Self-Published and Openly Licensed Books
You’ve likely heard of open textbooks. These are textbooks that are free to access, and are licensed under some kind of open license (e.g. Creative Commons). Open textbooks can be found in a variety of places across North America, for example:
- BCCampus Open Textbooks
- University of Saskatchewan OpenPress
- Manitoba Open Textbook Initiative
- Open Textbook Library University Minnesota
- Open SUNY Textbooks
- Open Stax
- Module13 Books, Open Books Beyond the Dozen
Take a tour through the sites and see what is of interest to you.
Opening Content with Pressbooks
Many of the sites listed above use Pressbooks as their published platform. You can get your own Pressbook started at their website, or you can grab the open source code from GitHub and create your own install of Pressbooks. Pressbooks allows you to choose from themes, customize the looks and feel of your content using CSS and HTML, engage in simple web editing and publishing via a rich text editor, and publish to a variety of formats: PDF, MOBI, EPUB, HTML, XML, etc.
Pressbooks is a tool that supports open education because it has functionality that supports the 5R activities: retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute. You can download and import a CC licensed book from another source to your own book to reuse or revise. You can maintain your own content on your own domain. You can selectively import specific chapters from other books to remix your own book. You can then redistribute material in a variety of formats.
Let’s just take a look at a quick demo.
- Featured image, by Alexa Mazarello, published under a CC0 License
- OER Video Icon by BCOER, originally published at https://open.bccampus.ca/bcoer-librarians/bcoer-tools/ under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)