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Oklahoma State University

Library offers open textbook incentive

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Edmon Low Library

The University Libraries is offering Oklahoma State University faculty members the opportunity to save their students money — while making a little extra of their own. 

The OSU Libraries Open Textbook Incentive Program, a new program funded through the President’s Fellows, encourages instructors to design courses around an open textbook and open educational resources. The program will provide a $750 incentive to 20 faculty members, as well as support and training open to all faculty. The deadline to apply for the incentive is Sept. 30. For more information, visit info.library.okstate.edu/open/hackyoursyllabus.
University Libraries communications services manager Bonnie Cain-Wood said the program aims to raise awareness about open educational resources and their cost-saving potential. She said both faculty and administration have expressed support for the program. 

“Everyone recognizes textbooks are expensive, but there are other options and there are things that we can do to make the cost of higher education more accessible,” she said. “Adopting open educational resources, when and where that’s appropriate, is one of the things we can do.

“Our goal is to help faculty figure out how to incorporate open educational resources into what they are already doing. We’re also trying to encourage and incentivize them to find an open textbook and adjust their curriculum to that because it saves students money. That’s really the goal: to make this as affordable as possible for our students.” 

Cain-Wood said some professors have already seen success working with open textbooks, and Glen Krutz, the new dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, has authored an open textbook. For faculty looking to publish an open educational textbook, Cain-Wood said the OSU Library offers support resources. 

“We can help them make it happen,” she said. “OSU’s Kathy Essmiller, whom the Open Education Group recently named an Open Educational Resource Research Fellow, is really leading the charge on this. And open textbooks are just one piece of the open access pie. We’re looking at open access publishing, open educational resources and open data as well.” 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, textbook costs have increased by over 150 percent over the last 20 years. That trend has reversed over the last two years, but not because the price of traditional textbooks is falling. CampusBooks' chief executive officer Alex Neal told the Chicago Tribune earlier this month that three major factors in the rise of textbook affordability are the textbook rental market, ebook sales and the growing acceptance of open textbooks. 

MEDIA CONTACT: Bonnie Cain-Wood | 405-744-7331 | bonnie.cain@okstate.edu

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