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May 20, 2011

The Open Source Text Book Revolution : Infographic

Open Source or open-source software is different from proprietary software. In Open Source, the source code used in the software is available to anyone to examine, evaluate, and adapt. Open source has had an important impact on the way many developers view and create software. End users often use the term open-source to cover a variety of free and open source software.An open textbook is an openly-licensed textbook offered online by its author(s) or through a non-profit or commercial open-licensed publisher. The open license sets open textbooks apart from traditional textbooks by allowing users to read online, download, or sometimes print the book at no additional cost. Some open textbook models allow users the choice to use free online access or low-cost alternate formats such as print, audio, or e-book as a means to pay authors modest royalties and fund publication expenses.
Overall, open textbooks have been found by the Student PIRGs to offer 80% or more savings to higher education students over traditional textbook publishers. Research commissioned by the Florida State Legislature found similarly high savings and the state has since implemented a system to facilitate adoption of open textbooks.
In the Florida legislative report, the governmental panel found after substantial consultation with educators, students, and administrators that "there are compelling academic reasons to use open access textbooks such as: improved quality, flexibility and access to resources, interactive and active learning experiences, currency of textbook information, broader professional collaboration, and the use of teaching and learning technology to enhance educational experiences." (OATTF, p. i) Similar state-backed initiatives are underway in Washington,Ohio,California and Texas.