OER: Rice’s OpenStax College Doubles Down on Free, Online Textbooks
From Rice University:
Rice University-based publisher OpenStax College recently announced plans to more than double the number of titles in its catalog of free, online textbooks by 2015, thanks to a grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF).
More than 150 colleges, universities and high schools have adopted an OpenStax textbook since the nonprofit publisher’s 2012 launch. OpenStax’s introductory textbooks for physics and sociology have been downloaded more than 70,000 times, with two new biology books and an introductory anatomy book becoming available this fall. The LJAF grant will allow OpenStax to add books in six more subjects – precalculus, chemistry, economics, U.S. history, psychology and statistics — by 2015.
OpenStax College invests more than $500,000 to develop each book. It hires the same content developers that major publishers hire, and its books are peer-reviewed by hundreds of faculty reviewers. Grants make it possible for OpenStax to offer its titles for free.
OpenStax College ultimately plans to offer books for 25 of the nation’s most-attended college courses. College students could save an estimated $750 million over five years if the publisher reaches its goal of capturing 10 percent of the market for each of the 25 books.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.