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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.
Where to find Open textbooks
Open Textbook Library (University of Minnesota)
Supported by the Open Textbook Network (University of Minnesota), the Open Textbook Library provides a list of peer-reviewed and openly-licensed textbooks that are currently in use at multiple higher educational institutions, or affiliated with a higher education institution, scholarly society, or professional organization. Some books include faculty peer reviews. All can be read online or are downloadable for offline reading.
Open Stax College (Rice University)
A growing collection of professional quality, peer-reviewed, openly licensed, editable intro-level textbooks. All textbooks are licensed with a Creative Commons Attribution license (CC BY) and are freely available in PDF, HTML, ePub, and customizable via Connexions (cnx.org).
Openly licensed textbooks created by BCCampus, a consortium of post-secondary educational institutions in British Columbia
Open SUNY Textbooks
Open SUNY Textbooks is an open access textbook publishing initiative established by State University of New York libraries and supported by SUNY Innovative Instruction Technology Grants. This pilot initiative publishes high-quality, cost-effective course resources by engaging faculty as authors and peer-reviewers, and libraries as publishing service and infrastructure.
bookboon - Digitization & IT
Bookboon provide students with free textbooks written by professors from the world’s top universities, covering topics from the Natural Sciences, Engineering and IT to Economics and Business.
Open Textbooks - useful links
Open Textbook Network (OTN)
The Open Textbook Network (OTN) promotes access, affordability, and student success through the use of open textbooks.