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Library Research Guides

Textbook Affordability: Find OER

Find Free and Open Textbooks and Course Materials

Start here! - Multiple Subjects

  • B.C. Open Textbook Project: Openly licensed textbooks in many subjects in higher education from the British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education and the Hewlett Foundation.

  • CCCOER listserv of Shared OER : Find discipline specific resources from colleagues archived from the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources list serve. You can also get to it by going to > click on Get Involved > click on Community Email > click on Index to Shared OER. 

  • MERLOT: Free and open textbooks and related materials via COOL4Ed (California Open Online Library for Education).  Aligned with courses in CCC, CSU, and UC.  

  • Openly Available Sources Integrated Search (OASIS): Being developed at SUNY Geneseo's Milne Library, OASIS is a search tool that aims to make the discovery of open content easier. OASIS currently searches open content from 80 different sources and contains 325,750 records.

  • OEI OER-Enabled Canvas Course Shells: The 30 sample course shells are housed in Canvas Commons, and can be found using the following search terms: CCC, OEI, OpenStax, and OER. There is one blank so faculty can embed their own OER content. Each shell is WCAG 2.0 AA compliant and has a Creative Commons Attribution license with attribution to be given to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, funder of the OEI. See the "Canvas Commons" tab for more information about accessing for ARC. 

  • OER Commons: Searchable database of textbooks from ISKME, an education nonprofit.

  • OpenStax College: Based at Rice University.  More than 20 peer-reviewed textbooks used at UC and CSU.  Can adopt or modify.  Low-cost print.  

  • Open Textbooks: From the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources.  International org. with hundreds of higher education and associated institutions. This site has an advisory group you can join - a public discussion list for community college faculty, librarians, instructional designers, administrators, and educators who are interested in open education policy, practices and resources.

  • SkillsCommons: Materials for workforce development from the Department of Labor.  Produced by community colleges, managed by CSU and the MERLOT program for the DoL.

  • College Open Textbooks: 29 educational organizations affiliated with 2000 two-year colleges (including CCCOER) focused on driving adoption of open textbooks.

  • Open Textbook Library: Center for Open Education at Univ. of Minn.  Free to download, adapt and distribute or print at low cost.  Reviewed by faculty and used in higher education.   

  • LibreTexts: formerly STEMWiki Hyperlibrary.  Seven independent and interconnected “STEMWikis” that focus on post-secondary education. Online textbook alternatives.

  • HippoCampus: Videos and animations for middle school to college, most in science and math, some English, history, and sociology.  Monterey Institute for Technology and Education.

  • OER and Other Resources: General, humanities, social sciences, math, and sciences.  A broad range of resources with only some overlap with other databases on this page.  

  • MIT Open Courseware: Find instructional approaches and teaching materials from MIT, and freely select and adapt their explanations, examples, and simulations for your own classroom.

  • Khan Academy: practice exercises and instructional videos in math, science, computer programming, history, art history, humanities, economics, and finance.

Single Subject

Note: most of these resources are supplemental or ancillary materials, except for the resources from College of the Canyons. If you find a resource you would like to adopt from College of the Canyons, use their contact page to contact them about getting the source material.

Administration of Justice


  • Registry of Anthropological Data Wiki: Links to many digital anthropological collections.
  • Smithsonian's Department of Anthropology: Links to Collections and Archives, Online Databases, Online Exhibits, and more from the Smithsonian Institution.
  • AAA Anthropology Resources on the Internet: A list of internet resources from the American Anthropological Association, divided into general subject areas.
  • American Memory: American Memory provides free and open access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience. It is a digital record of American history and creativity.
  • Free Online Anthropology Videos and Video Clips: "A list of online videos and video clips for anthropology or cross cultural classes. These can be used for online classes, hybrids, classroom presentations, or outside assignments."
  • World Images: The WorldImages database provides access to the California State University IMAGE Project and contains approximately 100,000 images, is global in coverage and includes all areas of visual imagery. The images can be located using many search techniques on the left hand toolbar, from QuickSearch to Advanced and ADA Searches.
  • See what faculty at College of the Canyons are using for this subject
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art Image Gallery: 375,000 images from the museum collection - available for free with creative commons or public domain licenses.
  • process.arts: " is an open online resource sharing day-to-day practice and research of art, design and media. The site encourages users to openly share and use creative commons licensed content and support others in doing the same."
  • The Guggenheim Museum: The Guggenheim offers art catalogs, essays on art history and more all freely available online.

