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OpenStax Biology Textbooks

What is OpenStax?

OpenStax is part of Rice University, which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable corporation. Our mission is to improve educational access and learning for everyone. We do this by publishing openly licensed books, developing and improving research-based courseware, establishing partnerships with educational resource companies, and more.

All texts are peer-reviewed; openly licensed; 100% FREE.

How it works.

  • Should you elect to adopt an OpenStax textbook for your course, the JSCC Libraries can assist in obtaining all instructor and student resources.
  • Most textbooks come with the following instructor resources:
    • Blackboard Course Cartridge
    • Instructor Getting Started Guide
    • PowerPoint Lecture Slides which include images from the book, organized by chapter
    • Instructor Answer Guide to all end-of-chapter questions in the textbook
    • Test banks; testable images; supplemental test items
  • Student resources include the following:
    • FREE access to the interactive, online version of the textbook
    • FREE downloadable PDF of the entire textbook
    • Student Solution Manual: solutions to a subset of problems and exercises in the text
    • Reading and Notetaking Guide
    • Time Management Guide


There are several options for providing content to your students:

  • Import/install the associated Blackboard Course Cartridge [Valerie McCombs can assist.]
  • Have the Libraries create an online version of the text by providing links to individual chapters and PDFs of individual chapters.  Students would have the option to view online and/or print chapters as needed.

Options for instructors:

  • The Libraries can create an online repository for all lecture slides, test banks, solutions manuals, etc.
  • The site will be password protected so that students cannot access the material.
  • The Libraries can share folders of all content in OneDrive.