Library News Blog

Open Access Textbooks & OER

Open-access textbooks, journals, images, videos, and other educational resources has been one of the most exciting developments in academic scholarship during the last two decades.  In response to the rising costs of academic publishing and higher education, many concerned scholars have decided to publish their work with open copyright licenses.  These open access resources are free to everyone without hindrance of subscription fees, licensing terms, logins, contracts, and other barriers.  They provide universal access to research and knowledge.

Faculty, below is a compilation of some of the most popular websites for open access textbooks and educational resources.  If you are interested in learning more about how you can incorporate these resources into your course, please let a UI&U Librarian know.  We would be happy to help.

Open Educational Resources, Open Textbooks

Includes textbbooks from the Open Textbook Library, Open Textbooks SUNY, Open Stax, Open Oregon & more.

From a single point of access in OER Commons, you can search, browse, and evaluate resources in OER Commons’ growing collection of over 50,000 high-quality OER. -Website Description


The MERLOT system provides access to curated online learning and support materials and content creation tools, led by an international community of educators, learners and researchers…The MERLOT collection consists of tens of thousands of discipline-specific learning materials, learning exercises, and Content Builder webpages, together with associated comments, and bookmark collections, all intended to enhance the teaching experience of using a learning material. -Website Description


Open Culture brings together high-quality cultural & educational media for the worldwide lifelong learning community. Web 2.0 has given us great amounts of intelligent audio and video. It’s all free. It’s all enriching. But it’s also scattered across the web, and not easy to find. Our whole mission is to centralize this content, curate it, and give you access to this high quality content whenever and wherever you want it. Some of our major resource collections include: 1,300 Free Online Courses from Top Universities, 1,150 Free Movies, Online: Great Classics, Indies, Noir, Westerns, etc., 900 Free Audio Books: Download Great Books for Free, 800 Free eBooks for iPad, Kindle & Other Devices, MOOCs from Great Universities (Many With Certificates), Learn 46 Languages Online for Free: Spanish, Chinese, English & More, 200 Free Kids Educational Resources: Video Lessons, Apps, Books, Websites & More. -Website Description

Khan Academy

Video tutorials for math, computer programing, statistics, economics, art history, history, grammar, biology, anthropology, and personal finance.

Creative Commons & Public Domain Pictures

Pictures can make a presentation or course come alive.  So how can you find pictures that are copyright-safe and freely available?  One strategy is to use pictures in the public domain or creative commons.  Public domain images are out of copyright and have no restrictions about how they can be used.  Creative commons images can be used in accordance with their creative commons license.

Popular websites for public domain images include the PublicDomainArchive and pixabay.

The Creative Commons Search is your portal to creative commons licensed images on popular websites like YouTube, Flickr, Google Images, Europeana, and Jamendo.  Creative Commons Kiwi (short video about using Creative Commons)

UI&U Library & OneSearch

While most resources in the UI&U Library are not open access, they are freely available to the UI&U Academic Community.  To access library resources, go to the library homepage and enter keywords in OneSearch.  Search results can be limited by publication date (last few years), source type (ebooks and books), and availability to “available online (full text)”.  Another strategy is to use the publisher limiter to limited to common textbook publishers such as Taylor & Francis, SAGE, Elsevier, Wiley, Springer, Oxford, Cambridge, Open Textbook Library, and University Presses.

Library Videos: academic successAfrican American studies  ●  anthropologybusiness & economics ● career & job searchchildcare ●  child & adolescent development ● criminal justiceenvironmental scienceeducation (see also Education in Video) ● Englishhealth, medicine, and wellnesshistoryleadershipliterature ● parenting & child developmentphilosophy & religion  ● political sciencepublic healthpsychology & counseling (see also Counseling & Therapy in Video and ● social inequality  ●  social work ●  special education ●  women’s & gender studies

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