Art History


  • ASCCC RFP 1 Resources
  • BioInteractive: BioInteractive offers lectures on biology topics, such as; human evolution, genetics, and reporting scientific results, that range from 30-60 minutes. They also have a collection of holiday lectures and talks that cover a range of topics, for example, "AIDS: Evolution of an Epidemic", "Potent Biology: Stem Cells, Cloning, and Regeneration", and "The Immune System: Friend or Foe."
  • Biology Labs Online: Biology Labs Online is an open access web site that offers a series of 12 interactive, inquiry-based biology simulations and exercises designed for college and AP high school biology students.
  • Virtual Biology Lab: Virtual Biology Lab is a free, online educational resource provided for educational purposes. VBL simulates natural environments with the way life responds to changing conditions.
  • Web Adventures From Rice University: This website offers interactive games that will teach students about the Scientific Method, Cholera, or the Pox Virus as if they were the scientist researching the disease.
  • See what faculty at College of the Canyons are using for this subject
  • OER Business: A collection of resources provided by Dallas TeleLearning, a part of the Dallas County Community College District.
  • GlobalEdge Online Course Modules for International Business: These modules focus on issues pertinent to international business and include a case study or anecdotes, a glossary of terms, quiz questions, and a list of references when applicable. Subject areas covered include: Doing Business In; Culture; Exporting; Market Research and Entry; Functions; Legal Aspects; Agricultural Business; Institutions and Trade; Microfinance; and Entrepreneurship.
  • See what faculty at College of the Canyons are using for this subject.
  • ASCCC RFP 1 Resources
  • Chemical Principles, 3rd Edition: A CalTech title, this is an introductory college-level text for General Chemistry.
  • ChemWiki Core: UC Davis's ChemWiki includes modules on the core information in the fields of organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, biochemistry, physical chemistry, and analytical chemistry.
  • WebSpectra -Spectroscopy Problem Solving: This site was established to provide chemistry students with a library of spectroscopy problems. Interpretation of spectra is a technique that requires practice - this site provides 1H NMR and 13C NMR, DEPT, COSY and IR spectra of various compounds for students to interpret.
Computer Info Science
Culinary Arts
Early Childhood Education
  • American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry: This is a site dedicated to "Assisting parents and families in understanding developmental, behaviorial, emotional and mental disorders affecting children and adolescents."
  • Child Development Institute: A site "designed to provide the information and tools parents need to understand their unique child/children and to enable them to help each child develop into the successful human being they were meant to be." Has useful sections about Ages/Stages, Development, Health/Safety, Psychology, and more.
  • Developmental Psychology Links by Subtopic: From the Social Psychology Network, links related to infancy, adoption, childhood development, child protection, parenting, adolescence, and more. Organized by topic.
  • See what faculty at College of the Canyons are using for this subject.
  • ASCCC RFP 1 Resources
  • Writing for Success: OER adapted at Univ. Minn. from published textbook.  Writing, reading, critical thinking, grammar, and introduction to paragraphs and composition. 
  • Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL): Website devoted to comprehensive instruction in writing skills for in-class and out-of-class instruction and reference. 
  • Prof Myhren ESL videos: Animations on grammar and punctuation. 
  • Project Gutenberg: Project Gutenberg offers over 40,000 free ebooks, which can be read online or downloaded. These books are all in the public domain.
  • See what faculty at College of the Canyons are using for this subject. 
  • FLC Faculty Reviews of ENGWR OERs: Two English faculty from FLC created this wonderful list of English OERs with their reviews for faculty who are interested in adopting OERs but would like more peer review from their colleagues. Please contact the creators for more information:
