Open Textbooks FAQ's

What makes a textbook “open”?  A textbook becomes "open" when its copyright-holder grants usage rights to the public through an "open license," which typically includes the right to access, download, reformat, and customize it at no additional cost. They are often licensed with one of the six available Creative Commons licenses.

Who pays open textbook authors?
Open publishing models are still evolving, so author payment varies. Some are paid royalties on print sales, some receive grant support, and others choose to write on their own time.

Are open textbooks high quality?
Many open textbooks are developed through traditional peer review, others are vetted by experts.  As with any textbook, you are the final judge of whether an open textbook meets the needs of your course.

What do open textbooks look like?
Online print copies of open textbooks look like traditional texts. The primary differences are that open textbooks are also accessible online at no cost and the hard copies are optional and affordably priced.

How do I adopt an open access textbook?

  1. Find the right textbook.  Search The Orange Grove repository. Use advanced search options to narrow results.  Review the copyright permissions.
  2. Review the Copyright permissions. Open textbooks are typically protected by using one of the six Creative Commons licenses. You may wish to review the additional information we provide on copyright licenses for open resources.
  3. Review and evaluate it to see if it matches your criteria and needs. Many open textbooks contain a variety of supplemental materials (e.g., text banks, PowerPoints, etc.).
  4. Decide if you want to use it as is, or edit it.  There are several option. One of the benefits of open textbooks is the flexibility to modify and customize them for specific course designs as much or as little as you desire. If you want to make edits or append content, make sure the copyright licensing allows that.  Different repositories will have different options for editing and publishing revised copies.
  5. Decide if you wish to offer a bound version of the book. Texts that are selected for OGT+ are assigned a unique ISBN number, and a link is added to that resource in the repository to allow users to order a print copy of the text directly from the printer. Not all books can be offered in a bound format. Contact the University Press of Florida representative to determine if you book can be offered in a bound format.
  6. Distribute it to your students.  Select one or more formats to distribute to the course students (online, downloadable PDF, Print-on-Demand book via either a campus bookstore, The Orange Grove Repository or OGT+ “Buy It Now” button.

How are textbooks designated for OGt+?
Texts that are selected for OGT+ are assigned a unique ISBN number, and a link is added to that resource in the repository to allow users to order a print copy of the text directly from the print on demand publisher, Integrated Book Technology. Books may also be ordered by campus bookstores at a discount from UPG. If you are interested in seeing if you book can be designated as OGT+, please contact a UPF representative.
Considerations for Print On-Demand Format

  1. Technical details of the text such as the file format of the document
  2. Market demand
  3. Assurance that all components are in copyright compliance

  © 2010 Erik Christensen CC-BY 3.0
Attribution to Eric Christensen for the information on open textbooks and their adoption