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Open Access Resources: Books

Free web collections, books, journals, teaching materials, and other resources. This guide concentrates on English language collections, though some collections mentioned do have resources in several languages.


While many of the open access texts available on the Internet are also public domain, many authors and publishers have released full or partial versions of current works. For some this is an advertising method to create demand for print versions, while others are more interested in presenting their content to the widest possible audience.

The links have been divided into three categories:

General Multidisciplinary Collections

Subject Specific Collections


The Online Books Page from UPenn is the most extensive single collection and the University of Montana Open Textbook Catalog is one of the most comprehensive textbook searches:

General Multidisciplinary Collections

These collections cover many subjects at a variety of levels.

Subject Specific Collections

Collections limited to a specific subject or subjects. Also check the textbook links below.

Theses and Dissertations

Conference Proceedings

Conference proceedings are awkward and expensive to publish, and generally there is only a small audience. Internet publishing has allowed conference sponsors and authors to present materials at a much lower cost and at the same time reach a wider audience. Note: Even when you find the "full text" of a conference paper, it may be only the abstract as published in the conference program. Contacting the author(s) may be the only way to get more information.

An organization will generally have a link on their website to proceedings, often under Publications or Conferences. Search for organization websites in any web search engine.

Also search the Open Access Journal sites, especially the subject specific sites, and the General/Mixed Media sites, as many of these sites include conference papers.

A few subject oriented sites:

To identify conferences of interest in your subject try:

  • ProceedingsFirst (SCSU database, login required) - once you have found some interesting papers, look up the conferences or sponsoring organizations on the internet
  • Search for <subject> conferences on the Internet. (For instance, search Google for astronomy conferences to find lists of conferences in the subject of astronomy.)

Not all conferences publish any proceedings, and some, especially from large organizations like IEEE (SCSU subscription), publish only in print or online via paid subscriptions. Sometimes doing an Internet search for the author and paper title will turn up an author's site or presentation from a conference.


Books and collections of books written specifically as textbooks. For additional books, please check the subject and general collections. The best source for literature is the Online Books Page from UPenn.