Faculty Statement on Open Textbooks
Faculty members share students' concerns about the high cost of textbooks. Open textbooks -- college texts offered online under a license that allows free digital access and low-cost print options -- represent a promising way to expand the existing textbook market to include more low-cost, high-quality options.
By signing this statement, faculty members state their intent to include open textbooks in their search for the most appropriate course materials, and they declare their preference to adopt an open textbook in place of an expensive, traditional textbook, if the open textbook is the best option.
This statement launched in 2008 and now has more than 3,000 signatures.
As faculty members, 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 whenever possible. Unfortunately, textbook publishers are promoting a new product, the course access code, which completely eliminates low and no-cost course materials options for students, such as textbook rental programs and open textbooks.
Therefore, we the undersigned declare our intent to:
- Seek and consider open textbooks and other open resources when choosing course materials.
- Give preference to a low or no-cost material such as an open textbook over a more expensive, single use access code if it makes sense for the class.
- Encourage institutions to develop support for the use of open textbooks.
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