Open textbooks are a type of Open Educational Resource (OER): freely available textbooks, written by educators seeking to improve the accessibility and affordability of education.
Authors assign an “open license” that allows others to reuse, revise and/or remix it with other things.
The high cost of textbooks negatively impacts student success.
In a large study of students’ textbook purchasing behaviour, students reported various negative effects on their education related to high textbook costs.
The adoption of open textbooks positively impacts student performance.
Students whose faculty chose OER generally performed as well or better than students whose faculty assigned a commercial textbook.Fischer, Hilton III, Robinson & Wiley, 2015
"Open access" works "are digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions" (Suber, 2004-2015). The author of an Open Access work retains copyright and determines how their resources can be used. For example, some authors allow derivatives of their work while others do not. To learn more about Open Access, read Open Access Overview by Peter Suber.
A Creative Commons license is a common indicator used with open access works that describes the copyright owner's conditions for use of their work.
You can search for Open Access publications using the following tools: