Many students are concerned about the cost of textbooks. The Open Textbook movement developed in response to this concern. Open textbooks are e-books made freely available online by the author. There is no charge to download, copy, and print. Typically the right to access, customize, and distribute the material is also granted. This gives the educator the opportunity to insert and/or modify content to suit their needs. Often a Creative Commons license is used. Sometimes print copies are available at an affordable price.
Where Can They Be Found?
There are several directories of open textbooks. Please see the resources below.
What About Quality?
There is some concern about the quality of these works. Peer review is needed and some of the work has been done. For now, however, the educator will probably want to check carefully for themselves.
As you would imagine, authors and peer reviewers are needed. There are many opportunities to review and to write your own textbooks. See the repositories below for reviewer information. If you are interested in writing your own book, there are many directories of organizations for self-publishing. One such site is the Project Gutenberg Self-Publishing Press, http://self.gutenberg.org/.
What are Open Textbooks?
Learn more about what they are, how they're created, how to stay up-to-date, and how you can participate.
- College Open Textbooks
- Global Text Project
- MERLOT Open Textbook Collection
- OER (Open Educational Resources) Commons
- Open SUNY Affordable Learning Solutions - Textbook Search
- Open SUNY Textbooks
- Open Textbook Catalog - University of Minnesota
- Orange Grove
- Project Gutenberg
At this site you can identify textbooks similar to the ones you use.