A brief but interesting little booklet from the Tactical Technology Collective on information design. From the blurb:
Modern life is saturated with ever increasing amounts of information, advertising and media with little time to digest what is being said. Against this background, NGOs and advocates too often find the information they want to communicate, either buried in long reports full of professional jargon and statistics, or overlooked in an endless stream of media releases. Whether communicating to the public, staff, donors or government officials, information design can help NGOs communicate with more impact, increase accessibility, and present issues powerfully.
Visualizing Information for Advocacy is available as a PDF under a Creative Commons Attribution Sharealike license.
August 12, 2008
Introduction to Programming Using Java by David J. Eck at Hobart and William Smith Colleges is available under a CC-BY license. From the blurb:
WELCOME TO the fifth edition of Introduction to Programming Using Java, a free, on-line textbook on introductory programming, which uses Java as the language of instruction. This book is directed mainly towards beginning programmers, although it might also be useful for experienced programmers who want to learn something about Java. It is certainly not meant to provide complete coverage of the Java language.
July 7, 2008
Dr. Genick Bar-Meir of the Potto Project (which we posted about last October) has released a new book – The Basics of Fluid Mechanics, available under the GFDL.
Dr. Bar-Meir is looking for someone to take over the chapter that deals with material properties. If anyone might be interested in contributing – please get in touch!
May 23, 2008
We have started to mirror some of the LaTeX source of textbooks listed on this site at the Open Text Book subversion repository:
More about this service can be found at the KnowledgeForge project page.
We hope the respository will make it easier to automatically grab open textbook material, and that eventually textbook authors will be able to add the latest versions of their work to it!
If anyone would like to help out with adding material – please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
May 7, 2008
Michael Corral of Schoolcraft College has just let us know about his Vector Calculus which is available as a PDF under the GFDL. Its source will be available soon.
The book description says:
This is a text on elementary multivariable calculus, designed for students who have completed courses in single-variable calculus. The traditional topics are covered: basic vector algebra; lines, planes and surfaces; vector-valued functions; functions of 2 or 3 variables; partial derivatives; optimization; multiple integrals; line and surface integrals.
The book also includes discussion of numerical methods: Newton’s method for optimization, and the Monte Carlo method for evaluating multiple integrals. There is a section dealing with applications to probability. Appendices include a proof of the right-hand rule for the cross product, and a short tutorial on using Gnuplot for graphing functions of 2 variables.
There are 420 exercises in the book. Answers to selected exercises are included.
Update 2008-05-06: The LaTeX source is now available!
April 30, 2008
Reasonable Basic Algebra by Alain Schremmer is available under the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL). Chapters are available for download separately, or as a single PDF (18.4mb). Alain also has other texts in development at his site, Free Math Texts.
Update 2009-11-14: Link corrections done to fix errors.
Update 2008-04-16: After contacting Alain, he’s told me that the source material for the textbook is also available. He also said its worth noting that the text is part of a “package including homeworks, tests, exams, etc.” and that it is “a standalone version of part of what is to be a three semester volume text, starting with arithmetic and ending with differential calculus”. We’ll certainly look forward to seeing this develop!
April 8, 2008
A couple of weeks back, Creative Commons blogged about the Bayanihan Book Project. The project, based in the Philllipines, aims to help increase the quality and availability of high school textbooks through crowdsourcing and liberal licensing:
We will write textbooks in the open where contents are made available on the Internet from initial outline to final manuscript. This would allow every teacher, parent, student, professional, DepEd official, virtually anyone, to review the textbooks even before they get published.
We will release the textbooks under a license that would permit everyone to use and publish the textbooks without paying royalty to anyone. Thus, saving the government of content development costs and allowing more publishers to fulfill the demands of public (and even private) schools.
They’ve currently got [two books](
http://blog.bayanihanbooks.org/books) – Mathematics – Grade 1 and Next Generation Health Governance – which are both being developed on wikis. Its great to hear that they’ve been developing the books with close attention to national standards and institutional requirements.
