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University of Oregon
UO Libraries

OER & Textbook Affordability

This guide is an introduction to the use and creation of Open Educational Resources faculty & staff at the University of Oregon

OER Creation & Adaptation: Where to Start

This page provides resources to help you get started adapting or creating OER. We recommend you refer to one of these helpful guides that will give you more detailed advice, or reach out to the OER librarian or OER specialist for an OER consultation.

Authoring Tools

Pressbooks Pilot

UO is currently piloting an OER publishing and authoring tool called Pressbooks. If you would like to create a book using Pressbooks or learn more about the pilot and, OER funding opportunities, visit the OER at UO page of this guide or sign up for an OER consult.

Free Tools

Licensing and Attribution

Most OER are published under a Creative Commons (CC) license, to adapt an existing OER you need to know how it is licensed. Some CC licenses do not allow adaptation, or have specific requirements for re-use like sharing your new work with the same license. This Creative Commons guide explains the different types of CC licenses, how to use CC licensed work, and how to pick a license for your own work. If you need any help understanding Creative Commons licenses, choosing a license, or writing attribution statements you can request an OER consult or reach out to the OER librarian or specialist.

Some helpful tools:


These resources will help you make your OER accessible:

Printing and File Formats

Formatting OER

If you want your students to be able to easily access and use your OER, consider the file format that you're selecting. For textbooks, EPUB is often the most accessible format for those who want to read your OER using a mobile device. This format guide includes more information on creating and editing EPUB files.

While Creative Commons licenses permit a range of uses, actual technical openness is vital to ensure that those uses are in fact possible (e.g., consider the difference between an openly licensed text available solely as a PDF versus one available in PDF, on the web, and in a downloadable, editable format). No matter what authoring and publishing tools you use, it is important that you create, at a minimum, one web-based format, one offline, and one editable format of your final product. This allows all types of users to benefit the most from your work, and makes it easier for people to adapt your book. 


Whether you are adopting, adapting, or creating an OER you have the option to print your OER if you or your students prefer print course material. There are a few options for printing at UO:

  • Contact the print office. They have agreed to print OER in the past in the same way that they print course packets (with plastic spiral binding), but it is important to make it clear that you are using and producing openly licensed content.
  • Lulu Print-On-Demand: Lulu tends to be more affordable than the print office, but it can also take longer. Unlike the print office you can choose from a variety of binding options.
  • Purchase from large open publishers. If you are adopting a book from a large publisher like OpenStax the Duck Store may be able to order print copies directly from the publisher.


Attribution: "Formatting OER" was modified from The Rebus Guide to Publishing Open Textbooks (So Far) by Apurva Ashok; Zoe Wake Hyde; and Kaitlin Schilling licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY).