In “Professors Gone Paperless” in the April 16, 2008, issue of Inside Higher Ed, Elia Powers writes of a growing campaign in the U.S., by Student Public Interest Research Groups and www.maketextbooksaffordable.org/ to promote the use of free, open source e-textbooks. Professors and organizations are also invited to sign a statement in support of the campaign, on the same link provided here. I will reproduce an extract of the article below:
Colleges and individual faculty members continue to experiment with putting course information and material online, and “open textbooks” typically are licensed to allow users to download, share and alter the content as they see fit, so long as their purposes aren’t commercial and they credit the author for the original material. This allows instructors to customize e-textbooks and offer them to students for free online or as low-cost printed versions.
By signing the statement, professors promise to include open textbooks in their search for course materials. “As faculty members,” the statement says, “we affirm that it is our prerogative and responsibility to select course materials that are pedagogically most appropriate for our classes. We also affirm that it is consistent with this principle to seek affordable and accessible course materials for our classes whenever possible.”