Full Text – Books (free, online)

The books and other documents listed below allow free access to some or all of their contents and are available online.

For another option, please search Science Primary Literature (database).

If you are looking for a specific book and can’t find it through the sources on this page, please let me know (engelk@grinnell.edu).


books | theses and dissertations | preprints, documents, patents, and reports



Arabidopsis Book

Open access, peer-reviewed online journal covering a broad range of topics in research on Arabidopsis thaliana and related species, supported by the American Society of Plant Biologists.

Chemistry textbooks (OER Commons)

Directory of Open Access Books (a joint service of OAPEN, OpenEdition, CNRS and Aix-Marseille Université, provided by DOAB Foundation)

DOAB is a community-driven discovery service that indexes and provides access to scholarly, peer-reviewed open access books and helps users to find trusted open access book publishers. All DOAB services are free of charge and all data is freely available.

FAO Corporate Document Repository (Food and Agriculture Organization, United Nations) 

A diverse collection of publications–books, meeting documents, journal articles, etc.–related to food and agriculture that extends back into the 1970’s.

A Heat Transfer Textbook (John H. Lienhard IV and John H. Lienhard V) 

An introduction to heat and mass transfer oriented toward engineering students.

Internet Archive — Books to Borrow

Over 2 million ebooks that may be borrowed and read online.

Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy

For easy-to-understand, authoritative information about human diseases and disorders.

National Academy Press (National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America) 

The full text of thousands of books covering a wide range of the sciences; includes a powerful searching interface.

NCBI Bookshelf (National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine) 

Bookshelf provides free online access to books and documents in life science and healthcare.


OpenStax is part of Rice University, which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable corporation. As an educational initiative, it’s our mission to improve educational access and learning for everyone. Free access to college-level and AP textbooks.

Open Textbook Library (Open Education Network)

Open textbooks are textbooks that have been funded, published, and licensed to be freely used, adapted, and distributed. These books have been reviewed by faculty from a variety of colleges and universities to assess their quality. These books can be downloaded for no cost or printed at low cost. All textbooks are either used at multiple higher education institutions; or affiliated with an institution, scholarly society, or professional organization.

Textbook Affordability Project (University of South Florida Libraries, USA)

Open access textbooks are openly-licensed digital textbooks that are offered for free online. Traditional textbooks use cumbersome copyright license restrictions, while open access textbooks allow anyone to read, copy, distribute, or modify the content at no cost. Many universities around the United States have already developed initiatives to produce peer-reviewed open access textbooks for their students and the positive response has led open access textbooks to be acknowledged as an affordable alternative to traditional learning materials.


A comprehensive, open access collection of original, peer-reviewed chapters covering topics related to the biology of Caenorhabditis elegans and other nematodes.

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Theses and Dissertations

Digital Library of ETDs [Electronic Theses and Dissertations] (Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations [NDLTD]) 
The full text of theses and dissertations written by graduate students and published by leading universities and academic organizations worldwide.

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Preprints, Documents, Patents, and Reports

Agricultural Information Modules (New Zealand Digital Library Project, University of Waikato, New Zealand) 

The full text of publications covering areas ranging from plant and animal science, fisheries and aquaculture to human nutrition, forestry, and rural development.

arXiv.org e-Print archive (Cornell University and the United States National Science Foundation) 

An e-print service in the fields of Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Quantitative Biology, Quantitative Finance, Statistics, Electrical Engineering and Systems Science, and Economics.

Bibliothèque pour le développement (Humanity Libraries Project and the Payson Center for International Development at Tulane University, USA; New Zealand Digital Library Project, University of Waikato, New Zealand) 

The full text (in French) of some 600 publications of ideas and solutions in the fields of Agriculture, Construction, Cooperation, Economics, Education, Energy, Environment, Industry, Nutrition, Society, Science, Technology, Water and Women.

CogPrints: Cognitive Sciences Eprint Archive (eprints.org) 

An electronic archive for self-archive papers in any area of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Linguistics, and many areas of Computer Science, Philosophy, Biology, Medicine, Anthropology  as well as any other portions of the physical, social and mathematical sciences that are pertinent to the study of cognition.

DOE Information Bridge (United States Department of Energy [DOE]) 

The full-text of DOE research and development reports in physics, chemistry, materials, biology, environmental sciences, energy technologies, engineering, computer and information science, renewable energy, and other topics. Access to the DOE’s extensive collection of gray literature from 1995-present.

J-STAGE (Japan Science and Technology Information Aggregator, Electronic; Japan Science and Technology Agency) 

The full text of many proceedings, reports, and conference papers published by Japanese organizations. Years of coverage depend upon the individual organization, but most documents come from the mid to late 1990’s to present. Publications are often available in English though some are only available in Japanese.

University of California eScholarship Repository (University of California, USA) 

The Repository offers faculty a central location for depositing any research or scholarly output deemed appropriate by their participating University of California research unit, center, or department, including working papers and pre-publication scholarship.

WHO Medicines Bookshelf (New Zealand Digital Library Project, University of Waikato, New Zealand) 

The full text of publications covering many aspects of drugs and medicines–policy, supply and marketing, safety, economics, research, traditional medicine, and more.

World Environment Library (GTZ and the Humanity Libraries Project; New Zealand Digital Library Project, University of Waikato, New Zealand) 

The full text of over 400 publications in the fields of Agriculture, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Environmental Impact Assessment, Energy, Health, Natural Resources, Policy, Sustainable Development, Waste Management and Water.

World Trade Organization (WTO) 

Access to the official documentation of the World Trade Organization including documents about agriculture, the environment, and technology; coverage is from 1995-present plus selected material published from 1986-1994.

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Questions?  Please let me know (engelk@grinnell.edu).