Increasing costs of commercial print resources are a major concern for both students and their parents. There are several goals of the Open/Alternative textbook fee:

  • Entice faculty and departments to convert large enrollment classes to an open/alternative resource
  • Encourage faculty and departments to retain the use of open/alternative textbooks
  • Provide stable funding for the Open/Alternative Textbook Initiative

The fee is assessed at the course level and only approved courses will be eligible. The fee can be applied to one or multiple sections of the same course. A proposed course may include: 

  • The use or adaptation of an existing open/alternative resource
  • The creation of a new open/alternative resource
  • Combining library resources and/or high quality open educational resources (OER); and/or faculty-authored materials. The course resource may also involve any media (articles, audio, video, web sites, etc.)

All K-State faculty who teach a course with an open/alternative resource at K-State are eligible to apply for this fee. Examples can be found on the Open Textbook Resources page.

General Requirements

In your application, please provide the required information for the following questions:

  1. Course information (course name, number, section (s), enrollment, semester(s) offered).
  2. Information on your Open or Alternative resource (title, format, access point/location).
  3. How does this resource compare to a traditional resources for this course?
    1. Does the resource engage students in the learning process? How?
    2. Are there copyright concerns for the material used?
    3. How will students access (view/print) the assigned content? Will the resource be accessible via a student's mobile device or smartphone?
    4. Will the text follow universally accessible design principles? Can the resource be printed? Will the resource be ADA compliant?
    5. Will you require support from colleagues at the Libraries or iTAC (e.g., to identify or compile resources, consult on copyright or accessibility issues)?
    6. Have you obtained proper permission, if needed, for your resource(s)?
  4. What semester do you plan to use or start using the open or alternative resource?


All K-State faculty who teach a course with an open/alternative resource at K-State are eligible to apply for this fee.

  1. The course must be one that needs course materials (practicums, exercise classes etc. are not eligible).
  2. The open/alternative resource must be approved by the Open/Alternative Textbook Initiative.
  3. The course or course section (if only the lecture uses the resource for example) must not require or recommend any course materials that students have to purchase. An exception to this is iClickers since they can be used across courses.

Materials not eligible for the fee include:

  • commercial e-text versions of existing print resources
  • textbook rentals

Selection Criteria

Applications will be reviewed by a panel consisting of two teaching faculty, a representative from K-State Libraries, a representative from the Student Access Center, and at least one student.

The fee award will be based on responses to narrative questions above and criteria below:

  • Quality and strength of application and how well it meets the requirements
  • Ability to be successfully implemented
  • Ability to adapt or produce a quality product and actively engage students in the learning process
  • Sustainability of the resource beyond the initial use
  • Willingness or ability to license the resource for re-use or adaption at K-State or beyond
  • Accessibility and usability of the resource for all students (see information provided by the Student Access Center).

Fee Disbursement

For approved courses, the fee collected will be divided between the supporting department (89%) and the Open/Alternative Textbook Initiative (9%), leaving 2% for bad debt. Following the rules of the university regulations and policy, departmental funds may be used as deemed by the department.

For more information or to discuss a potential fee application please contact:

Dr. Andy Bennett
(785) 532-0562

Dr. Brian Lindshield
Human Nutrition
(785) 532-7848

Center for the Advancement of Digital Scholarship
118 Hale Library
(785) 532-7444