Free Textbooks
June 14, 2020 5:30 PM   Subscribe

A collection of free books from Springer
To help support everyone during Covid-19, Springer has released a ton of free textbooks. This is great, but their web page for this is not super friendly, and expects you to download some Excel sheet to figure out what they have on offer. This web page hopes to make it easier to access all this knawledge [sic].

From Free Textbooks from Springer, Categorised | Hacker News, it seems quite a few of them are pretty good.


Behavioral Science
Behavioral Science and Psychology
Biomedical and Life Sciences
Business and Economics
Business and Management
Chemistry and Materials Science
Computer Science
Earth and Environmental Science
Economics and Finance
Humanities, Social Sciences and Law
Intelligent Technologies and Robotics
Law and Criminology
Literature, Cultural and Media Studies
Mathematics and Statistics
Physics and Astronomy
Religion and Philosophy
Social Sciences
posted by zengargoyle (40 comments total) 96 users marked this as a favorite
Wow, this is FABULOUS.

Economics as Applied Ethics!
Handbook of the Life Course!
Fraud and Corruption!
Reading, Writing, and Proving!
Mapping Global Theatre Histories!
Of Cigarettes, High Heels, and Other Interesting Things!
Fundamental Astronomy!
Principles of Musical Acoustics!


Compiled in exasperation by Harish Narayanan.

I am immensely grateful to Harish.

Thank you so much for posting this, zengargoyle!
posted by kristi at 6:02 PM on June 14, 2020 [5 favorites]


*steeples fingers*
posted by darkstar at 6:12 PM on June 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

(Just snagged 12 of them. Thank you!)
posted by darkstar at 6:57 PM on June 14, 2020

This is excellent. Thanks to everyone involved!
posted by AdamCSnider at 7:02 PM on June 14, 2020

Some of these- most of these! look great but just a smidge of warning- just because it's published doesn't mean it's accurate or right and in one or two categories are one or two real humdingers of evopsych "thought". I'm snagging the ones on Zooarchaeology, Plant Ecology and Medical ethics! Thanks for this!
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 7:03 PM on June 14, 2020 [7 favorites]

Caveat emptor(?), for sure, and not sure about the terms of use, but this is awesome, thanks.
posted by mollweide at 7:16 PM on June 14, 2020

zengargoyle -- thank you so much for posting this!
posted by brainwane at 7:47 PM on June 14, 2020

Best. Of. The. Web.
posted by JoeXIII007 at 8:07 PM on June 14, 2020 [2 favorites]

Thanks for posting zengargotyle - very kind of mr joelparkerhenderson on github. I found this a while back. Surprisingly public spirited of them.

I downloaded - Plant Physiological Ecology by Lambers et al. as it has an excellent coverage of phosphate and mycorrhiza, and Plant Ecology by Shulze et al for it's approaches to light and pollutants.

And I've just got An Intro to Soil Mechanics, and Acid Base Diagrams of which I can understand just enough to put to use
posted by unearthed at 8:46 PM on June 14, 2020

I just downloaded the one on stress.
posted by amtho at 9:01 PM on June 14, 2020

Darn, my book isn't on the list.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:34 PM on June 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

Re: joelparkerhenderson - Free books by Springer with categories · GitHub -- is a text version of Harish Narayanan's re-imagining of Springer's offerings.

I've been grabbing a few from HN recommendations and a few that caught my eye. If anybody has any "OMG this is a good one", please share.
posted by zengargoyle at 9:38 PM on June 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

in one or two categories are one or two real humdingers of evopsych "thought"

Homo neanderthalensis, I'd be curious to know which ones in particular you warn against. I don't have a lot of exposure to some of these areas and it would be good to know if some of these books or authors come with a reputation.
posted by mosessis at 10:49 PM on June 14, 2020

If you like math, Proofs from THE BOOK is essential.
posted by oluckyman at 11:15 PM on June 14, 2020 [6 favorites]

