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Open Educational Resources Guide: Open Textbooks

A Leeward Faculty guide to OER

About this page

On this page, you will find links to sites where you can find texts representing a wide range of subjects and a few publishers that offer low-cost textbooks.

  • Look for the OER review exclamation mark symbol or OER review light bulb symbol to view a comprehensive review of the textbook by a UHCC faculty member. 

In addition, this page presents a compilation of links to open textbooks (and a few other similar resources) in various subject areas. The materials included on this page are just a few of the many resources currently available online from various sources, and they are presented here as samples to represent the variety of open textbooks that may be found online today. The boxes below include materials in the following subject areas: Math, Economics, Marketing, History, Biology, Botany, English, Psychology, Sociology, Speech, Foreign Languages, Anthropology, Anatomy and Physiology, Physics, Chemistry, Culinary Arts, Teacher Education and more. This page is frequently updated and new resources are added on a regular basis.

Find Open Textbooks

Open textbooks are available with nonrestrictive licenses. The following sites include peer-reviewed titles representing a wide range of disciplines and subjects.

Arts & Humanities

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College Success

Culinary Arts

The following are some open textbooks that are part of a "series of Culinary Arts open textbooks developed to support the training of students and apprentices in British Columbia’s foodservice and hospitality industry. Although created with the Professional Cook, Baker and Meatcutter programs in mind, these have been designed as a modular series, and therefore can be used to support a wide variety of programs that offer training in foodservice skills..."

You may download the following books in PDF, ePub, mobi and other formats, or you may read them online.

Working in the Food Service Industry

Basic Kitchen and Food Service Management

Modern Pastry and Plated Dessert Techniques

Food Safety, Sanitation, and Personal Hygiene

Economics, Finance & Business

Economics: theory through applications (by Russell Cooper, European University Institute & Andrew John, Melbourne Business School)
To access the book click on "Adopt this book now" blue rectangular box below book cover image or click on the PDF link under "Formats Available" title.

Principles of Economics (by Libby Rittenberg, Colorado College & Timothy Tregarthen, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs)
To access the book click on "Adopt this book now" blue rectangular box below book cover image or click on the PDF link under "Formats Available" title.

Principles of Macroeconomics (2nd ed., Oct. 2017; by Timothy Taylor, Macalester College et al.)
To access the book click on "Adopt this book now" blue rectangular box below book cover image or click on one of the available formats available below the "Adopt this book now" link box.

Principles of Macroeconomics (by Libby Rittenberg, Colorado College & Timothy Tregarthen, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs)
To access the book click on "Adopt this book now" blue rectangular box below book cover image or click on the PDF link under "Formats Available" title.

Microeconomics: Markets, Methods and Models (by Doug Curtis, Trent University & Ian Irvine, Concordia University)
To access the book click on "Adopt this book now" blue rectangular box below book cover image or click on the PDF link under "Formats Available" title.

Principles of Microeconomics (2nd ed., Sep. 2017; by various authors)
This textbook covers the scope and sequence of most introductory microeconomics courses. The text includes many current examples. The outcome is a balanced approach to the theory and application of economics concepts. 

Microeconomics: Theory Through Applications (by Russell Cooper, European University Institute & Andrew John, Melbourne Business School)
To access the book the book click on "Adopt this book now" blue rectangular box below book cover image or click on the PDF link under "Formats Available" title.

•  Fundamentals of Business (by  Stephen J. Skripak, lead author, University Libraries and the Pamplin College of Business, Virginia Tech)

Fundamentals of Business (2016) is an openly licensed (CC BY NC SA 3.0) textbook designed for use in Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business introductory level business course, MGT1104 Foundations of Business. To access this book, view/open the various chapters or you may download the PDF here.

Principles of Marketing (by Jeff Tanner, Baylor University & Mary Raymond, Clemson University)
"Principles of Marketing teaches the experience and process of actually doing marketing—not just the vocabulary. It carries five dominant themes throughout in order to expose students to marketing in today’s environment: Service-dominant logic, Sustainability, Ethics and social responsibility, Global coverage and Metrics."
You may download this book in PDF, ePub, Mobi or MS Word format or you may read it online.

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Food Science & Human Nutrition


U.S. History I (by Lumen Learning)
U.S. History is a survey course beginning with the indigenous people of the New World and extending to the post-Civil War Reconstruction era.

U.S. History II (by Lumen Learning)
U.S. History II is a survey course that covers the post-Civil War Reconstruction era and moves forward through historical events and context to the present day.

U.S. History (by P. Scott Corbett, Volker Janssen, John M. Lund, Todd Pfannestiel, Paul Vickery & Sylvie Waskiewicz)
This textbook covers the history of the United States chronologically and thoroughly enough to meet the requirements of most courses. Click on "Get this book" to read it online or to download the book in PDF format.

American History (Carol Berkin Ph.D., History, CUNY Graduate Center et al.)
This online resource covers American History from Pre-Columbian times to the new millennium.

