Student PIRG (2021) offers the following definition for open textbooks: An open textbook is one that falls under an open copyright license, and made available online to be freely used by students, teachers and members of the public. Many open textbooks are distributed in either print, e-book, or audio formats that may be downloaded or purchased at little or no cost. This book has a Creative Commons Attribution license, which allows reuse, revision, and redistribution so long as the original creator is attributed. Please see the licensing information for this book for this book for more information.
University of Minnesota reported that “open textbooks address not only financial issues for students, but pedagogical concerns as well. The open licenses mean that faculty and students can create and edit textbooks that reflect the latest research as well as better speak to their local communities. Content can be updated to reflect recent changes in the law, or breakthroughs in science, and it can be localized and indigenized. By including diverse voices and perspectives as we have done in this textbook, we believe that this has strengthened learning content, and provided context for understanding a variety of issues, particularly the voices of citizens, countries and communities that have historically been silenced.
Open textbooks have also helped tremendously with equity and parity concerns, where voices of BIPOC have been left out of traditional publishing forms (e.g. peer-reviewed journals, textbooks, etc.). Academic publishing is vital to tenure-track professors who must publish as part of their overarching portfolio to move up the track. Also, it is equally important that educational institutions advance the value that the world’s knowledge is public good, where knowledge has been an exclusive right of some, and not all. University of Virginia aptly noted that “now we have an extraordinary opportunity to support affordable learning for all by sharing, using, and reusing educational content and tools. This statement aligns with the goals and values of the editors’ institutions: Adler University and National Louis University, and corporations we are affiliated with.
This textbook is easily accessible, which will alleviate the stress of purchase for students. For more information on how to access and use this book, please see the next section: How to Access and Use This Book. Laptops that students use are easily transformed into e-book containers and this helps tremendously in keeping students on top of their classwork and reduces the inherent stress of the average college campus.