OpenStax, the Rice University-backed publisher, is partnering with textbook distributor NACSCORP to get its free textbooks into the hands of more students. The two organizations will offer faculty members the ability to customize OpenStax's textbooks with their own materials, as well as combining them with materials found in books published by Dover Publications, through an online portal known as the Affordable Custom Content Enhancement System (ACCES). The customized textbooks can then be made available through campus bookstores (NACSCORP is a subsidiary of the National Association of College Stores), priced at what it costs to print them.
The partnership could help raise awareness of open educational resources among faculty members. A recent study showed that many faculty members consider the cost of textbooks before deciding which course materials to assign to students. At the same time, many faculty members are unaware of OER. OpenStax says about 400,000 students are using its 16 free textbooks this academic year.