commercially
  • to shift the textbook into another format (such as digital or print)

Many authors also grant rights such as:

  • to add, remove or alter content in the textbook, often on the condition that derivative works must  have the same license                            
  • to copy and distribute the textbook without giving credit to the author to use the textbook commercially


Open Textbooks

BCcampus-OpenEda collection of more than 150 online textbooks, the result of Canada's first government-funded open textbook project.  Subjects include arts, business, health-related sciences, and trades (culinary arts).

BookBoonfree textbooks can be downloaded.  Subjects include IT & programming, accounting, natural sciences, marketing & law, and engineering.  Older versions of Microsoft Office are also available.

Curriki - a hub for free, open course materials. Find thousands of course materials in a variety of subjects and grade levels, including free courses and textbooks.

Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) - this website includes a large selection of international textbooks covering subjects such as business and economics, languages and literatures, mathematics and statistics, technology and engineering, and many more.


Flat World Knowledge - a college textbook publisher whose books are published under an open license. This allows professors to customize the books they order – edit, add to, mix-up – or use as-is. Students can access the books online for free or can pay for print-on-demand and audiobook versions. 

InTechOpen - the world's largest science, technology, and medicine open access book publisher, with nearly 3,000 books and more than 95 million downloads.

MERLOT - Multimedia Educational Resources for Learning and Online Teaching (MERLOT) is a project of California State University and offers peer reviewed online teaching and learning materials.

The National Academies Press - the NAP publishes 200+ books a year on a wide range of topics in science, engineering, and medicine, providing authoritative information on important matters in science and health policy.


OAPEN - a quality controlled collection of open access books, mainly in the area of Humanities and Social Sciences.

OER Commons Open Textbook Hub - a platform on which educators can create or remix open educational resources for lessons and modules.  An extensive library includes lesson plans, video/audio lectures, syllabi, textbooks, simulations, and full courses.  A section specifically for STEM-related materials is linked to the home page for easy access.

Open Access Textbooks Websites - a FIPSE grant project, creating a model for open textbook implementation. This is their list of open textbooks sites.

Open Textbooks, cont'd.

Open Culture - a collection of 200 free textbooks from art history to physics and business. Various copyrights -please check for open access.

Open Oregon Educational Resources - an online collection of free textbooks intended specifically for community college students.

OpenStax - offers students free textbooks that meet scope and sequence requirements for most courses. These are peer-reviewed texts written by professional content developers.

Open Textbook Library - a tool to help instructors find affordable, quality textbook solutions.  All textbooks in this library are complete and openly licensed.


Project Gutenberg - the place where you can download 33,000 free books! This is a great resource for Literature classes and books for young children.

Saylor Academy - a collection of more than 100 open textbooks in a variety of viewing formats, most notably in PDF.

ScienceDirect - a leading full-text scientific database offering journal articles and book chapters from more than 2,500 journals and almost 20,000 books. 

Smarthistory - a free, not-for-profit, multi-media web-book designed as a dynamic enhancement (or even substitute) for the traditional art history textbook.  Organized by artist, theme, or time period, it currently hosts over 300 essays and almost 600 unscripted video conversations.


SpringerOpen Books - authors in all disciplines now have the opportunity to publish open access books, including complete monographs, edited volumes, proceedings and SpringerBriefs. SpringerOpen books are published under the Creative Commons Non-Commercial (CC BY-NC) license, so they can be reused and redistributed for non-commercial purposes as long as the original author is attributed.

SUNY Open Textbooks - a collection of free online textbooks developed by faculty of the State University of New York (SUNY) system.  New titles are forthcoming as well.

Textbook Revolution - free educational materials available as PDF files, e-books, or web sites.  "[This site] is a student-run site dedicated to increasing the use of free educational materials by teachers and professors."

Wikibooks - a Wikimedia community for creating a free library of educational books that anyone can edit.  Rather than be subject to expensive static books, Wikibooks readily encourages copying, modifying, reusing, and free distribution of its books. 

Open Journals

Directory of Open Access Journals - aims to be comprehensive and cover all open access scientific and scholarly journals that use a quality control system to guarantee the content. In short, the DOAJ aims to be the one-stop shop for users of open access journals.

Elsevier - serves more than 30 million scientists, students and health and information professionals worldwide which include: Open Access Journals, and Open Archives.  Published articles are peered reviewed; are immediately free to access and download from ScienceDirect; and are permitted re-use defined by the author's choice of Creative Commons user licenses.

JSTOR - this digital library provides a growing collection of more than 2,000 open access ebooks and over 500,000 early journal articles in the public domain.  Other free journal content is also included.  All open content includes downloadable full-text PDF files.

OMICS Group International - committed to make genuine and reliable contributions to the scientific community. OMICS Group hosts over 300 leading-edge peer reviewed Open Access Journals and organizes over 100 international conferences annually all over the world.

Oxford University Press Journals - Articles published under the Oxford Open model are made freely available online immediately upon publication, without subscription barriers to access. The three open access licences which Oxford Open employs are CC-BY, CC-BY-NC, and CC-BY-NC-ND.

ScienceDirect - a leading full-text scientific database offering journal articles and book chapters from more than 2,500 journals and almost 20,000 books.

SpringerOpen Journals - our SpringerOpen journal portfolio includes peer-reviewed, fully open access journals across all areas of science. It ranges from very specialized titles to SpringerPlus, our interdisciplinary open access journal that covers all disciplines. | North Library: 281-459-7116 | Central Library: 281-476-1850 | South Library: 281-998-6150 ext. 3306