Today we are pleased to announce the launch of Open Textbook, a place to list and keep track of news about textbooks that are open in accordance with the Open Knowledge Definition — i.e. free to use, reuse, and redistribute. We welcome participation in the project and if anyone has a textbook or notes they’d like to see listed or would like to be a contributor to the site please head on over to http://www.opentextbook.org/.
We’ve been planning work on open textbooks ever since the Open Knowledge Foundation started in 2004 and though we’ve been doing gradual work collecting texts and links to texts since then up until recently we’ve been so busy with other projects that we have not had the chance to really focus on the issue.
Things started to get moving properly back in February, when Steve Coast (of http://www.openstreetmap.org/) was kind enough to donate us the http://www.opentextbook.org/ domain. After some discussion on the okfn-discuss list we decided we would start out focusing on being a place to list and keep track of news about textbooks that are open (of course, in the future we may post textbook content, but for now the site will be mainly used as a registry).
Having put everything in place, meetings and discussion at the recent iCommons summit proved the catalyst to officially launch the site. The Summit saw many people express an interest in open text books and we’re looking to collaborate as widely as possible. Information about the questions and issues raised can be found on the WikiEducator Free Textbooks page. Join the Free Culture freetextbooks mailing list list if you want to get involved!