It's not the authors in particular it's the continued misuse of the word "evolutionary". It's a word that in Anthropology has one meaning, what I would argue is the correct one- and in Evopsych basically means whatever any one scholar wants it to mean. (And I am using the term "scholar" loosely) One of the textbooks was titled "Evolutionary Thinking in Medicine" and as an Anthropology major I thought- ok- that could be really interesting and clicked through and oh boy. Once chapter title is "Bottle Feeding: The Impact on Post-partum Depression, Birth Spacing and Autism" another is "Why Chemotherapy Does Not Work: Cancer Genome Evolution and the Illusion of Oncogene Addiction". Basically the reason I have autism according to this textbook is because as an adoptee I was not breastfed, and not breastfeeding is the cause of postpartum depression. Which is horseshit of the highest order- but I hardly have to tell you that. Anyways- just take all textbooks everywhere with the word "evolutionary" in their titles with a healthy grain of salt until the Anthropology and Psychology disciplines finally evict the evopsychs from both disciplines. But like 90% of these books look super great and I can't wait to dig into those.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 11:19 PM on June 14, 2020 [11 favorites]

This is an amazing collection of resources! Kudos to Springer, and to this guy for tidying up their messy list.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:21 PM on June 14, 2020

Wait isn't Springer part of Elsevier which is more or less a scourge on academic publishing favoring corporatist profit over literally everything else? I guess giving free access to some stuff is fine but I don't know if I think it erases their other generalized shittiness.
posted by axiom at 11:29 PM on June 14, 2020

I am happy to support a good thing.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:31 PM on June 14, 2020 [2 favorites]

axiom, Springer and Elsevier are competitors.
posted by plastic_animals at 12:04 AM on June 15, 2020 [7 favorites]

The Education section has a small but useful selection with wider applicability: check out The A-Z of the PhD Trajectory, Grammar for Teachers and Writing for Publication.
posted by rory at 12:17 AM on June 15, 2020

I see someone else recommended _Proofs from THE BOOK_. I have the first and third editions, and I’m excited to see the 6th! You all should take a look.

The _discrete Mathematics_ by Lovasz, Pelekin and Vesztergombi is also good. (Hard, but good.)

Any recommendations from among the intro to statistics using R books? I don’t actually know any statistics (despite being a working mathematician).
posted by leahwrenn at 12:19 AM on June 15, 2020 [3 favorites]

I can vouch for Steven S Skiena's The Algorithm Design Manual.
posted by acb at 2:49 AM on June 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

Thank you!!
posted by carter at 3:46 AM on June 15, 2020

The Martin Braun Diff Eq book is a must. Very interesting application problems, including one I use most semesters on art forgery!
posted by wittgenstein at 4:55 AM on June 15, 2020 [3 favorites]

This is really cool, thank you.
posted by PMdixon at 6:08 AM on June 15, 2020

Carey & Sundberg’s Advanced Organic Chemistry is a key graduate text for this subject. The fifth edition is 13 years old, but still awesome to find it in a pristine, publisher PDF.
posted by darkstar at 7:33 AM on June 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

Sweet, ty. I already got a few PDFs.
posted by j_curiouser at 9:39 AM on June 15, 2020

There are some really promising-looking (based on a very quick skim-through) books on programming in Python in there, which are great for me as someone who has managed to do some stuff in Python but never really "learned the language" yet.

Thanks much for the post, there's real value for me in there.
posted by BuxtonTheRed at 10:13 AM on June 15, 2020

This is awesome. I just downloaded the Breast Cancer book. I'm eager to read it.
posted by kathrynm at 10:16 AM on June 15, 2020

This is great.

Also, fuck Springer. They could have chosen to charge just over break-even prices decades ago. Let's not pretend this isn't a direct response to institutions beginning to push back on what they charge for things that most academic authors would happily give away for free and usually have already before publication. (I've guest-edited Springer publications and am more culpable than most in maintaining their absurd empire. I'm not proud of that. Even if the publications themselves were good, which I think they were.)

