There is a growing body of high quality open textbooks available online that are licensed through Creative Commons or other open licenses to be 100% free to use, print, revise, or remix. Many of these textbooks are peer reviewed. Many also provide additional instructor resources (PowerPoint slides, additional test questions, etc.) You just have to check a few sites to see what’s available.
Not finding the books you want? Or are you looking for other formats (e.g., simulations, audio, or video) offered with open licenses? Try the Mason OER Metafinder (MOM). MOM performs a simultaneous search across 18 different sources of open educational materials including textbooks and other formats.
Open Access books are free to read online, but are not free to revise or remix. Sometimes printing and downloading are also limited.
The library makes every effort to license online books with appropriate Digital Rights Management options (DRM-free books), which work well as textbooks. These are e-books that allow multiple students to read the books at the same time, as well as print and download portions of the text. The library's rental license, purchase, or membership makes these free for UCSC students to use. Some of the publishers that the library supports or can purchase DRM-free books from include (among others):
Springer (includes print-on-demand options)
Taylor & Francis (some, not all, are DRM-free)
Unfortunately, not every e-book is available with a library license/purchase option, or a DRM-free option. Contact your librarian to find out if your textbook has an appropriate e-book option that the library could purchase for your class. We are happy to explore the different e-book options with you.
Open Educational Resources (sometimes called "OERs") include open e-textbooks that are licensed in a manner that makes them not only free to read but also gives you the right to print or download them in their entirety, share them with others, revise them, and remix them (combine them with other content).