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Open access publishing, Scholarly publishing, Academic libraries, Electronic information resources


Open access textbook publishing initiatives not only provide libraries the opportunity to recast their longstanding mission to facilitate research and remove barriers to information but they also impact student affordability efforts. How can a library build a program that will meet the needs of students, faculty, and administrators? The answer lies in collaboration and sharing. In 2013, with the support of a Provost-backed initiative, Portland State University (PSU) Library developed an open textbook publishing program that works with faculty to create open textbooks specifically designed for a course. The publishing initiative, PDXOpen, has published 10 open textbooks with an additional 7 in production. PDXOpen has saved PSU Students over $85,000 and has been sustained through numerous collaborations and stakeholders including the Provost, Alumni Association and donors. Working with these varied stakeholders the Library has had the opportunity to work with PSU faculty and provide a platform to make open textbooks accessible to students. The presentation will focus on collaborative approaches to open textbook publishing efforts, and provide examples of how to communicate the value of open textbooks to influence varied stakeholders. Presenters will also review the process of working with faculty to create their open textbook projects, working with campus experts to support the program participants, and the continued development of open textbooks at PSU.

In addition the following insights and lessons learned will be discussed:

  • Developing donor relationships
  • Importance of peer-reviewers outside of the university
  • Understanding author needs
  • Difficulty of estimating cost and time to develop an open textbook
  • Pursuing collaborative efforts for the development and publishing of open textbooks
  • Supporting updates and editions


Presented at the Library Publishing Forum 2017 in Baltimore.

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