A Better Open Textbook Bill

David Wiley, iterating toward openness, May 06, 2009
Commentary by Stephen Downes

David Wiley proposes to revamp legislation that would produce open textbooks. "The legislation would create competitive funding opportunities to create open textbooks in any content area. These would be multi-stage grants (like the SBIR program), with additional funding tied to the successful completion of initial project goals." people would file proposals answering key questions, such as the nature of the book, the cost of existing books, management and marketing plans, and proposed licensing scheme. Disbursement would be incremental, based on meeting project goals. And "A content-complete version of the open textbook must go online with all text, images, and other features of the printed version available to the public for free, unrestricted, unfettered access." I am mostly in agreement with Wiley's proposal (I oppose the "letter of support from a reputable publisher" as this would torpedo the whole project), and would support a similar mechanism here in Canada.
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