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Open Textbooks: Home

What are Open Text books?

An open textbook is a textbook which is licensed under an open copyright license and is a type of open education resources (OER). 

Open textbooks are made available online to be freely used by students, teachers and members of the public.  They are usually available to read online in a range of formats, or can be downloaded and printed if desired. 

The range of subjects covered and the number of publications is steadily increasing.

This guide provides links to and further information on a range of sites where you can find open books.

Searching for Open Text Books

Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB) is a discovery service that points to Open Access books that can be found elsewhere.  The directory is open to all publishers who publish academic, peer reviewed books in Open Access.

DOAB enables you to search the description of the books and you  can download the books from the site of the publisher. All books in DOAB have a full open access licence, making them 'free to share'.



Browse DOAB

  • Books by subject
    Expanded list of subject areas covered by the books available in DOAB
  • List of publishers in DOAB
    There are around 200 current publishers of books available, including many UK and international University Presses.

Other Open Access book resources

Digital Commons Network
The Digital Commons Network brings together free, full-text scholarly articles from hundreds of universities and colleges worldwide. This portal provides access to to content produced and stored using bepress’s widely used Digital Commons publishing and institutional repository platform. the interface allows you to explore by subject area.

Knowledge Unlatched 
Knowledge Unlatched is a global library consortium enabling open access books. The model depends on many libraries from around the world sharing the payment of a single Title Fee to a publisher, in return for a book being made available on a Creative Commons licence via OAPEN as a fully downloadable PDF.

Project Guttenberg 
Project Guttenburg contains over 54,000 free eBooks which can be read online or downloaded.  It includes some of world's great literature, especially older works for which copyright has expired. These works have been digitised and proofread  with the help of thousands of volunteers.

Where to find Open Text books

Open Textbook Library
The Open TextBook Library is supported by the Center for Open Education and the Open Textbook Network
 based at the University of Minnesota.  It provides lists of open textbooks, with reviews from staff at Universities in the US and UK, available to download in a range of formats. All books included are either used at multiple higher education institutions; or affiliated with an institution or scholarly/professional organisation. 
The OAPEN (Open Access Publishing in European Networks)  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. 

This site contains more than 2,400 books across engineering, physical, life and health sciences, and social sciences published under the Creative Commons licenses. Over 3,200 titles are available.

OpenStax College
OpenStax is  based at Rice University in the US and contains  peer-reviewed open textbooks in the areas of Maths, Science, Social Sciences and Humanities. 

BCCampus OpenEd
Based at the University of British Columbia this collection includes around 180 open textbooks created, reviewed, and shared in a range of subject areas.

Open SUNY Textbooks
Open SUNY Textbooks is run by libraries in the State University of New York system. Their mission is to provide an infrastructure to supp ort the adoption, remixing and creation of open educational resources.

Project Muse
 Over 600 open access (OA) books from several distinguished university presses and scholarly societies.