But, this is still a good and useful thing and includes some textbooks that I love and will share. Thanks!
posted by eotvos at 11:41 AM on June 15, 2020

Has anyone made a zip of all of these?

Not yet that I've seen. The PDFs are captchaed so it'll take a sec for someone to since we can't just scrape the URLs.
posted by PMdixon at 11:57 AM on June 15, 2020

Unfortunately for data hoarders, the actual PDF links are protected by a CAPTCHA.

Fortunately for data hoarders, solving just one CAPTCHA presently appears to authorize multiple subsequent downloads from the same web browser. Here are all the PDF links:

382 textbooks in English
57 textbooks in German
9 emergency nursing textbooks in German
posted by flabdablet at 1:36 PM on June 15, 2020 [2 favorites]

I love free textbooks, especially in my field of psychology and sociology. One of the books
in behavioral science, "Psychology, Religion, and Spirituality" was written by one of my professors when I was attending Valparaiso University for the Clinical Mental Health Counseling master's program, James M. Nelson. Great guy who was one of those people who you knew was infinitely smarter than you'll ever be. I definitely got my brain handed back to me kung fu style several times during his neurobiology class.
posted by Chocomog at 2:21 PM on June 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

Here are all the EPUB links:

316 textbooks in English
28 textbooks in German
7 emergency nursing textbooks in German

All of these links, as well as the PDF ones linked earlier, were scraped from the download pages linked from Springer's own title lists.

prepare to repel hoarders
posted by flabdablet at 3:53 PM on June 15, 2020

You people are doing the (dark) lord’s work, bless you.
posted by darkstar at 7:07 PM on June 15, 2020

From the Handbook of Disaster Research:

It is useful to contrast two sets of images, one drawn from the mass culture—that of confused victims—and another that fits the research literature much better—that of active survivors. These images have to be placed in the context that, after the disaster impact, there is the “conviction” that disasters create social chaos. This “chaos” is signaled by a rapid increase in irrational social behavior—panic is the term used most frequently—or by the perception of people being “stunned” and not being able to respond to emergency or crisis situations. These effects are seen to result in “victims” with severely hampered decision-making
capacity whose long repressed criminal and antisocial tendencies surface. It is assumed that these antisocial traits emerge since traditional social control mechanisms have now lost their effectiveness. In addition, traditional forms of pre-disaster social organizations (families, community organizations, local government) are seen as ineffective since they are now populated with confused victims. The confused victim image suggests that extraordinary measures need to be initiated. Since disaster problems stem from the confusion of their victims and the ineffectiveness of the pre-disaster social structure, the logical policy response is to establish “command” over the chaos and regain “control” over the disorganized, confused victims. This means that outside assistance is necessary to establish authority and generate correct decisions to replace those confused. Therefore, in general, policy directions establish “command and control” and perhaps provide some therapy for “confused


"Unfortunately, nation-states’ disaster planning seldom considers local communities as capable of problem solving and they develop plans suggesting the necessity of instituting social control. Using inept analogies from the past, national planning is often predicated on a model of “enemy” attack and considers local communities as fragile and disorganized. Disaster “victims” are seen as either passive or paralyzed by fear. Based on those assumptions, nationstates often plan to supplement or replace local decision-making, using the rationale of patriotic paternalism."
posted by storybored at 9:14 PM on June 15, 2020 [8 favorites]

SO initially I was like wow, there are two or three items here that look really useful to me, and a day later I'm all Lessons On Synthetic Bioarchitectures, yes yes, I'll need that
posted by thelonius at 2:21 AM on June 16, 2020 [2 favorites]

Well, you never know. In a barren, mutant-cannibal-roved, post-apocalyptic hellscape, synthetic bioarchitecture could come in quite handy.
posted by darkstar at 10:19 AM on June 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

i only do eyes
posted by flabdablet at 9:10 AM on June 19, 2020 [1 favorite]

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