A recent initiative by The Student Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) and other organizations is attempting to make college textbook costs lower by promoting open textbooks, digital textbooks that students view using their computer. According to a recent study by the Student PIRG finds that digital textbooks must meet three standards in order to have positive impact and usability: they must be affordable, they must be printable, and they must be accessible.
These groups have collaborated to form MakeTextbooksAffordable.org, a site where college instructors are able to show their support for open source textbooks as a possible consideration in the classes they teach. A prominent listing of professors is displayed. The site also features actions that students can take to promote open textbooks, examples of open textbooks, and a detailed explanation of open textbooks. Thankfully, digital textbooks are continuing to become an alternative to course packets and hardbacks.