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Open Educational Resources / Open Access Journals

Textbook Affordability

One of the primary drivers of the adoption of open educational resources is the need to improve textbook affordability. Greater affordability has been shown to correlate with improved student success. The cost of traditionally published ("closed-licensed" / "proprietary" / "All rights reserved") textbooks has risen far faster than the rate of inflation in recent years. Along with rising tuition, this creates significant challenges for students in getting access to core curricular materials (or getting them in a timely fashion).

For more information on the drivers of textbook costs and the concerns of public interest groups in this matter, go to:

Alternatives to the expense of new textbooks & their limitations:

  • Textbooks on Library Reserves (search our catalog in the Course Reserves scope - Challenges include:
    • not all courses' textbooks on reserve
    • limit on number of hours of use (plus and a minus)
    • limited on number of users simultaneously
    • as costs for textbooks inflate & library budgets decline, it limits the scope of the service
  • Used books - can save students 25-50%, book swap sites. Problems include:
    • changed editions
    • costly bundles / passcodes
    • as new book prices inflate, used prices also inflate
    • can’t keep books
  • Book Rentals. Problems include:
    • as new book prices inflate, rental prices also inflate
    • can’t keep books
  • E-textbooks (offered at lower cost by publishers). Problems include:
    • expire at end of semester
    • limitations on printing, uses
    • can’t be resold 


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