OpenStax (Open Educational Resources)


OpenStax is a nonprofit educational technology initiative based at Rice University. The aim of OpenStax is to improve educational access and learning by high school and college learners, by:

  1. Publishing openly licensed books
  2. Developing and improving research-based courseware
  3. Establishing partnerships with educational resource companies.

OpenStax publishes high-quality, peer-reviewed, openly licensed college textbooks that are free online and low cost in print. The initiative also conducts research on learning.

Its first textbook (College Physics) was published in 2012. There are now 65 books covering most introductory college courses and many Advanced Placement (AP) high school courses. These resources are used in 62% of college and universities in the U.S.; 5,600 high school classrooms; and across 150 countries. Most books are also available in Kindle versions on and in the iBooks Store.  All textbook content is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Licenses.

Subjects covered by OpenStax include:

  • Business
  • College Success
  • Essentials
  • Humanities
  • K12
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social Sciences

OpenStax textbooks are developed and peer-reviewed by educators. The free, online version of OpenStax books are kept up-to-date. Instructors are encouraged to submit errata suggestions via the OpenStax website, suggestions are reviewed by subject matter experts, and revisions made when determined to be pedagogically necessary.

Since 2012, 36.1 million learners have used OpenStax saving them 2.9 billion dollars in educational costs.

OpenStax operates a range of services in addition to providing textbooks:

  • Institutions: Works with nearly 80 institutions to launch or expand OER (Open Education Resources) initiatives on their campuses to promote a wider engagement with open materials. The network shares strategies and discusses challenges.
  • Instructors: Learning Management System (LMS) Integration, test banks, answer guides, and PowerPoint slides
  • Students: Highlighting, note-taking, multiple book formats, and low cost or free access.
  • Technology: Learning Technology Options
  • Research: A research arm (OpenStax Kinetic) focuses on advancing interdisciplinary research in learning sciences, education, and allied disciplines to improve learner success.


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