16 Places to find Open Textbooks

Subject Availability

Many of the largest OER projects funded over the past fifteen years targeted high cost, high impact courses to save students money. Because of this, most of the OER available today are for general education courses such as Psychology, Biology, and Calculus.

This does not mean that there are no OER available for specialized subject areas or graduate-level courses; however, there are more resources to choose from for instructors who teach Introduction to Psychology than for those who teach Electronic Systems Integration for Agricultural Machinery & Production Systems.

Note: This is beginning to change as more institutions begin publishing OER through regional and institutional grant programs.


These textbooks are provided or developed by institutions of higher education.

Source Description Institution
BCcampus OpenEd  “We have earned a global reputation for our contributions and support of open educational resources by taking an active role in the creation, modification, distribution, and evaluation of Open teaching, learning, and research resources.” BCcampus
Global Text Project  “We publish open-content electronic textbooks that are freely available from this website.” University of Georgia
MIT Press Open  “The MIT Press has been a leader in open access book publishing for two decades.” Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Open SUNY  “OST offers peer-reviewed open texts that can be immediately adopted and easily customized via the SUNY OER Services editing platform.” The State University of New York
Open Textbook Library  “The Open Textbook Library provides a growing catalog of free, peer-reviewed, and openly-licensed textbooks.” University of Minnesota
OpenStax  “More than 20 books for college and AP courses used by hundreds of thousands of students.” Rice University
OAPEN “The OAPEN Library contains freely accessible academic books, mainly in the area of humanities and social sciences. OAPEN works with publishers to build a quality controlled collection of open access books, and provides services for publishers, libraries and research funders in the areas of deposit, quality assurance, dissemination, and digital preservation.” Open Access: Publishing in European Networks


These textbooks were developed by corporate or nonprofit institutions.

Source Description Institution
Bookboon  “Wide range of over 1,000 textbooks for students and 600 eBooks for business professionals in 10 languages.” Bookboon.com
Boundless  “Boundless improves education for millions of students and educators through educational resources powered by cloud technology.” Boundless
College Open Textbooks “Easy-to-use central repository for toolsets that can be shared amongst the peer communities and initiatives created to promote and support open textbook adoption.” The College Open Textbooks Collaborative
Directory of Open Access Books “The directory is open to all publishers who publish academic, peer-reviewed books in Open Access and should contain as many books as possible, provided that these publications are in Open Access and meet academic standards.” OAPEN Foundation
InTech  “InTechOpen is the world’s largest Science, Technology and Medicine Open Access book publisher.” InTechOpen
Lumen Learning  “Extremely affordable e-books with curated text, video, interactives, and other learning materials.” Lumen Learning
Lyryx  “Lyryx combines free open texts with affordable high-quality online assessment, comprehensive editorial services, and dedicated in-house support.” Lyryx Learning
Open Book Publishers  “Our books are published in hardback, paperback, pdf, and ebook editions, but they also include a free online edition that can be read via our website, downloaded, reused or embedded anywhere.” Open Book Publishers
Open Culture   “The best free cultural & educational media on the web.” Open Culture
OpenTextBookStore  “We scour the Internet for the best quality textbooks issued under open licenses that allow for printing.” OpenTextBookStore
Project Gutenburg “A volunteer effort to digitize and archive cultural works, to encourage the creation and distribution of eBooks.” Project Gutenburg
Punctum Books “Independent, not-for-profit, open-access publisher dedicated to radically creative modes of intellectual inquiry and writing across” Punctum Books
Saylor  “We offer nearly 100 full-length courses at the college and professional levels.” Saylor Academy
WikiBooks  “Wikibooks is a Wikimedia project for collaboratively writing open-content textbooks.” Wikimedia Foundation

Meta-search Tools

Sometimes finding an open resource that will work for a specific project can be tricky. There are two meta-search tools out there that search across a number of open educational resources sites and repositories. Both are useful but tend to give you a lot of results. Both feature ways to narrow down the search.

Source Description Where it searches
OASIS “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 97 different sources and contains 385,629 records.” AMSER, BC Campus, DOAB, Merlot, MIT Open Courseware, OAOpen, OASIS, OER Commons, OER at Internet Archives, Open Michigan, Open Textbook Library, OpenStax CNX, as well as many open historical repositories.
Mason OER Metafinder “The Mason OER Metafinder helps you find Open Educational Resources.  Unlike other OER discovery sites (e.g, OER CommonsOASISMERLOTOpenStax, etc.) with our Metafinder you aren’t searching a static database that we’ve built.  Instead, the OER Metafinder launches a real-time, simultaneous search across 22 different sources of open educational materials as you hit the Search button.” Achieving the Dream, Affordable Learning Georgia, AIM, BC OpenCampus, DOAB, CUNY, Open Access Books-NYU, Boundless, Grand Valley State, JHSPHOpen, LibriVox, Open SUNY (among others)


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