Skip to Main Content

Open Textbooks: What are OERs and open textbooks?

For those interested in using or creating open textbooks

Copyright and OER

Incredibly Helpful Charts

2 minute introduction video to OER


Penn State logoPenn State is a member of the Open Textbook Network

As a member, the university will be doing the following:

  • hosting a live streaming workshop during Open Access Week about adopting open textbooks
  • filling a full-time open education librarian position
  • collecting measurable evidence of open textbooks' impact on PSU students.
  • encouraging PSU faculty to review peers' textbooks in the OTN

Advocacy Groups

Want to find out more about open textbooks?

Need Help? Ask a Librarian

Open License Acknowledgement

Content on this page is adapted from Kwantlen Polytechnic University's Open Textbooks LibGuide by the CAUL Scholarly Communications Committee. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Profile Photo
Elizabeth Waugh
Madigan Library - LIB138
Sunday - Wednesday 1:00 - 9:00 pm
Thursday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Librarian for the School of Engineering Technologies and the School of Business, Arts & Sciences
570.320.2400 ext. 7742

What are Open Textbooks?

  • Open textbooks are part of a larger movement called "Open Educational Resources."
  • An open textbook is a textbook with an open copyright license that allows the material to be freely accessed, shared and distributed.
  • Open licenses allow instructors to adapt, remix, and customize existing open textbooks so that the content meets 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.
  • Open textbooks 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.

Why Open Textbooks?

Open textbook infographic