    • Tina Royer -
    • Francis Fletcher -
English as a Second Language
  • MIT Open Coursware - Earth Sciences: MIT also offers a wide variety of open courses on earth and environmental sciences. Course component are available for reuse in the classroom or by students to review concepts.
  • Courses from Penn State: The Department of Geography at Penn State offers a variety of course material online in several subject areas.
  • World Regional Geography: GEOG 101 World Regional Geography is a free online course concerned with the physical and human characteristics that make the regions of our world distinctive.
  • KQED Geology Resources: Blogs, images and videos highlighting local geological news, history and places of interest. Constantly updated.
Health Education
  • History of the Mass Media and Journalism: "This class-based tutorial takes you through American history through the vision of the nation's mass media. It includes videos, a gallery of photos and publications from the past, as well as readings and exercises. Features include a history of photography and a video and essay explaining plagiarism."
  • Mis Cositas: Resources for Spanish, French, and Chinese. Includes: Videos, thematic curriculum units complete lesson plans, student worksheets and resources, downloadable materials collections with activities, manipulatives and mini-posters over 40 virtual illustrated picturebooks organized thematically, as well as a list of vetted links.
  • ASCCC RFP 1 Resources - Italian and Spanish
  • Spanish
Legal Assisting
  • Juvenile Justice: A companion web site for the Frontline (PBS) program of the same name. Includes facts and statistics, a review of the "adult vs. child" debate, and four case studies (with video clips).
  • ASCCC RFP 1 Resources
  • American Institute of Mathematics Approved Textbooks​: Groups open textbooks by course title. All the books have been judged to meet the evaluation criteria set by the AIM editorial board.
  • OpenTextBookStore (OTS): This websites mission is to aid "educators frustrated with the time involved in finding adoptable open textbooks, with the hope to make open textbook adoption easier for other faculty." This site is not a publisher, but a "listing site for publicly available open textbooks, maintained by a teacher. Print copies are made available through third party print-on-demand companies." Many of the courses have course packages available through, which provides free online homework for several open math textbooks.
  • MathIsPower4U: 5000+ free mini-lessons and videos covering arithmetic through calculus, differential equations, nursing applications, and statistics. 
  • CK-12: Free online textbooks for K-12, useful in college algebra classes.
  • Virtual Math Lab: Created by West Texas A&M University, the Virtual Math Lab provides tutorials for College Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, Beginning Algebra, and Math for the Sciences.
  • See what faculty at College of the Canyons are using for this subject. 


  • A Modern Formal Logic Primer: Authored by Dr. Paul Teller at UC Davis, Volume I presents sentence logic. Volume II, Part 1 lays out predicate logic; Part 2 introduces metatheory.


Political Science




Theatre Arts



About OER materials

Are OER peer reviewed?

Many of the resources have official processes, however, some do not. The California OER Council has a peer-review process, including guidelines, a process for requesting peer review, and opportunities to be a reviewer. Take a look at the responses to questions six through ten on the CA OER Council FAQ. MERLOT has a peer-review process. Take a look at the MERLOT evaluation criteria

Are OER as high quality as traditionally published textbooks?

Each discipline is in a different stage of growth. STEM OER are some of the most advanced in this respect. See ChemWiki from UC Davis as an example.

As increasing numbers of faculty across the country and the globe have participated in the creation, review, and use of OER, many competitive OER textbooks and OER textbook alternatives have become available to a growing number of courses.


The resources and descriptions on this page adapted from the Sacramento City College Open Educational Resources page, and the Humboldt State University Open Education Resources guide.