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Open Textbooks

This guide was developed by the CAUL Scholarly Communications Committee

Please note:

Content on this page is adapted from Kwantlen Polytechnic University's Open Textbooks LibGuide by the CAUL Scholarly Communications Committee

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

What are Open Texbooks?

  • Open textbooks are part of a larger movement called "Open Educational Resources" (OER Background)
  • An open textbook is a textbook with an open copyright license that allows the material to be freely accessed, shared and adapted.
  • Open licenses allow instructors to adapt, remix, or customize existing open textbooks to maximize instructional content to meet their own learning objectives
  • Many open textbooks are developed through traditional peer review, others are vetted by experts.  As with any textbook, the instructor is the final judge of whether an open textbook meets the needs of the course.
  • They are free for anyone to view and download in an online format and can be made available in a print format at a nominal cost.

Further Reading

Advocacy Groups

Richard Baraniuk from Connexions on TED

Open Textbook Infographic

Guide to Approaching & Evaluating Open Textbooks

David Wiley on why open textbooks are the way forward