Nature Publishing Group (NPG) has announced “the launch of a series of affordable, high quality interactive textbooks in college-level science”. They start in September 2011 with “Principles of Biology“, which “is intended for the majors introductory biology course”.

The NPG calls the series a “reinvention of the textbook”.

Features are:

  • ‘interactive lessons’
  • ‘continual assessment of learning progress’
  • ‘draws on the Nature journals’ archive of research papers to cultivate mature scientific skills, including data analysis and critical thinking’.

My critical thinking leads me to the assumption that text books which teach ‘principles’ provide common knowledge and should better be open access. Besides this I hope the book will include the relevant knowledge from the field and not mainly the one published in NPG-journals.

So hopefully there will soon be a OA-alternative of this textbook.