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Open Access Textbooks: HOME

Find free open textbooks for the use in research and teaching

Why Open AccessTextbooks?

The aim with this guide is to find ways to make higher education more affordable by reining in the cost of textbooks, thereby easing the financial strain on students. By using open textbooks we show students that the University is dedicated to improve the educational experience for students and also save them money. This will increase equality since all students will have the freedom to access text books from anywhere, anytime.
Definition “Open textbooks are textbooks that have been funded, published, and licensed to be freely used, adapted, and distributed.  These free textbooks have been written by knowledgeable scholars and reviewed to assess their quality. It can be read online or downloaded to read offline on various mobile devices.” - Open Textbook Library

For further information: Contact your Faculty librarian

For Lecturers: Open Textbooks can be linked to....

The Library catalogue (please contact your Faculty librarian)


Course Reading lists


  • Unlike traditonal use of copyrighted resources, Open Access Textbooks (OATs) are made freely available online to staff and students to access and re-use without needing to request permission to do so;
  • With an OAT, the author or publisher has opted to retain either a few or no ownership rights and an OAT is usually licensed under an open copyright licence (Creative Commons or similar licence);
  • These open copyright licences regulate and control how the OAT may be used and distributed – not all OATs have the same open licensing conditions;
  • Access and re-use rights are clearly defined for every end-user by the type of licence under which the OAT is uploaded and users are advised to make sure what they may and may not do with the content;
  • Attribution of the original creator is usually a pre-requisite but there is a degree of flexibility as to how the content is used, depending on the type of licence the content is made available under. This flexibility could include:
  • Not just personal use, but further distribution allowed;
  • Derivatives, adaptations and remixes allowed;
  • Commercial use (not just non-commercial/academic use)

Carol Kat: 

Hoof: Kopiereg; Handelsmerke & Kortkursusse / Head: Copyright; Trade Marks & Short Courses

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Benefits of Open Textbooks

Advantages of using open textbooks include:

  • 24/7 access
  • All students have immediate access to text books from day one
  • The open textbooks can be accessed repeatedly
  • Flexible and affordable access to higher education resources
  • Simultaneous access by more than one client
  • Search, browse and find functions not available in printed copies
  • Perfect for reading on different mobile platforms
  • Critical for remote online learning
  • A link to an open textbook can be added to library catalogue, course reading lists, etc.
  • Saves money
  • Open textbooks do not disappear at the end of term, or get lost