Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Open Stax - open access academic texts online.

Open Stax College

This is an open educational resource, hosted by Rice University and funded by several foundations. All texts published are openly accessible, in an attempt to prevent students from dropping subjects because of the cost of the core text/s associated with it. Current titles are available at:
All texts have an ISBN. 

It is a non-profit organisation that aims to publish academic text books which are:
  • ·        Easy to use
  • ·        Of ensured quality
  • ·        Support existing curricula
  • ·        Have enhanced content via partnering with groups

Publishing of a title is based on the potential student impact of a work. For example:
  • ·        How many are registered to take a particular subject.
    •    Especially required courses.
      •   Science, economics and sociology currently figure heavily.
  • ·        How many pre-existing book there are, and their cost.

+1,000 institutions have adapted these titles.

Open Stax use the Creative Common’s ‘BY’ license, providing:
  • ·        More choice
  • ·        Free editing and adaption
    •    Faculty can create their own versions of a title using the editing software, and have Open Stax provide a home page for it.
  • ·        No lock in (Especially with homework systems)
  • ·        Not copyrighted > only attribution required.

Faculty can log in with an account to edit a title, and submit corrections online.

Tiles are available in the following formats:
  • ·        Web page
  • ·        PDF
  • ·        E-pub
  • ·        iBook (cost)
  • ·        Bookshare
  • ·        Print (cost) (Amazon sells the titles)

Additional openly available resources include:
  • ·        PowerPoint slides
  • ·        Pronunciation guides
  • ·        Solution Manuals
  • ·        Test Banks

There is no catch or obligation on users as it is funded by the partner foundations, however institutions are asked to inform Open Stax if they are using their resources.

Revisions will only be published when there is a pedagogical need.

Support is via e-mail, with c.24 hour response time.

Efficacy research is current being undertaken. One such study is with the OER research hub in the UK. 

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