The Case of the Textbook: Open or Closed?
As the price of college/university textbooks continues to rise, new electronic models and various “open” options are being proposed from all sides: by publishers, by students, and by authors and institutions. Viewpoints from these segments, along with discussions of their solutions, are presented here. First is an excerpt—the “College” chapter—from the latest edition of Book Industry Trends, published annually by the Book Industry Study Group, the leading U.S. book industry trade association for policy, standards, and research, with a membership consisting of publishers, manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers, retailers, librarians, and others engaged in the business of print and electronic media. Second is the “Executive Summary” from Course Correction, published by the Student Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs) as part of the Make Textbooks Affordable Campaign. Third, authors and higher education institutions are represented by the stories of three open-source textbook authors—Rob Beezer, Robert Stewart, and John Gallaugher—and two open-access institutional repositories: CCCOER and Connexions.