College Open Textbooks was created in 2011. They are a collective of 29 profit and non-profit organizations affiliated with 200 colleges. Their goal is promote awareness and adoption of open textbooks to over 2000 community colleges and 2-year institutions. The site is not a repository, but a conglomerate of listings of books from repositories. They have found over 550 books and peer-reviewed over 100 for community college use.

Overall, College Open Textbooks is a decent site to find some resources, but is not reliable enough to use as a fully open textbook initiative alone. It is a luck of the draw as to whether the information you find is useful or not, and it may be a better choice to look at the reviews and pick a book from there instead of looking at the list of open texts by subject. The more I explored the site, the more books I found hosted on sites that require payment or registration. One link I clicked led straight to Amazon, and that is definitely not a open textbook.

Website Category Rating (1-5 Stars) Comments
Ease of Use 3stars Some web pages load slower than others, but pages for the books load quickly and easily. If you know the subject you’re looking for, books are available. Links go to the website of the host, but mainly to the page which the books is on. Could be improved if links directly downloaded the book listed.
Truly Free 2stars Some books listed on the site are free, some have other barriers, and some require payment. Since the site sends you to a third party, you never know until you click.
Quality 3stars The textbooks are mostly full books, although the reviews seem fairly arbitrary. Almost all are given perfect scores by reviewers.
Offering 3stars There is not enough description on the website to determine if the book is for a student, is a textbook or a workbook, or is supplemental. Overall, the site is an aggregator with a mixture of free and register-required books. Some of them are reviewed and/or adopted, but finding those are not as easy to find
Books Category Rating (1-5 Stars) Comments
Size Appropriate 3stars  The books that are available for free download vary. Some are sufficient for use and they may not be found until opening the links.
Proofreading 3stars  Books are well proofed, some of the computer books are not as updated as they should be
Reviewed 3stars  Some books are reviewed, reviews do not seem critical but there are comments.
Supplemental Material (answers to problems, glossary, index) Picture1  Most books have some a bibliography, and the ones with problems have answers.

Leave a Reply