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Lloyd Sealy Library
John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Zero-cost (to students) textbook alternatives

A guide to teaching and learning materials freely available on the web and via the John Jay College Library

OASIS: SUNY Geneseo OER Search tool

Find open educational resources

The following list includes open educational resources repositories featuring textbooks from various disciplines.

  • BC Campus textbooks: Based in British Columbia, Canada, the BC Campus site provides access to open textbooks from various authors, platforms and disciplines.
  • Bepress Teaching Commons: Hosted by bepress, the platform for CUNY's institutional repository known as Academic Works, this site includes textbooks, course materials, lesson plans, multimedia, lectures and more.
  • Book Boon: A Danish publisher of online educational literature, Book Boon provides free access to over 1000 college-level textbooks (these titles contain ads). Textbooks are written by professors from institutions around the world exclusively for Book Boon.
  • Boundless: Creates and provides texts for a wide range of disciplines.
  • College Open Textbooks Collaborative: A repository of textbooks, some of which have been peer-reviewed by members of the Collaborative. The Collaborative focuses on OER advocacy and adoption at community colleges and other two-year institutions.
  • Global Text Project: Creates and links to educational texts.
  • Intech: Specializes in open access book publishing in the sciences, technology and medicine.
  • MERLOTx: Aggregates and links to free textbooks, courses, learning modules and more. Includes peer reviews and user ratings.
  • MIT Online Textbooks: Provides access to MIT course content including openly licensed electronic versions of print books, self-published online books and "course notes which are so thorough that they serve as an alternative to a conventional textbook."
  • OER Commons: Aggregates and makes searchable textbooks from a variety of publishers and platforms.
  • Open Grove: A Florida State based repository of open educational resources.
  • Open Oregon Educational Resources: This page lists resources that instructors at community colleges and universities in Oregon are using to reduce textbook costs for students. 
  • OpenStax: Based at Rice University, OpenStax provides access to peer-reviewed textbooks written by educators.
  • Open SUNY Textbooks: Textbooks are written and reviewed by SUNY faculty.
  • Open Textbook Library (from the University of Minnesota): A catalog of free, peer-reviewed, openly licensed textbooks culled from a variety of authors and publishers.
  • Skills Commons: Free and open workforce training materials. 
  • Teaching Commons: OER from Leading Colleges and Universities.

Find library resources using OneSearch

Lloyd Sealy Library logoFind library materials such as books, ebooks, streaming videos, DVDs, articles and more by entering keywords or an item's title in the OneSearch box below. 

How do I make library resources available to my class?
This depends on the type of resource you would like to share. For articles, you can use eReserves. For print books, you can use in-library Reserves. For streaming videos, ebooks, online encyclopedias, and library databases you can embed links in Blackboard as explained in our online teaching toolbox.

Tips on using OneSearch to find Library and Open Educational Resources

undefinedOn your results page in OneSearch, check the right-hand side menu for options to filter your results for Open Educational Resources, items from CUNY Academic Works, and Open Access materials as illustrated in the screen images in this box.

screenshot of cuny academic works filter in onesearch



screen capture of open access filter in onesearch

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