Skip to Main Content

The Otago LibGuides are changing! The system will undergo a major update from 17 June to 15 July. You can learn more by taking a look at our LibGuides prototype here.

Research Publishing & Impact: Open Textbooks Project

Use an existing open text Adapt one to your own needs  Create your own text

Benefits of Open Education Resources (OERs)

  • affordability – every student begins the semester with free access to the same learning materials
  • access and accessibility – students have permanent free access to resources in multiple formats (for an example, select ‘Download this book’ on this resource to see the different formats available)
  • equity – OER can help improve grades, particularly for students from low socio-economic and ethnically diverse backgrounds
  • retention – students using open textbooks are more likely to complete than those using commercial texts
  • deeper learning – OER enable teachers to customise their curriculum, creating deeper engagement for students
  • diversity – OERs can reflect diversity in student populations by including gender neutral language, culturally diverse names and first nations representation and recognition.

Open Textbook Project 2022-2023

The Open Textbook project is an initiative of the Consortium of Australian University Librarians (CAUL), with about 30 universities taking part in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. Otago can have two books published on the Pressbooks platform each year, so talk to us about signing up as soon as possible.

CAUL has extensive further information available:

OER collections

Open textbooks are free and online for a whole class to access without logins or restrictions on downloads or printing. There are many high-quality ones already available – licensed for reuse and adaptation – whether you want something that covers academic writing skillsanatomy and physiology or something more specific like this psychology text adapted for use in New Zealand.

Explore these collections to adopt or adapt an Open Textbook, or use them to get ideas for your own creation.

Pressbooks directory: good search filters to find existing texts on the Pressbooks platform, by subject, by number of interactive activities, etc.

Merlot: diverse range of texts and other open resources, with editorial and user reviews for many.

Open Stax: project of Rice University to create open texts for core subjects. Includes instructor and student resources.

Open Textbook Library: good quality texts with extensive reviews by users.

Directory of Open Access Books: large database of peer-review open books.

University Contact for this Project


© Catriona M. Used with permission.

Richard White

Manager, Copyright and Open Access


Library Contact for this Project


Kate Thompson
Law Librarian