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Open Textbooks

Open Textbook Collections


Ebooks in the Library

The CSUSM University Library has an extensive collection of ebooks on a variety of topics. To find what’s available:
  • Go to the University Library homepage
  • Choose “Books and More”
  • Enter keywords and search
  • Use the limiters to narrow by “Full Text Online” to ensure all results can be accessed directly from your computer
  • Limit by “Books” to filter out journals and media

Biology Ebooks – CSUSM Library 

Journal Articles

Consider including journal articles as required or supplemental reading for your courses. Search through our biology databases for articles. Just be sure to direct students to the article by permalink (or static URL) rather than posting the PDF directly in your Cougar Course. This will ensure two things: 1) that we are complying with copyright and publisher restrictions, and 2) that our journal usage is counted (this allows us to justify maintaining our subscriptions).

This page provides examples illustrating how to find permalinks in the Library’s databases.

Please contact your librarian if you are still unsure of how to find the permalink.

Open Courseware

  • The Open Learning Initiative (OLI)
    You can access course materials at no cost to the student or to you the instructor. Students work at their own pace, and can review modules before exams. Requires free registration.
  • MIT Open Courseware
    Fundamentals of Biology focuses on the basic principles of biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, and recombinant DNA. Course format includes, lecture videos, interactive concept quizzes (solution key), problem sets, terms and definitions, suggested topics and links, and exams (with solution key).
  • Saylor Foundation
    This resource provides course learning outcomes, biology curriculum, and lecture videos embedded in the site. You can browse through the materials and pick and choose what you can apply to your course.
  • The Virtual Biology Labs
    Rutgers University offers lab exercises in cell structure, cell reproduction, and chromosome structure and meiosis. Students will work through the labs with step by step instructions.

Other Open Educational Resources

Other CSUSM Library Resources

More information about finding and using library resources can be found on the Biology Research Guide.


Have a good idea for a free resource? Tell us about it! Email your subject specialist.