Proposed legislation would promote use of open textbook format.

open-textbookA competitive grant program that would expand the use of "open" and free textbooks was proposed Oct. 1 by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.

The Affordable College Textbook Act would provide grants that schools could use to publish what are essentially online materials that are free for professors, students, researchers and others.

The legislation "will help pressure the traditional college textbook market to come up with cheaper alternatives and innovations," Durbin said in a statement.

Similar legislation that Durbin introduced in 2013 went nowhere, but he...

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