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Open Educational Resources: Open Access Textbooks

Why Open Textbooks?

This guide encourages you to consider adopting and/or writing open access texts. Relevant facts include these:

  • College textbook prices have increased 812% since 1978. The Consumer Price Index has increased 250% during this time. (Perry, 2012)
  • The average student in the U.S. spends $1137 annually on textbooks. (College Board, 2013)

Source: Perry, M. J. (2012, December 24.) The college textbook bubble and how the open educational resources movement is going up against the textbook cartel [blog post]. Retrieved from

Open Textbooks

About Open Textbooks

An Open Access 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 Access Textbooks may have certain copyright restrictions, but these restrictions normally do not limit dissemination, repurposing, creating derivative works and use for educational purposes. 

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

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



Small Collections of Open Textbooks

Open Textbook Guides

Selected Providers