Open Education: Find OER (open textbooks and more)
Finding OER and Open Textbooks
Open Educational Resources include more than textbooks, though open textbooks are a popular subset of open educational resources. Regarding non-book content, OER Commons, Merlot, and Google Advanced Search are helpful places to look. See also the tab above for Images & Illustrations.
Open Educational Resources and Open Textbooks: THE BIG FIVE
- Open Textbook Library (Univ of MN)The Open Textbook Library is a collection of over 1,000 freely available electronic textbooks licensed under one of six Creative Commons licenses. Some books include faculty peer reviews. All can be read online and are downloadable for offline reading. If you're interested in reviewing, check https://guides.lib.vt.edu/oer/opentextbooksintro to express interest in upcoming workshops -- and a $200 stipend for completing a written review.
- OER CommonsContains more than books! OER Commons indexes a wide variety of openly licensed educational materials. Licenses vary by item.
Search instructions: (Under "material type" select "textbook" or for a curated collection go to: https://www.oercommons.org/hubs/open-textbooks )
- LibreTextsZero cost open textbook access and remix system with content in biology, business, chemistry, geosciences, humanities, math, physics, Spanish, statistics, and workforce development. Features: embedded media, dynamic figures, Jupyter integration, Hypothes.is annotation, print on demand, LMS imports, and forthcoming WeBWork integration.
- Pressbooks DirectoryA directory of 3,000+ publicly-available books in Pressbooks. Licenses vary. Many are more-easily customizable through Virginia Tech's Pressbooks software. See additional resources on authoring and customizing at: https://guides.lib.vt.edu/oer/authors Learn more about VT's Pressbooks instance at: https://pressbooks.lib.vt.edu
- MERLOTMERLOT contains links to freely available online textbooks from a variety of sources. MERLOT II is a project of the California State University System.
- Search instructions: (Filter "material type" by "open textbook").
Broaden your search: Federated or Metasearch tools for OER and open textbooks: THREE SOURCES
- OASISSearch for open access and openly licensed textbooks. From Milne Library at SUNY Geneseo.
- Mason OER Metafinder (MOM)Real-time, federated search across twenty-two different sources of open educational resources. About: https://publishing.gmu.edu/whos-using-the-mason-oer-metafinder
- Google Advanced Search (with "Usage Rights" filter)Use the "Usage Rights" filter on Google's Advanced Search (and Advanced Image Search) to find Creative Commons-licensed works.
Virginia-funded sites (higher education & PreK-12)
- VIVA OpenA collection of Open Education Resources (OER) adopted, adapted, and/or created by faculty and higher education professionals at Virginia institutions. For VA-faculty-reviewed materials relevant to the first-two years of higher ed, see the transfer course mapping hub at https://vivaopen.oercommons.org/hubs/vccs_course_mapping. More info https://vivalib.org/va/open/course-mapping-project
- #GoOpenVAPreK-12 oriented site funded by VA Dept of Ed. By Virginia Educators, For Virginia Educators. More info about this site: https://goopenva.org/hubs/users-hub
Library-provided eBooks and Course Reserves (most are not OER)
- Request purchase of a book or eBook via the University Libraries at Virginia TechRequest purchase of a print or electronic item for the Library's collection (Requires 2-Factor authentication). Note that some publishers choose not to sell eBooks to libraries. More info on that here: https://sparcopen.org/news/2020/pandemic-amplifies-trouble-with-restrictive-licensing-and-e-textbooks
- Textbooks on course or textbook reserveMany faculty members request that library-owned print textbooks (or their own personal copies) be put on Reserve. Some request that portions of materials be placed on Reserve in accordance with Fair Use.
- This link directs faculty/GTAs to information regarding placing items on Reserve
(Note that if the library has purchased an eBook version, the library chooses to have any print versions in circulation rather than holding them in Reserves.)
- VIVA's Faculty Textbook Portal provides a search tool for open textbooks and unlimited-user eBooks which may be requested for purchased through a partnership with VIVA. Further information is available here.
- Directory of Open Access BooksOpenly accessible (and many but not all openly licensed) electronic books. Nearly 50,000 books as of March 2022. Includes search and browse finding features. Many times from international publishers and strong focus on humanities and social sciences.
- TeachingCommonsTeaching Commons brings together high-quality open educational resources from leading colleges and universities. Curated by librarians and their institutions, the Teaching Commons includes open access textbooks, course materials, lesson plans, multimedia, and more.
- Project Gutenberg (Public Domain)Nearly 48,000 digitized books as of 2015. All in the public domain (in general, published before 1923). Available in epub, kindle, PDF or to be read online. Over 50 languages. Great source for classics and historical works.
- Internet ArchiveDigital library of free and borrowable books, movies, music, video, and the Wayback Machine
- HathiTrustThe HathiTrust Digital Library contains over seven million volumes and over one billion pages of scanned books and other materials. About 20 percent of all content is in the public domain (and accessible to you). You can also browse several public collections. Content is available in several image formats, text, and PDF. 1200s-present.
Example OER content in various disciplines
Apparel, Housing & Resource Management
Architecture, Interior Design & Landscape
Early Childhood Education Education (also)
Foreign Languages and Literatures
Health & Medicine
Human Nutrition, Food & Exercise
Information / Digital Literacy & Research Skills
Natural Resources and Environment
Plant & Environmental Sciences
Public and International Affairs
Religion and Culture