open textbook

Rutgers launches open textbook project

Initiative could save students up to $500,000 in the first year

A new open textbook project from Rutgers University includes a grant program administered by Rutgers University Libraries that will give incentives to faculty or department groups that replace traditional textbooks with free, low-cost or open alternatives.

The Open and Affordable Textbook Project (OAT) has the potential to save students across the university as much as $500,000 within its first year.

At least one Rutgers course is proactively moving in this direction, business librarian Mei Ling Lo said.

“Students taking the course Aggregate Economics are using our e-books this semester and the savings are substantial,” Lo said.

The course has a required textbook with a list price of $89.99 in print. An e-book version is available for $69.99. Thanks to the the Libraries’ Springer e-books collection, Rutgers students can access and download a free PDF or purchase a paperback copy for $24.99. In December, the Libraries will work with OAT Project grant recipients to identify similar cost-saving course materials.

(Next: How the Open Textbook Network is raising awareness about textbook costs)

Laura Ascione