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Guide to Open, Free, & Affordable Course Materials: eTextbooks

This guide assists faculty and students in finding open or free-to-students materials online or through the library to reduce student course content expenses.



Free & Open Textbooks Online

There is a growing body of textbooks available electronically online (eTextbooks) that are 100% free to use, print, or remix. You can search through collections of these open textbooks online, and then add the hyperlink for a particular book to your bCourses site.

All of these textbooks are under a Creative Commons license and are free to use and download. Many are peer-reviewed by professors who have used these books in their classes.

Freely licensed textbooks available in to read online or download in multiple formats, including some classroom resources as well.

An open access publishing initiative by SUNY Libraries, these books are written and peer-reviewed by faculty and fall under a Creative Commons license. 

A catalog of open textbook materials from various sources.
To find open materials, limit the material type to "Open Textbook" 

Offers a comprehensive infrastructure and search tool for curriculum experts and instructors to identify high-quality OERs.

This directory includes peer-reviewed books published under open access licenses by academic publishers 

Publishing books under Creative Commons, this project specializes in creating free online books for developing nations

Boasting a collection of nearly 3,000 open books, InTech is the world's largest science, technology, and medicine open access book publisher and encourages teachers to use their materials in the classroom.

Electronic Textbooks Through the Library Catalog


To see if the Library has an electronic version of the textbook you're looking for, you can use the following search tool:



Note that not all students may be able to access the textbook at the same time (depending on the Library's license for that particular textbook).


What are open textbooks?


Open educational resources (sometimes called "OERs" or "open textbooks") are electronic textbooks that are free to use online, print, share, and adapt or remix. Usually, the authors offer the textbooks under open licenses like Creative Commons, or apply public domain designations or copyright waivers to encourage the sharing, adapting, and distributing the content.

Can't find an open textbook you like? Create your own!


The Library and campus partners Center for Teaching & Learning and Educational Technology Services are launching a program to support the creation of open textbooks.  

If you would like to design your own open textbook and find out more about what we can offer to support you, contact