Allen, Nicole. “A Cover to Cover Solution: How Open Textbooks are the Path to Textbook Affordability.” The Student PIRGs. Public Information Resource Group, Sep. 2010. Web. 10 July 2011.
In this lengthy article, Allen details a study she conducted to determine if open textbooks are a logical way to make student textbooks more affordable. Considering “the average student spends $900 on textbooks annually,” she thinks “the need for solutions is increasingly urgent” (Allen 4). She goes into some detail around what she calls “market failure that hinders the economic checks and balances that naturally regulate costs” (6) as the reason publishers charge so much. Other reasons include issuing new editions every “3-4 years regardless of changes in the subject” (6) and bundling books with software or study guides most professors do not require students to use. She cites that the federal government is aware there is a problem with textbook costs and is doing several things to help students, including requiring publishers “disclose textbook prices to professors during the marketing process” (7). She introduces the idea of open source textbooks, which are “offered online under an open-source license that allows free digital access, low-cost print options and customization by instructors” (8) and says that over 1000 college professors are currently using this option (8). ...Show more