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Open Educational Resources: For Students

OER are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others.

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This guide will help you find open access resources to support your coursework. Browse the library's databases, including eBooks and our archives - as well as freely available and industry-standard scholarly alternatives - below. 

Electronic resources

Dacus Library and Pettus Archives Resources


OneSearch is the library's online catalog. It provides a single, intuitive search interface for electronic sources. You can find the search box on the homepage of the library website, or use the advanced search. Use your Winthrop email address (omitting the word "mailbox") and password to sign in to OneSearch.


To locate ebooks that Dacus Library owns, OneSearch is the first resource you should use. OneSearch is the online library catalog, and you can search by author, title, or keyword.

After performing this initial search, you will see some ways to filter your results in the left column. Click on the "Book" and "Available Online" filters to locate available ebooks for your search.

Ebooks are accessible from on and off campus, including with desktops, laptops, and internet-enabled mobile devices. If you are off-campus, you will be prompted to log-in before viewing the ebook.

A-Z Databases

Our A-Z Databases page provides an alphabetical list of our subscription databases, along with open access resources. Among these online resources you'll find journal articles, newspapers, ebooks, streaming videos, images, music, and more.

You can find the most appropriate databases to use for each subject area by using our Research Guides.

PASCAL Delivers and Interlibrary Loan

If Dacus Library does not own an item you need, you can request it from another library. (Please note: textbooks cannot be requested through PASCAL or Interlibrary Loan.)

First, check the PASCAL Delivers catalog to see if the item is available from another South Carolina college or university.  You can request the item, and it will be delivered to Dacus Library within a few days for you to pick up. If the item you need isn't available through Dacus Library or PASCAL Delivers, you can request it from a library outside of South Carolina through Interlibrary Loan. Items requested through Interlibrary Loan can take up to 10 days to arrive.

If a specific journal article you need is not available in any of the Dacus Library databases, you can request an electronic copy from another library using Interlibrary Loan.

Research Guides

Research Guides provide links to relevant resources in a specific subject area or for a particular major. You'll find the best databases to use, list of helpful print and online resources, search tips, citation information, and more.

Digital Commons

Digital Commons is a digital repository and publication platform designed to collect, preserve, and make accessible the academic output of Winthrop University faculty, students, and staff. It also serves as the institutional repository of the university and Louise Pettus Archives and Special Collections. 

It is the mission of the Digital Commons @ Winthrop to facilitate the discovery of scholarly communications, provide instant access to full text works, and preserve these materials in an open, digital environment.

Open Access Textbooks

Open Textbook Library
Includes 635 high quality books that are 66% reviewed that have open-licenses with more added weekly. Textbooks can usually be downloaded in PDF, EPUB and HTML formats. The Open Textbook Library is supported by the Center for Open Education and the Open Textbook Network. 

Includes 40+ open textbooks that meet scope and sequence requirements for most courses. These are peer-reviewed texts written by professional content developers. Includes tens of thousands of "learning objects" called "pages" or modules. 

OER Commons
Includes ten thousands of college level OER open textbooks from higher education institutions around the world. 

Open SUNY Textbooks
An open textbook project of the State University of New York Libraries, funded by SUNY Innovative Instruction Technology grants. 

MERLOT Open Textbook
Includes a curated collection of free and open online teaching, learning, and faculty developed resources, including web sources, PDF, videos, images, and much more.

BCcampus OpenEd
Provides a curated collection of open textbooks. Many of these textbooks have been reviewed and vetted by BC post-secondary faculty. 

College Open Textbooks 
Approximately 100+ peer-reviewed open textbooks collected. Includes a range of formats and copyright licenses are free for use.


Open Access Ebook Collections

DOAB: Directory of Open Access Books 
Open access academic peer-reviewed books.

Project Gutenberg
Over 60,000 free eBooks. Choose among free epub and Kindle eBooks, download them or read them online. You will find the world's great literature here, with focus on older works for which U.S. copyright has expired.

OpenBook Publishers
The leading independent open access publisher in the Humanities and Social Sciences in the UK: a not-for-profit Social Enterprise run by scholars who are committed to making high-quality research freely available to readers around the world.

A partnership of academic and research institutions, offering a collection of millions of digitized books from libraries around the world.

Open Research Library
The ORL is planned to include all open access book content worldwide on one platform for user-friendly discovery, offering a seamless experience navigating more than 20,000 open access books.


OER Journal Collections and Institutional Repositories

DOAJ: Directory of Open Access Journals
Community-curated online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals.

JSTOR Open Access
Open and free content on JSTOR and Artstor, including open access journals, ebook, images, and media.

PubMed Central
A free full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM).

Digital Commons Network
Free, full-text scholarly articles from hundreds of universities and colleges worldwide. The Network includes a growing collection of peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, dissertations, working papers, conference proceedings, and other original scholarly work.

Digital Libraries and Archives

National Archives Digital Collections
Provides access to information on American history and government, archival administration, information management, and government documents.

Library of Congress Digital Collections
The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, newspapers, maps and manuscripts in its collections.