Open Textbooks



Open Textbooks

The purpose of this guide is to educate the UMass Lowell community on Open Textbook initiatives. The guide is broken down into the following pages begins with examples of what UML is doing now. We then explain several textbook initiative options: 1) creative common licenses 2) open education resources and 3) eBooks. We share the success of UMass Amherst and finally supply more resources for both students and faculty.


Open Textbook Initiatives

Open Textbooks are commonly developed in these three ways:

1. Individuals or groups of collaborating authors can write and publish textbooks under a Creative Commons license, essentially placing the book in the public domain. UML instructors are encouraged to adopt appropriate Creative Commons texts; sample lists are here.

UML instructors can also write their own text, as shown here.

When adopted, a pdf or web-based version of the textbook is usually available free to students.

2. A faculty member can select materials that fall under the Fair Use clause of the copyright law, and create a course packet. The packet would include articles in journals the library subscribes to, or single chapters of books the library owns. These packets are delivered free to students through a password-protected course reserve system. The packets may also include a selection of other web-based Open Educational Resources (OERs) published under the Creative Commons. 

3. A faculty member can adopt an e-book that is already part of the library's collection, or that the library purchases specially, as the main or supplemental course text. 

If you need assistance with adopting Open Texts including the selection of materials or design of a unique website please contact the University Library.