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Open Textbook List

This is a discipline-specific open textbook list for departments at Sacred Heart


This list of open textbooks, navigable from the subject-area tabs above, is an updated version of the previous editions of the  Open Educational Resource Textbook List, compiled by Zachariah Claybaugh and Chelsea Stone in 2016 and 2017 and updated by Zachariah Claybaugh through July 2021. The transition from a PDF publication in DigitalCommons to this LibGuide publication is to allow for regular updating of links and information, making this a constantly evolving list of resources. While this is a publication primarily intended for the Sacred Heart University community, it is our hope that individuals and institutions worldwide can find resources to further the reach of the open movement. If you have any questions or comments, please contact a Reference Librarian utilizing the contact details in the box to the right below this introduction.

What are Open Textbooks?

“In brief, open textbooks are faculty-written, peer-reviewed textbooks that are published under an open license – meaning that they are available free online, they are free to download, and print copies are available at $10-40, or approximately the cost of printing” (Senack, 2015, p. 5). They provide a no-cost/low-cost solution to the growing problem of rising textbook prices. Analysis by Senack posits that students in the U.S. would save $128.00 per course, by instructors adopting an open textbook over a traditionally published text (2015, p. 5).

Open textbooks fall under two categories of material: Open Educational Resources (OER) or Open Access (OA)

OER are educational materials produced by one party that are licensed to be used free of charge by others. OER come in many forms—from curriculum to homework assignment to textbooks. And OER exist for all levels of education, from kindergarten through college” (Wiley, et al., 2012, p. 1).

These resources also correspond to the 5R Framework (Wiley, n.d.):

  1. Retain - the right to make, own, and control copies of the content (e.g., download, duplicate, store, and manage)
  2. Reuse - the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
  3. Revise - the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
  4. Remix - the right to combine the original or revised content with other material to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
  5. Redistribute - the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)

Open Access (OA) materials are also freely available online, but they do not conform to the entirety of the 5 R Framework, particularly rights of revision and the ability to remix content.


OER and OA works are typically licensed using Creative Commons licensing. For information about Creative Commons, see the graphic below or visit


Senack, E. (2015, February). Open textbooks: The billion-dollar solution (Rep.). Retrieved March 8, 2016, from The Student PIRGs website:

Wiley, D. (n.d.). Defining the “Open” in Open Content and Open Educational Resources. Retrieved July 26, 2018, from

Wiley, D., Green, C., Soares, L., & American Progress, C. F. (2012). Dramatically Bringing down the Cost of Education with OER: How Open Education Resources Unlock the Door to Free Learning. Center for American Progress. Retrieved March 8, 2016, from ERIC.