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Open Textbooks/Open Educational Resources (OER)

A general overview of the open access textbooks for faculty, students, and librarians. Topics include open access textbook resources, open access textbook models, hybrid options and electronic textbook options from textbook publishers.

What Is An Open Textbook?

An Open Textbook is an instructional textbook publication in digital form, consisting of text, images, or both, readable on computers or other electronic devices, such as e-readers or tablets, that is made freely available through a host or online organizational service. Open textbooks may have certain copyright restrictions, but these restrictions do not limit dissemination, repurposing, or creating derivative works for use for educational purposes. 

Although rapidly evolving, textbooks in electronic form are available in three dominant models:

  • Open Textbooks
  • Commercial Electronic Textbooks
  • Hybrid of Open Access/Commercial E-Textbooks

This guide aims to expand your knowledge of open textbooks in areas such as:

  • Open textbook publishing models
  • Finding and evaluating open textbooks
  • Adopting open textbooks for your course
  • Current research of print vs. digital textbooks and learning

If you have comments, suggestions, or would like more information about these topics or library services, please direct them to the Feedback Form below.


Need more information? Contact Your Subject Specialist Librarian

Your Subject Specialist Librarian can help you locate Creative Commons and other freely available resources to use in your course as a textbook or supplemental learning materials.