Thursday, November 19, 2009

Orange Gove Texts Plus - Florida's K-20 open access initiative

I attended a presentation on the USF campus given by Susie Henderson and Meredith Morris-Babb on the Orange Grove and Orange Grove Texts Plus - see more at This open textbook initiative is a partnership between Orange Grove Digital Repository and the University Press of Florida (UPF). Textbooks included in the repository can be downloaded or ordered in hard copy (print-on-demand) at around half the cost of a traditional textbook. What's the incentive for faculty to contribute textbooks?? UPF can ensure that the books are peer-reviewed and that faculty are allowed to collect royalities. There's a possibility that the work may count toward tenure and promotion and there's a potential for some royalties. That seems to take care of some of the issues many faculty have with producing open textbooks! (Interestingly I'm not finding any mention of that a the Orange Grove site.) Some campuses are busy providing faculty with various kinds of incentives to contribute to the open textbook initiative. Some campuses are providing funds to buy-out a course so a faculty member can author a textbook. Some campuses providing a pool of money for a department so that a group of faculty can work together on authoring an open source textbook. The books are indexed according to Florida's common course numbering system as well as other keywords, etc. There are around 100 textbooks at this point...

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