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Chemistry

The Chemistry page of the OER guide features a number of open textbooks all of which are licensed under a Creative Commons License. Spanning Introductory Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and the Thermodynamics of Chemistry. I did my best to include a variety of subjects within the Chemistry field on this page.  Something to note: online texts seem to be the most popular format among those publishing open Chemistry textbooks. I wonder why this is. Does the material tend to require frequent updates and therefor is not best suited for published or rendered formats such as PDF?Wikibook Development Stages

Featured on the guide are two Wikibooks. One covers General Chemistry and the other Organic Chemistry. Wikibook authors are able to denote the development progress of the text with symbols that indicate that the text is sparse, developing, maturing, developed, or comprehensive. This, of course, is subjective and can sometimes be misleading.  The General Chemistry Wikibook is a developed text meaning that its authors estimate that it is about 75% complete. The introductory chapter on Properties of Matter is labeled as comprehensive where as much of the remaining portions of the text are labeled ‘maturing’ or ‘developed’.  The Organic Chemistry Wikibook is a ‘maturing text’ and could use a little expansion and revision (perhaps a Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon is in order). These labels are sometimes misleading as I feel that some of the sections labeled ‘maturing’ feature a fair amount of content and a number of well-produced graphics. I guess what I’m trying to say by pointing this out is that it is worth the effort to drill down into these texts to see for yourself what they actually contain instead of letting the status indicators tell the whole story.

 

The Introductory Chemistry text by David W. Ball appears to be what one might expect from an introductory Chemistry textbook. Its table of contents appears to be very standard beginning with a discussion of science, measurements, and an introduction to atoms, molecules, and ions. The TOC of this text ends with oxidation and reduction, Nuclear and Organic Chemistry and covers stoichiometry.

table

The Virtual Textbook of Organic Chemistry is a web-based textbook that might appeal to those taking a more rigorous approach to Chemistry. The text appears to be very complete and features an interactive collection of problems. The text is full of diagrams and is not at all short on explanations.  For those interested in the Thermodynamics of Chemistry, the textbook by Howard Devoe might be of interest to you. It appears to be a comprehensive study of thermodynamics and how it applies to Chemistry. This textbook is also featured on the Engineering page of the OER guide with other Thermodynamics texts; however, I think it is best suited on the the Chemistry page as that is its main focus.

The Supplemental Materials section of the Chemistry page features a range of resources. The content from MIT not only features lecture videos but also exams and assignments -some with solutions and some without. These and the Organic Structure Elucidation workbook and the ChemCollective are great resources for students looking for practice problems or faculty look to assign homework problems.

As always, we’re  constantly striving to expand and improve our collection of resources. If you have any feedback about the resources listed on the Chemistry page or any other section of the OER site, we would love to hear from you. Please feel free to link to content you feel might be a good fit for our collection and we’ll work on adding it to the site.

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