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Affordable Learning Solutions


Note: The focus is on the creation of books that are built specifically for use as free or low-cost options for education.  Many of the collections will have links to the same books, but each repository has a particular focus, and items you can't find in other collections.

Open textbooks are typically authored by faculty and published on the web with the support of universities or new commercial companies. This new business model enables free online access to textbooks

CSU's Affordable Learning Solutions' Free Textbook Lookup Tool  lets one enter the ISBN of a textbook to find related FREE open textbooks. 

Principles of Biology Digital Textbook Available to CSU Students for Under $50

As part of a three-year partnership with Nature Publishing Group (NPG), publisher of the world’s leading scientific journal Nature, CSU faculty guided and advised the development of NPG’s Principles of Biology – the first in a series of interactive "born digital" textbooks. The "born-digital" textbook has been adopted by a number of CSU campus faculty.

Learn more about the Principles of Biology digital textbook and how you can adopt it.

Digital Textbooks

OpenStax College

  • Free open-source peer-reviewed textbooks for college courses; primarily in physics, sociology and biology.  Books available in multiple formats (PDF, print on demand, on the Web, etc.).

Open Textbook Library

  • A clearinghouse of links to textbooks housed in various locations, including OpenStax, Saylor and others, with over 140 books. To be on the list, the books must be used by author's institution and by at least one other institution.


  • A 501(c)3 that offers free, customizeable, Creative Commons licensed psychology textbooks. Features more than 100 college-level chapters (focused on psychology topics), written by experts and licensed under Creative Commons, that can be used to build customized digital textbooks. 


  • A multidisciplinary Open Access publisher of books and journals covering the fields of Science, Technology and Medicine.

SUNY Open Textbooks 

  • Textbook publishing initiative established by State University of New York libraries and supported by SUNY Innovative Instruction Technology Grants. This pilot initiative publishes high-quality, cost-effective course resources by engaging faculty as authors and peer-reviewers, and libraries as publishing service and infrastructure.

MIT OpenCourseware - Online Textbooks

  • Corresponding to MIT OpenCourseWare. Some of these online textbooks are open-licensed electronic versions of print books. Others are self-published online books, or course notes which are so thorough that they serve as an alternative to a conventional textbook.

The American Institute of Mathematic Open Textbook Initiative

  • Contains links to open textbooks that meet AIM’s evaluation criteria.

Open Course Library

  • Textbooks, syllabi, assessments, in 81 high-enrollment college courses created by a Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges (SBCTC) grant.

College Open Textbooks Collaborative 

  • Focused on driving awareness and adoptions of open textbooks and as part of their service they provide a listing of Open Textbooks by Subject.

The Directory of Open Access Books 

  • A clearinghouse of links to books hosted in various locations, and includes a large selection of international textbooks.

The National Academies Press

  • Books are publicly available but not openly licensed.  You can link to the content, and even link directly to specific pages but you cannot remix and redistribute the content.


  • A collection of open-content textbooks built on a Wikipedia like platform.