Creating open educational resources (OER)

Creating open textbooks

Free course

The Open Textbook Network Publishing Curriculum is open to everyone in the Canvas learning management system.

Useful guides

Several resources are available to help open textbook authors:

  • The Rebus Guide to Publishing Open Textbooks (So Far), from the Rebus Community, offers comprehensive resources for creating an open textbook.
  • Authoring Open Textbooks, from the Open Textbook Network, features a checklist for getting started, case studies of publishing programs, textbook organization and elements, writing resources, and an overview of useful tools.
  • Open Education Self-Publishing Guide, from BCcampus, provides details on the preparation, planning, writing, publication, and maintenance of an open textbook. Copyright, open-copyright licenses, and the differences between citation and attribution are discussed, as well as the importance of copy editing and proofreading. Checklists and templates also are provided.
  • Open Textbook Toolkit, from several universities in Canada, is for faculty who want to create their first open textbook. Sections cover stakeholders, technology, copyright, accessibility, production, and classroom use.
  • Guide to Making Open Textbooks with Students, from the Open Textbook Network, is a handbook for faculty interested in practicing open pedagogy by involving students in the making of open textbooks, ancillary materials, or other OER.
  • BCcampus Open Education Accessibility Toolkit provides resources for content creators, instructional designers, educational technologists, librarians, and others to create a truly open textbook that's free and accessible for all students.


This web-based software lets you create ebooks in a variety of formats: PDF, Kobi (for Kindle), Epub, and others. The basic version is free (after you register). Subscribers get premium features. This software is a product of WordPress. Because the UA is a member of the Open Textbook Network, we get free access to a Pressbooks sandbox. Contact Cheryl Cuillier if you're interested in creating an open textbook. The Pressbooks User Guide and Pressbooks video tutorials offer help.

Editing open textbooks

Modifying an Open Textbook: What You Need to Know
This guide from the Open Textbook Network focuses on the technological aspects of editing existing open textbooks, and will help you assess the effort, expertise, and technical tools needed. It also includes step-by-step instructions for importing and editing common open textbook file and platform types.

Adobe Creative Cloud products
UA employees and students have free access to the complete suite of Adobe Creative Cloud products, which include Acrobat Pro DC for editing PDFs and Dreamweaver CC for editing HTML.