Bergman, S.D. Pub Res Q (2014) 30: 1. doi:10.1007/s12109-014-9346-7
This work exposes a new paradigm for the creation and publication of textbooks: open source. The phrase open source is borrowed from the computer software industry, where the word source has a technical meaning explained in this paper; open source software is software which has been developed by many collaborators using the internet to produce a final product. The contributors receive no financial compensation, yet there have been many successful open source software projects (Linux, Open Office, Apache, etc.). Open source textbooks use a similar financial model; the authors and contributors receive no direct financial compensation for their work. Contributors are listed in the produced work as primary author(s), co-authors, contributors, minor contributors, etc. according to the magnitude of their contribution. The produced work is available free for users on the internet. This paper will explain the open source process and will provide justification for open source as an effective paradigm; it will also present some existing open source textbook projects, as well as the author’s own open source textbook project.