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Open-source Textbooks Provide Cheaper Option for Students

STORRS — The standard textbook for Fundamentals of General Chemistry I at the University of Connecticut has a list price of $303. For students who use the version professor Edward Neth is preparing for the fall semester, the cost will be zero.

An early adopter of "open source textbooks," Neth said he turned to the new technology out of frustration with spiraling prices of commercial textbooks.

"It's seeing the costs go up every semester and almost feeling powerless," Neth said.

Universities and state governments are lining up behind the cause as a way to make college more affordable. The open textbooks, produced with publicly available material,...