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Open Educational Resources: Open Textbooks and Independent Resources

an introductory guide for faculty and students exploring openly published course materials

Open Textbooks and Individual Resources


Open Textbooks and OpenCourseware

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.

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. You can search them by subject here.

Lumen Learning (

Lumen provides open courses in a variety of high-demand subjects and disciplines. Online textbooks are available for free (click “view course content and outcomes”). Lumen also offers supplemental online content and courseware at a low cost to students.

British Columbia Open Campus Textbooks   (

This collection includes texts written specifically for the BC OpenTextbook initiative, as well as books from other sources. 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. 

Open Michigan ( 

A collection of open educational resources (organized as open courses) from University of Michigan. Access a range of course materials, videos, lectures, student work and more. Search by subject.

Yale Open Courses (

Open Yale Courses provides free and open access to a selection of introductory courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University.

The Open University (

A curated, searchable collection of articles, activities, programs and courses across many general subjects.

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, covering a large variety of topics. Humanities and Social Science focus.

 The National Academies (

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. Science, engineering, & medicine focus.

Johns Hopkins - School of Public Health (

This site offers open materials and images from more than a hundred courses developed by the faculty of Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, the world’s foremost institution of public health education and research. Science, public health focus.

MIT OpenCourseWare (

MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. OCW is open and available to the world and is a permanent MIT activity. Science, engineering, technology & math focus.

Open Research Library (

The Open Research Library (ORL) is planned to include all Open Access book content worldwide on one platform for user-friendly discovery, offering a seamless experience navigating more than 20,000 Open Access books.


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 117 different sources and contains 388,707 records.

Repositories for Individual Resources (as opposed to open courses or textbooks)

OER Commons ( 

The OER Commons is a single search source that pulls from multiple OER collections. It is a great first step in an OER search, but often more results can be found by searching the specific collection. Recommended for Business, Education, History, Life Sciences, Psychology and Sociology.  

Oregon State University Hub - OSU has a "hub" within the OER Commons platform.


MERLOT is a free and open peer reviewed collection of online teaching and learning materials and faculty-developed services contributed and used by an international education community. Recommended for Business, Education, Music, Political Science and Sociology.  

Oxford University Podcasts (

Traditional Liberal Arts content, plus series addressing topics across a wide variety of subjects and disciplines.

Europeana (

Europeana is a gateway to European cultural assets. Through this site you can search for artworks, cultural items, archival collections from participating institutions all around Europe. 

HathiTrust (

HathiTrust is a partnership of academic & research institutions, offering a collection of millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world.  


Faculty Select

Faculty Select (

This EBSCO tool allows faculty to search for and adopt free open educational resources, all in one place. It includes titles from SUNY Open Textbooks, Open BC Textbooks, and OAPEN Library, with more to be added.

It also includes traditionally-published titles with unlimited-user, DRM-free (no download restrictions), ebook editions that the library may be able to purchase for your students to use. You have the opportunity to request a library purchase from within the platform.

For more information, also visit