Textbook Alternatives

Open Text Search

Sorry! Google made a change in April 2019 that "broke" this search, so you no longer get full results. You may get more results if you use more words. Until we can fix this, you may want to also use the links below.

Open access texts are free for students to read online, usually also free to download, and sometimes also available in inexpensive print format. Often an open access text may have a Creative Commons license that would allow an instructor to alter the text for their course.

This searches the sites in the Open Access Textbook Collections box and the Single Textbooks box. Collections that must be searched separately are linked in a separate box on this page. You'll need to skip ads at the beginning (powered by free Google Custom search).

Search by ISBN for OER

Open Access Textbook Collections

Your subject librarian may be able to help you find open access texts beyond those found in these collections.

Open Access Text Collections not included in Custom Search

A few collections either weren't technically possible to add to the custom search box, or were best left out of the search for practical reasons. You can search those individually using the links below.

Single Textbooks

Textbooks published online by professor authors, independently or via digital commons (university library repositories).

Other Ways to Search for Open Access Books (These not included in Google Custom search)

Why use Open Textbook materials?

Peer reviewed studies have shown that:

"OER is an equity strategy for higher education: providing all students with access to course materials on the first day of class serves to level the academic playing field in course settings." [Colvard, 2018]

OER use increases enrollment intensity: "students in courses using OER enrolled in a significantly higher number of credits in the next semester." [Fischer et.al., 2015]


Double Click for full screen.

3-minute clip describes why a prof at University of Lethbridge (Alberta CA) uses open materials.

Tips on Using Open Texts

Might you author an open text?

You may be able to join a collaborative project described on this guide.  If publishing an open text on your own, check with your librarian on possible ways the library can support your efforts.

Using Digital Commons as a Publishing Platform

The EMU Library may be able to help you publish your open text on the Digital Commons platform. Digital Commons is automatically indexed in Google Scholar, which would allow academic users to discover your work. See the links below for examples of open texts published on Digital Commons at other universities. If interested, the EMU Library's contact for Digital Commons is Julia Nims jnims@emich.edu

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