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Open Educational Resources (OER): OER Textbooks

This guide explains the basics of OER, and provides general and discipline-specific resources.

OER Textbooks

OER Textbooks: Collections of textbooks designed with open licenses and for reuse, remix, and redistribute within courses for free. 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.

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 might have links to the same open textbooks, but each collection has a particular focus,

  • Open Textbook Library  – OTL, with over 350 books, is a clearinghouse of links to books in various locations, including OpenStax, Saylor and others. Books in the OTL have been peer reviewed for quality, and the Open Textbook Library has multiple criteria for inclusion in the Library.
  • OpenStax  – These books were developed following traditional textbook publishing methods, including peer review, editorial support, and creation of ancillary content. 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 create a custom solution for a course.
  • BC Campus OpenEd  – This site includes texts written specifically for the BC OpenTextbook initiative, as well as books from other sources.
  • Saylor.org Bookshelf  – This collection includes books written specifically for Saylor.org 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
  • College Open Textbooks: The College Open Textbooks Collaborative, a collection of twenty-nine educational non-profit and for-profit organizations, affiliated with more than 200 colleges, is focused on driving awareness and adoptions of open textbooks to more than 2000 community and other two-year colleges. This includes providing training for instructors adopting open resources, peer reviews of open textbooks, and mentoring online professional networks that support for authors opening their resources, and other services.
  • Global Textbook Project: University of Georgia's initiative to host and create open text books.

This list of open access resources are a mix of website with various formats (both books and textbooks) and licenses. 

  • 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 books is clearly marked with the license.
  • Project Gutenberg  – A volunteer effort to digitize and archive cultural works. Most items in this collection are digitized works from the public domain, making it a rich source for those in the Humanities
  • 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.

This is not a complete list and we wish to keep adding more open textbook websites or platforms when they become available. If you have used or know of any Open educational resources that is not included here please write to us (email) so that we can include in this list.

        

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