Free Online Textbooks

Surging textbook costs are more than an affordability crisis — they’re an equity and access issue. As an Oregon State University faculty member, you can better support Oregon State students by choosing open educational resources in the place of traditional textbooks.

Explore the collections and search tools below to get started.

Oregon State University OER

OSU faculty regularly publish and contribute to open educational resources. This includes open textbooks as well as other open-source media and course materials.

OSU Open Textbooks
Explore a vast collection of open textbooks published by OSU faculty in collaboration with OSU's Open Educational Resources Unit (OERU).

Intro to Permaculture
A highly interactive public education project, developed at Oregon State, that teaches students worldwide how to design sustainable landscapes and ecosystems.

Course materials for Spanish 111, 112 and 113. These learning objects were created by OSU faculty in collaboration with the OERU.

Other OER Collections

Institutions around the world host collections of OER that are freely available for faculty to use or adapt. Below are some well-known and well-vetted collections to explore.

OER Commons
This is a public digital library, created by the U.S. Department of Education, that provides educators at all grade levels with free access to a wide range of open-source materials including lesson plans, textbooks, activities, assessments, readings and more.

Online Textbook Library
Brought to you by the University of Minnesota, this open textbook library offers openly licensed college textbooks that can be freely downloaded, adapted and distributed. Most have been peer-reviewed by faculty from a variety of universities to assess quality. This tool is best for instructors looking to find full textbooks for their courses.

Based out of the University of California–Davis, LibreTexts is a free online library of OER that provides access to hundreds of textbooks and courses, with a focus on the sciences and social sciences. LibreTexts has many advanced features that make it easy to remix materials for your needs.

Pressbooks Directory
Pressbooks is a user-friendly publishing platform that makes it easy for educators to create, adapt and share web-first books. The Pressbooks Directory is a searchable index of all textbooks, handbooks and other text-based media published on the platform. This includes thousands of public books published across dozens of PressbooksEDU networks. Licenses vary.

OpenStax is a nonprofit based out of Rice University that provides access to full textbooks, plus ancillary material, primarily for undergraduate courses. All textbooks are peer-reviewed, openly licensed and available for free. They cover a variety of subjects including biology, chemistry, physics, math, economics, humanities and social sciences.

Search tools for OER

With so many collections to explore, using a multi-repository search tool can help you explore a wider range of materials. You’re also able to compare materials from different sources. But keep in mind that the quality of search results varies more with these tools.

OASIS is an OER search tool that provides access to full textbooks, modules, homework sets, audiovisual materials and more. Created by the State University of New York Geneseo Libraries and supported by SUNY OER Services, the tool searches open content from hundreds of different sources and contains hundreds of thousands of records. OASIS also provides a list of open textbooks that have been peer-reviewed by faculty from various colleges and universities.

Mason OER Metafinder
The Mason OER Metafinder searches across 22 different sources of OER and contains more than seven million records. It provides access to full textbooks, modules, homework sets, AV materials and more. It also provides a list of open textbooks that have been reviewed by faculty from various institutions.

Resources in the OSU Valley Library

The Valley Library hosts a vast collection of printed open textbooks, many produced by Oregon State faculty, on the second floor of the library. Determine if you can make the switch to open textbooks by borrowing these materials and comparing them to the current textbooks you assign.

Get support

Feeling overwhelmed? Not sure if OER will work for your course?

You can consult with Stefanie Buck, director of the Open Educational Resources Unit, for guidance on how to best find and incorporate OER into your courses.

Stefanie is available for one-on-one consultations and workshops.

Request a consultation