Faculty who need to publish for professional reasons can be motivated for reasons other than a royalty check, so this sounds like a good idea.
The Affordable College Textbook Act, introduced by Durbin and Franken this month, aims to lower book costs by promoting the use of open-source textbooks. Open books, as defined by the bill, are texts that are “licensed under an open license and made freely available online to the public.”
Open-source textbooks aren’t radically new. Rice University already offers nearly a dozen textbooks for free online through its OpenStax program, and aims to expand the program to 10,000 students. Boundless, an open educational-resources start-up, offers digital textbooks along with an app complete with flash cards and quizzes.
Franken and Durbin are hoping to speed up the open-source trend. Their bill would set up a competitive grant program to support pilot programs at colleges and universities “that expand the use of open textbooks in order to achieve savings for students.” –The Bill That Could Save College Students $1,200 a Year – Matt Berman – The Atlantic.