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Affordable Learning Upstate: Affordable and Open Educational Resources


  • For textbooks, start with the Open Textbook Library under the Textbooks tab below. Other useful sites are OpenStax for lower-division high-enrollment courses, Libre Texts, and BCCampus.
  • Books from the Open Textbook Library can be found using the Library Discovery Search. Type in "open textbook library" as part of your search. You can also filter by "open access" in your results to find openly available materials.
  • The PASCAL Faculty Textbook Portal is useful if you want to find ebooks available through the library as well as open textbooks.
  • For ancillary materials, including assignments, videos, tutorials and the like, start with MERLOT, OER Commons and other OER repositories. (Be aware that MERLOT may have some materials that are low-cost or are not published under a CC license. Always check for copyright or CC license for any materials that you wish to use.)
  • The OASIS and Mason OER Metafinder search engines under OER Searching Tools are useful for searching across several sites and finding things that might otherwise be overlooked.

Your subject librarian can help you to find OER and also recommend appropriate library subscription materials.

Resources for Finding OER

The Partnership Among South Carolina Academic Libraries (PASCAL) Textbook Portal is a tool for searching several core OER repositories, open access books, about 400 DRM-free library subscription ebooks, and DRM-free academic ebooks for purchase. It is based on the EBSCO Faculty Select product. Given the decentralized nature of searching for OER and the need for some courses to look to library subscription ebooks, the Textbook Portal could serve as a useful place to begin looking for materials for your course. As most of the ebooks are academic books rather than standard textbooks, this tool may be especially useful for specialized and upper-division courses for which OER is less abundant.

The Textbook Portal uses the same underlying system as the Library Search (aka, Library Catalog or Discovery Search), and there is some overlap in content. The Textbook Portal, however, will not include non-DRM-free ebooks from our EBSCO ebook and ProQuest Ebook Central collections, many of which are available with unlimited user access making them usable as course materials. There are also several major OER repositories that are not included. Use the Textbook Portal as a first step, but do fill out our OER/Affordable Learning Interest form or notify your subject librarian for a more comprehensive search.

When you fill out the form to adopt a book, it will send a copy to us. For open textbooks and open access books, you can download the book via the links provided, but it is helpful for Affordable Learning Upstate to know you have adopted the book. Requests to purchase DRM-free ebooks will be routed to the resource selector for your discipline, who will consult with you.

OER by Discipline

Public Domain or Free Material Sites