Will open-source textbooks be the end of the college bookstore?


The largest and most widely available encyclopedia in the world isn’t distributed by a publisher, doesn’t cost a thing to read, and the writers aren’t paid for their contributions. Sound bizarre? This open-source approach, where anyone can contribute and access is free, is behind the success of Wikipedia. And it may have paved the way for the future of textbooks.  

According to Forbes, open-source textbooks are already here, and can potentially reshape the textbook market. Richard Baraniuk, an engineering professor at Rice University, has developed a platform called OpenStax College as an alternative to physical textbooks. Through OpenStax, academics can submit textbooks, which are then peer reviewed. These textbooks are available online for free, and are currently used at 2,000 higher education institutions. 

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