“Oxford University Press makes conservation biology textbook by some of the world’s most prominent ecologists and conservation biologists available as free download.”
Conservation Biology for All (Edited by Navjot S. Sodhi and Paul R. Ehrlich) is available as a free download from MongaBay.com. It’s an amazing offering, written by well-respected conservation biologists and covering the basics of a field that is becoming more relevant every day. The idea behind this “open source” textbook is to provide as much information about conservation biology to as many people as possible.
As our access to information explodes over the coming years, it’s not clear how publishers are going to deal with the changing ways that textbooks will be written. The typical college student shells out hundreds of dollars each semester for textbooks, even though much of the information inside of them is available … though scattered around in many different places.
I’ll be looking into this trend of open access to textbooks and data to find ways that reliable information can be used in learning about science. If you have any ideas or leads … let me know about them.