Open textbooks are online texts released for greater levels of public use and reuse than conventional commercial textbooks. Most are either completely free and available to reuse and adaptation or for a minimal cost. They are a way to make higher education more affordable and support student achievement and student success. This guide provides information about options offered through open educational resources projects.
Open textbooks are part of a larger movement called "open educational resources" (OER). OERs are "digital learning objects 'offered freely and openly for educators, students and self-learners to use and re-use for teaching, learning and research.'" (Goldberg 334)
Many use licenses as an alternative to copyright developed by Creative Commons, "... a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools."
See also the guide and overview of the larger Open Educational Resources (OER) from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.