They are clearly keen to allow publishers to print and sell the books,
Since the materials from the Bayanihan Books are royalty free, there is no need for publishers to pay the authors. [...] Furthermore, the Bayanihan Books are licensed using Creative Commons that explicitly allows the use of these materials by any publishers. Therefore, more publishers bidding for the government contract results to more competition and avoids the monopoly of a few big name publishers. [...]
However, the only Creative Commons license I’ve been able to find on the site is a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Philippines License. It would be great if they considered switching to an Attribution, or Attribution-Sharealike license so that the books would be fully open.
It seems as though this is something they’ve already been thinking about:
(Note to self: I need to verify with Atty. Guerrero if printing the textbook constitutes a commercial use and what provisions should be added in our license.)
Anyhow – it looks like an interesting and valuable initiative!
February 19, 2008
After corresponding with Dr. David Santos of Openmathtext.org, he’s agreed to gradually phase out use of the Open Publication License with the noncommercial option, and to start using a license compatible with the Open Knowledge Definition.
Several of the books on the site’s download site are now available under the GFDL, including:
- Elementary Algebra Lecture Notes
- Precalculus I and II Lecture Notes
- Linear Algebra Notes
- Number Theory Notes
Many thanks, David!
December 19, 2007
The Borden Institute, part of the US Army Medical Department Center & School publish a series of textbooks which
constitute a comprehensive treatise on the art and science of military medicine, covering such diverse topics as military preventive medicine, military medical ethics, harsh environments, and care of combat injuries.
Titles in the series include:
- Recruit Medicine (2006)
- Military Preventive Medicine: Mobilization and Deployment, Vol 2 (2005)
- Military Medical Ethics Vol. 1 (2003)
- Military Preventive Medicine: Mobilization and Deployment, Vol 1 (2003)
- Ophthalmic Care of the Combat Casualty (2003)
- Medical Aspects of Harsh Environments, Vol 1 (2002)
- Medical Aspects of Harsh Environments, Vol 2 (2002)
- Rehabilitation of the Injured Combatant, Vol 2 (1999)
- Rehabilitation of the Injured Combatant, Vol 1 (1998)
- Medical Aspects of Chemical and Biological Warfare (1997)
- Anesthesia and Perioperative Care of the Combat Casualty (1995)
- War Psychiatry (1995)
- Military Psychiatry: Preparing in Peace for War (1994)
- Military Dermatology (1994)
- Occupational Health: The Soldier and the Industrial Base (1993)
- Conventional Warfare: Ballistic, Blast, and Burn Injuries (1991)
- Medical Consequences of Nuclear Warfare (1989)
Individual books are linked to on the published volumes page
and are made available as a collection of chapters in PDF format.
Many of the textbook chapters seem to be produced by military personnel as part of their official duties – and hence are effectively in the public domain. This is reinforced by the privacy and security page which states:
Information presented on this web site is considered public information and may be distributed or copied. Use of appropriate byline/photo/image credits is requested.
However, any material which is not produced by military personnel or US government employees in the course of their duty may be copyrighted – and hence permission should be sought. To emphasize this, it is stated in the front matter of the series:
NO COPYRIGHTED PARTS OF THIS PUBLICATION MAY BE REPRODUCED OR TRANSMITTED IN ANY FORM OR BY ANY MEANS, ELECTRONIC OR MECHANICAL (INCLUDING PHOTOCOPY, RECORDING, OR ANY INFORMATION STORAGE AND RETRIEVAL SYSTEM) WITHOUT PERMISSION IN WRITING FROM THE PUBLISHER OR COPYRIGHT OWNER
Hence while in principle the contents of many of these books should be open, I’ve also tagged this post ‘non-open’ as its worth checking. It would be great if the Borden Institute made it clearer for each book what material is in the public domain and what material is copyrighted!
November 29, 2007
The Potto Project was started by Dr. Genick Bar-Meir to produce and distribute high quality open textbooks. Books are made available in pdf, LaTeX, dvi and postscript under the GFDL. So far the main books are ‘Fundamentals of Compressible Flow’ and ‘Fundamentals of Die Casting Design’, both available from the downloads page.
October 24, 2007