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Open Access Textbooks and Other Open (Free) Resources For USG Faculty and Students : Overview

This guide is designed to provide information about openly accessible textbooks and other scholarly information.

Open Access

Open Access Textbooks Project provides openly-licensed textbook offered online by its author(s). The open license sets open textbooks apart from traditional textbooks by allowing users to read online, download, or print the book at no additional cost.

For a textbook to be considered open, it must be licensed in a way that grants a baseline set of rights to users that are less restrictive than its standard copyright. A license or list of permissions must be clearly stated by the author.

Generally, the minimum baseline rights allow users at least the following:

  • to use the textbook without compensating the author 
  • to copy the textbook, with appropriate credit to the author 
  • to distribute the textbook non-commercially
  • to shift the textbook into another format (such as digital or print)

Open Access


OpenTextBookStore is a source or ready-to-adopt textbooks. According to their page, OpenTextBookStore "was created by educators frustrated with the time involved in finding adoptable open textbooks, with the hope to make open textbook adoption easier for other faculty." Here is the link to a list of books that are adoptable and ready to be used in a college classroom. 

WAC Clearinghouse

The WAC Clearinghouse, in partnership with the International Network of Writing Across the Curriculum Programs, publishes journals, books, and other resources for teachers who use writing in their courses. Forty books are available on this site and additional books are in production. All books are available for free viewing and/or download. To view books, click on book covers, books series titles, or links in the new releases list.

Open Access Textbook Project

The Open Access Textbooks Project is a two-year initiative to create a sustainable model for the discovery, production, and dissemination of open textbooks. Funded by a grant from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), this project builds on lessons learned in open textbook efforts across the United States and seeks to create a collaborative community to further sustainable implementation of open textbooks.

This open textbook model is designed to develop and test a set of processes and strategies to establish a statewide open textbook initiative intended to reduce textbook costs for students and increase recognition of faculty for open access publishing as a scholarly activity. The results of this approach will be evaluated and a set of guidelines will be the result. As the academic and business worlds interact and change, new opportunities and challenges arise. The open textbook model is intended to be sufficiently adaptable to embrace new opportunities and meet new challenges.


According to the website, "Connexions is a dynamic digital educational ecosystem consisting of an educational content repository and a content management system optimized for the delivery of educational content." Its more than 17,000 learning objects or modules in its repository and over 1000 collections (textbooks, journal articles, etc.) are used by over 2 million people per month. Its content services the educational needs of learners of all ages, in nearly every discipline, from math and science to history and English to psychology and sociology. Connexions delivers content for free over the Internet for schools, educators, students, and parents. Materials are easily downloadable to almost any mobile device for use anywhere, anytime. Schools can also order low cost hard copy sets of the materials.

California Open Education Resources Council 

In 2012 California legislature passed the bill which "requires the California Open Education Resources Council, which the bill establishes, to determine a list of the 50 most widely taken lower division courses in the public postsecondary segments. The bill requires the council to establish a competitive request-for-proposal process in which faculty members, publishers, and other interested parties will apply for funds to produce, in 2013, 50 high-quality, affordable, digital open source textbooks and related materials, meeting specified requirements." The link to further information is available here and the following infographic describes the open source impact. 

College Open Textbooks

College Open Textbooks (COT) is not a repository of open textbooks, but but it does index and "point to" open access texts. COT mainly focuses on promoting the use of open access materials that support higher education currcula at two-year community colleges and in the first two-years of study at four-year institutions. Some of the textbooks have already undergone a peer-review process, and many more are currently undergoing the peer-review process. The collaborative is made up of non-profit and for-profit education organizations, and for up-to-date news about this organiztion, you can follow their blog.

Links to Guides on E-books and Open Video Resources

Librarian Camden Center Library

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CCGA Camden Center
Camden Center Library
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Kingsland, GA