From the Mountains to the Sea: early Hawaiian life (by Julie Stewart Williams)
The Hawaiian Kingdom - vol. 1, 1778-1854: foundation and transformation (by Ralph Kuykendall)
The Hawaiian Kingdom - vol. 2, 1854-1874: twenty critical years (by Ralph Kuykendall)
The Hawaiian Kingdom - vol. 3, 1874-1893: The Kalakaua dynasty (by Ralph Kuykendall)
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Life Sciences

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Elementary Algebra (by Wade Ellis & Denny Burzynski)
Intermediate Algebra (Scottsdale Community College)
College Algebra (by Carl Stitz Ph.D. and Jeff Zeager Ph.D.)
Advanced Algebra II - Conceptual Explanations (by Kenny M. Felder)
Abstract Algebra: Theory and Applications (by Tom Judson)
Calculus (by Gilbert Strang, MIT Professor)
Apex Calculus (by Gregory Hartman & multiple contributors)
Calculus (by David R Guichard)
Pre-Calculus (lead author Jay Abramson)
OpenIntro Statistics 3rd edition (by David M Diez, Christopher D Barr & Mine Ҫetinkaya-Rundel)
Foundations in Statistical Reasoning (by Pete Kaslik)
Collaborative Statistics (by Susan Dean and Barbara Illowsky)
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Physical Sciences

Introductory Chemistry (by David W. Ball)
"The goal of this textbook is not to make you an expert. True expertise in any field is a years-long endeavor. Here I will survey some of the basic topics of chemistry. This survey should give you enough knowledge to appreciate the impact of chemistry in everyday life and, if necessary, prepare you for additional instruction in chemistry..."

Chemistry (OpenStax)
Chemistry is designed for the two-semester general chemistry course. For many students, this course provides the foundation to a career in chemistry, while for others, this may be their only college-level science course. As such, this textbook provides an important opportunity for students to learn the core concepts of chemistry and understand how those concepts apply to their lives and the world around them. The text has been developed to meet the scope and sequence of most general chemistry courses. At the same time, the book includes a number of innovative features designed to enhance student learning. A strength of Chemistry is that instructors can customize the book, adapting it to the approach that works best in their classroom."

The Basics of General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry (by David Ball, Cleveland State University; John Hill, University of Wisconsin; & Rhonda Scott, Southern Adventist University)
“The Basics of General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry is for the one-semester General, Organic and Biological Chemistry course. The authors designed this textbook from the ground up to meet the needs of a one-semester course. It is 20 chapters in length and approximately 350-400 pages; just the right breadth and depth for instructors to teach and students to grasp…” Available for download in PDF format.

College Physics (OpenStax)
This introductory, algebra-based, two-semester college physics book is grounded with real-world examples, illustrations, and explanations to help students grasp key, fundamental physics concepts. College Physics can be can be downloaded now by clicking on the "Get this book" button below. This online, fully editable and customizable title includes learning objectives, concept questions, links to labs and simulations, and ample practice opportunities to solve traditional physics application problems. This book is available in paperback.

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Social Sciences

World Regional Geography (by Caitlin Finlayson, University of Mary Washington)

"This text approaches geography as experts understand the discipline, focusing on connections and an in-depth understanding of core themes..." 

Open Geography Education eTextbooks

This is a non-profit website and open for everyone to use. Everything on this website is free, open, and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Developed, edited, and administered by R. Adam Dastrup.

Introduction to Psychology by Lumen Learning
Introduction to Psychology (by Charles Stangor)
Psychology (by Rose Spielman, Kathryn Dumper, William Jenkins, Arlene Lacombe, Marilyn Lovett & Marion Perlmutter)

Introduction to Sociology (by Lumen Learning)

Introduction to Sociology is survey course focused on how people and society affect each other.

Introduction to Sociology (by OpenStax)
Introduction to Sociology 2e adheres to the scope and sequence of a typical, one-semester introductory sociology course. It offers comprehensive coverage of core concepts, foundational scholars, and emerging theories. The textbook presents section reviews with rich questions, discussions that help students apply their knowledge, and features that draw learners into the discipline in meaningful ways.

Sociology: Understanding and Changing the Social World (by Steven Barkan, University of Maine)
This is an introductory text that aims to provide both an understanding of society and a view on how it can be changed.  Click on the "Adopt this book now" blue rectangular box that appears below the book cover to access the text in pdf format.

Social Problems: Continuity and Change (by Steven Barkan)
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Public Speaking, the Virtual Text (by various authors) --from the Public Speaking Project.
This is an online textbook written by multiple authors who teach Public Speaking at various US universities. This comprehensive resource includes eighteen chapters covering many Public Speaking topics including: the origin and the ethics of public speaking, audience analysis, listening effectively, supporting, outlining and organizing ideas, delivering a speech, and much more. The text is available online and also downloadable in PDF format, which could be accessed both in black and white and in color.

Business Communication for Success (via Open Textbook Library)
Business Communication for Success (BCS) provides a comprehensive, integrated approach to the study and application of written and oral business communication to serve both student and professor.

Teacher Education

The following resources include materials specifically for Educational Technology.

Foreign Languages

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