Open textbooks are a type of open educational resource (OER). Open textbooks have been funded, published, and licensed to be freely used, adapted, and distributed. These books have been reviewed by academics from a variety of colleges and universities to assess their quality. Open textbooks can be downloaded at 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.
As part of the broader open educational resources movement, open textbooks increasingly are seen as a solution to challenges with traditionally published textbooks, such as access and affordability concerns.