Automatic Textbook Billing: Limited Choice, Uncertain Savings - Student PIRGs

peter.suber's bookmarks 2024-06-15


"After decades of steadily increasing textbook costs that added to the financial burden of a college education, textbook price increases slowed starting in 2017. The reasons for this slowdown likely include competition from used books, sharing of online resources by students, and the availability of free open educational resources.

Amid stagnant student spending on textbooks and growing competition from open educational resources, publishers have turned to automatic textbook billing, in which students are charged for textbooks (often digital) and other online course materials on their tuition bills, unless they opt out. Contracts signed by colleges and universities with not only publishers, but also bookstores and digital platform operators that help provide materials to students, set the conditions and prices under which students are automatically charged.

While supporters of automatic textbook billing, also known as “inclusive access” and by various brand names, argue that the arrangement can provide cost savings and more convenient access to course materials for students, a review of contracts between schools, bookstores and publishers shows that the system may also keep students locked into an uncompetitive textbook market and may limit the spread of free open educational resources. Moreover, the claimed savings of automatic textbook billing are difficult to quantify...."


From feeds:

Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) » peter.suber's bookmarks

Tags: oa.textbooks oa.prices oa.business_models oa.inclusive_access oa.economics_of

Date tagged:

06/15/2024, 15:46

Date published:

06/15/2024, 11:46