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SCALE - Textbooks

Finding Affordable Alternatives to Costly Textbooks

One of the hardest aspects of adopting affordable learning resources is finding quality content.  This guide aims to help narrow down your search by providing links to general OER collections and subject specific OERs.  The General OER Collections tab will give you access to resources that cover a variety of subjects, including peer reviewed textbooks.  The Find OERs by Subject tab will provide you with links to web sites where you will find more subject specific resources.

Remember your local librarian is also available to help you find affordable learning resources that would suit your class.

Open Textbook Review Criteria


  • The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary.

Content Accuracy

  • Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased.

Relevance Longevity

  • Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement.


  • The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used.


  • The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework.


  • The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.

Organization Structure Flow

  • The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion.


  • The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader.

Grammatical Errors

  • The text contains no grammatical errors.

Cultural Relevance

  • The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds.

This content was developed by BCcampus. It is a derivative of the Peer Review criteria used by, which is a derivative of the review rubric used by College Open Textbooks,which was adapted from the American Library Association Choice Selection Policy.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

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