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Open Textbooks

A Guide to Finding & Using Open Textbooks

How do I get started using open textbooks?

  • Make it your own! Open textbook content is almost always presented in a way that makes it easy to edit, adapt and restructure. Bring the content into your favourite word processor or document layout software and start working with it.
  • Give the content a geographically relevant focus. An excellent first step in adapting any open textbook is to provide a geographic focus that suits local needs.
  • Provide format options. Open textbooks offer a huge advantage over traditional publisher supplied textbooks when they are available in many format options. Work with your library to offer your students a range of formats (e.g. epub, mobi, pdf and html). Publisher supplied e-textbooks typically come in a format that serves the digital rights management needs of the publisher, with little regard for student accessibility.
  • Use your course management system. If you are stumped on how to deliver your open textbook, consider making it available through the course management system available at most institutions.
  • Give back. If you have found useful texts, go back to the site that you found them on and provide a helpful review. Others need to know what is good and not so good about these resources.

Note about re-use