Open Source Textbook Resources

With the academic year just around the corner, I thought I’d put together this list of resources for open source textbooks.  Enjoy!

  • The University of Minnesota Open Academics Textbook Catalogue is a collection of open source textbooks to help reduce costs for students.  According to the website, the textbooks will all have Creative Commons or similar licensing.  The U of M also is soliciting reviews from faculty, so that eventually these textbooks will have peer reviews available to help you make a selection for your courses.
  • Connexions is an initiative from Rice University.  According to their website, instead of full open source textbooks, they provide pieces, or “modules” that one can use for teaching.  Some of the modules are geared towards K-12, but there are also modules for college instruction.
  • Flat World Knowledge is an open source textbook publisher specializing in college textbooks.  It looks like they have mostly business, social science, and humanities books available.
  • OpenStax College has peer-reviewed, open source textbooks available for college courses.  It looks like they don’t have a large selection yet, and have mostly science and social science textbooks, but worth checking out.
  • Kno is a digital textbook store and platform.  They sell non-open source books at discount, and have some free open source books also. The Kno application is available for both computers and the iPad, so it’s an option that doesn’t exclude people who don’t own iPads.
  • Inkling is similar to Kno — it’s a digital textbook store and textbook reader aimed towards the academic market. Its books are also not all open source, free, books, but there are some — and the other books are discounted (but not a huge amount).


Image courtesy of user opensourceway on Flickr

About Kim Mann

Kim Mann is the editor and a writer for the Academic Technology Blog. She earned her BA in English from the University of Minnesota in 2003 and her MA in American Studies from William & Mary in 2009, and her PhD in American Studies at the College in 2014. Her research is on technology, the interface, and the body in mid-twentieth century science fiction.


  1. Thanks for the list, I also found a pretty good resource for free eTextbooks at while looking for myself, thought it’d be worth sharing with other students.