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E-Textbooks: Links to Free eTextbooks


If you are thinking of examining or using eTextbooks, the links below can take you to some of the larger collections.  Merlot and Orange Grove contain resources for both K-12 and higher education.  LOUIS, Openstax, and the Open Textbook Library focus on higher education.


  • LOUIS OER Repository - developed by LOUIS to make searching across multiple platforms easier.  The search feature also includes Louisiana Common Course alignment.  This is the newest LOUIS tool (Spring 2019).  It is planned to incorporate the other tools below.


  • LOUIS eTextbook Finder - developed by LOUIS, it draws mostly from the Open Textbook Library.  These textbooks are used by faculty at multiple institutions.  The textbook finder only includes textbooks identified in the Common State-wide Course ID system.  It does not include all of the eTextbooks available.  This resources is probably the easiest tool to use to locate free open textbooks for Gen Ed courses. 


  • LOUIS EDS Faculty Portal - developed by LOUIS, this database allows faculty to search for books that a library can purchase and offer as e-textbooks for multiple users.  The portal searches the publishing platforms of several major publishers including Elsevier and Wiley.  These are copyrighted traditional textbooks.  However, if the library or LOUIS purchases them, the e-versions are available freely to students (3-4 concurrent users).


  • Merlot - developed by the California State University System, Merlot offers over 5,000 links to free journals, etextbooks, and related resources.  As an older consortium (1990s) the webpage is crowded and focused on providing resources to the CSU community rather than everyone.  Access to the links are free, but there does not appear to be any vetting process aside from faculty recommendations. 


  • Openstax - formed at Rice University in 2012 has since grown in popularity.  They offer an easy-to-navigate website with a very good FAQ page assisting with faculty-only resources (amenities like homework manager, test bank, etc); as well as how to customize and modify texts.


  • Open Textbook Library - formed in partnership with the University of Minnesota.  The OTL collects eTextbooks from various sources and uses specific criteria for inclusion in their own listings.  The criteria includes peer-review and adopted for course work at multiple institutions. 


  • OER Commons - links to higher education open textbooks and OER providers.


  • Open Suny - developed by the State University of New York, this site is a mixture of a clearinghouse (pulling from other websites) and publisher where SUNY funds the creation of open textbooks.  One of the best tools on this site is the ability to type in an ISBN for your current print textbooks and see what open eTextbooks are available and similar. 

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Jerome Marcantel
Frazar Memorial Library
McNeese State University
Box 91445
Lake Charles, LA 70609

McNeese State University Frazar Memorial Library | Box 91445 | Lake Charles, LA 70609 | 337-475-5725 |

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