Open textbooks

There are a number of projects around the world aiming to develop high-quality libraries of open textbooks suitable for Further Education and Higher Education. The books are generally free to use, free to copy, and free to modify.

Why open textbooks?

Open textbooks can provide real cost savings to students, with textbooks costing students up to £400 per year. Free at point of use textbooks of equivalent quality can be sourced through a variety of open-access platforms. These can be linked to from reading list software ( to provide an easy route for student access.

Open textbook websites

  • Open Textbook Library for textbooks on business and management; computer science and information systems; education; engineering; humanities and languages; journalism, media studies and communications; law; mathematics and statistics; health; sciences; and social sciences. 
  • BC Campus for textbooks on arts; business and management; health; sciences; and social sciences.
  • Open Stax for textbooks on humanities; mathematics and statistics; sciences; and social sciences.
  • OAPEN for textbooks on business and management; earth sciences; humanities and languages; law; literature; and social sciences.
  • Knowledge Unlatched is an Open Access initiative, making monographs freely available to the academic community across a large number of subject areas.

Search for open textbooks

You can search for open-access textbooks in the library search.

Recommending an open textbook to your students

Are you interested in creating your own Open Access book?

Library Services is interested in supporting academics who wish to create their own Open Access books.

  • Many Open Textbooks allow academics to adapt or repurpose content to use in the classroom. Contact your subject librarian for information on how to do this appropriately.
  • UWE Bristol has an agreement with Policy Press for 10% off Open Access book processing charges. Contact your subject librarian or the library research team for more information.
  • JISC has recently produced an institution of e-textbook publisher toolkit. If you are interested in publishing your own textbook with the support of UWE Bristol, please contact your subject librarian.

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