Open Access Textbooks

I am helping a professor discover an open access textbook for Retail 1100: Fashion and Culture.  This is our intro course, and covers topics such as dress and culture, sustainable fashion, consumerism, etc.  We don’t have a design school.  Here are the places we have already looked:  (from our page of OA resources, here:  Are there other places to search, or texts you are aware of that might fit the bill here?

  • Open Professionals Education Network – links to discovery tools for open textbooks, photos, video, audio, and more.
  • Open Textbook Library –  a growing catalog of free, peer-reviewed, and openly-licensed textbooks.
  • MERLOT II – tens of thousands of  discipline-specific learning materials, learning exercises, and Content Builder web pages, together with associated comments, and bookmark collections, all intended to enhance the teaching experience of using a learning material.
  • Open Stax College – open textbooks for high enrollment college courses using the Connexions platform.
  • Open Educational Resources (OER) Commons – open teaching and learning materials including full university courses, interactive mini-lessons, simulations, and electronic textbooks.
  • Open Course Library – Textbooks, syllabi, assessments, in 81 high-enrollment college courses created by a Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges (SBCTC) grant.
  • Teaching Commons – Curated by librarians and their institutions, the Teaching Commons includes high-quality open educational resources such as textbooks, course materials, lesson plans, multimedia, and more. Discover content by type of work or subject.
  • Open Book Publishers – Award-winning enterprise run by scholars who are committed to making high-quality research available to readers around the world. Includes a growing collection of monographs and textbooks in all areas.
  • College Open Text Books Collaborative  A collection of twenty-nine education organizations focused on driving awareness and adoptions of open textbooks to more than 2000 community and other two-year colleges. This includes providing training for instructors adopting open resources, peer reviews of open textbooks, and mentoring online professional networks that support for authors opening their resources, and other services.



Author: Sherri B. Saines

Reference Librarian Ohio University Athens, Ohio

4 thoughts on “Open Access Textbooks”

  1. I wish I had a bibliography of readings to offer, but my teaching area is outside FTC. I suppose it depends on the individual instructor, but for myself, I prefer to use journal articles and book chapters in class, rather than assigning a textbook; so to me there’s a certain amount of joy involved in compiling the list of readings for a given semester. I recognize that others might find this to be a grind.

  2. It is very generous indeed, Sherri! But a question: Would it be more useful in the end for the professor to pull together a list of readings from the literature, to be placed on e-reserve for the semester, that are more specifically pertinent to the course goals, and that might be more current? I don’t teach in this subject area, but I do teach in the area of cultural studies, and have not used a textbook of any kind in the past five years, other than to excerpt a chapter to be properly copyright-cleared in the library and placed online in Blackboard. It’s extra work, but also very stimulating.

    1. Yes, yes, of course we could do this. But one hopes not to have to reinvent the wheel. have you published your bibliography of readings? Perhaps we could start there.

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