Flat World Knowledge
||This article may contain an excessive amount of intricate detail that may only interest a specific audience. (July 2012)|
|Headquarters||Washington, D.C., USA|
|Christopher Etesse, CEO; James Rianhard, President|
|Website||Flat World Knowledge|
Flat World Knowledge is a publisher of college-level textbooks and educational supplements founded in 2007 by Eric Frank and Jeff Shelstad. Its company headquarters are in Washington, DC. The company originally offered every textbook published for free using online delivery under the open content paradigm, but in November 2012, the company announced that it will no longer offer a free version citing financial concerns as the reason for the change. Educator teaching supplements and materials consistent with industry norms are available at no charge.
- 1 Company history
- 2 Accessibility and regulatory issues
- 3 Sustainability
- 4 Formats
- 5 Derivative works
- 6 Compatible devices
- 7 Content management systems
- 8 Open-licensed textbook permissions
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Flat World Knowledge began alpha testing of their platform and business model spring of 2008. Two alpha phases involved faculty and one alpha phase involved students. The company then moved to small-scale private beta testing in 27 classes. Based on results from these studies, the business model was determined viable and the company moved toward preparing for a public beta launch in January 2009.
During spring of 2009, 30 colleges adopted Flat World open textbooks in public beta bringing the company their first 1,000 users. Eight textbooks were published at the time. By August 2009, Flat World textbooks had been adopted at 400 colleges for use by 40,000 students.
The company also published a graphic novel, Atlas Black: Managing to Succeed in August.
Cerritos College selected Flat World Knowledge as their partner for an Open Textbook Initiative implemented in the school's Business Administration Department. Cerritos College evaluated the program and determined it a "tremendous success" according to a 2010 article published in Community College Week. Specific items evaluated and commented on are:
- Positive feedback from faculty and students on textbook content, quality, and price
- Course retention rate of 90.2% after implementation (+10.0% to +15.0%)
- No price barrier to course material access
- Accessible format availability
- Improved grade point average
Flat World Knowledge entered into a unique licensing agreement with Virginia State University in 2010. For eight core business courses, students gained access to all electronic formats of select textbooks including study aids. Unlike traditional licensing models, students retain access to course materials and study aids indefinitely through their Flat World student account. Audio textbook versions and ePub files similarly do not expire. The price for this universal digital access license is cited as $20 per student by the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
The Virginia State University program is featured in the BizEd article "Digital at the Core." Virginia State University is using the agreement as part of a university effort to "save money, save the environment, improve student retention, and prepare business graduates for the complex working world."
As of August 2010, the number of colleges and universities using Flat World open textbooks doubled to 800 higher education institutions. Student users more than tripled with 150,000 students using 24 published titles.
During fall semester 2010, 50 additional titles were announced as in the publication pipeline. 2010 also marked crossing the threshold of having 100 authors signed to write open textbooks for publication by Flat World Knowledge.
Flat World Knowledge claimed that in its second full academic year of operation, they would save 150,000 college students $12 million in textbook costs in the 2010–2011 school year after adoptions by more than 1,300 educators as of August 2010.
Early in 2011, a Series B round of venture capital funding was completed successfully. Funding sources included significant venture capital firms and funding from the world's largest publisher of trade books, Random House.
In March 2011, the University System of Ohio announced the system will be providing 1,000 students free access to Flat World electronic format textbooks and study aids as part of a research project focused on student learning. Flat World Knowledge open textbooks are already in use at multiple system institutions. Research results from this program are intended to assist the system in driving textbook costs down and making college more affordable. These goals are part of the University System of Ohio's 10-year Strategic Plan for Higher Education. A site-licensing agreement with the university system will facilitate student access to the full breadth of course materials available for titles selected for the program. The partnership was renewed and expanded after demonstrating the program made "textbooks more affordable and enhance[d] access and learning outcomes for college students."
Flat World Knowledge reported adoptions at over 2,000 colleges and universities for use by over 300,000 students in August, 2011. Nine site licensing agreements were reported as of fall semester, including an expansion to 3,000 seats at Virginia State University and an initial 1,000 seats at University System of Ohio campuses. Virginia State University reported early positive impacts for course retention rates and academic performance in classes using the seat license model during the 2010-2011 academic year. The company reported forming a new division focused on marketing site license agreements.
The Indiana University system released a report summarizing two years of research studying e-text use in the university system. Studied were 22 courses with approximately 1,800 students. Evaluated was "how students chose to use their e-textbooks, how they felt about them, and what the impact they had on learning." Some students studied used titles from Flat World Knowledge which have been broadly available in the system since 2010. General study findings were:
- 87% of students abandoned paper and chose to read their books on a digital device (mostly laptops)
- Most students preferred e-texts to paper (60% average - Range: 84–36%)
- Highest preference was where instructors used the book; low approval ratings (36%) noted where instructors did not use the book for readings or assignments
- Preferences for e-textbooks increased 11% the second semester a student used an e-text
- Students ranked ability of instructors to annotate text as most important reason to select e-text - 84% found annotations helpful
- Improved sustainability of e-texts was the second most important reason to select the format
- Cost was the third most important reason
In September, 2011, Indiana University announced a system-wide agreement with Flat World Knowledge and three additional publishers making e-texts available at all campuses for the Spring 2012 semester. A site-license agreement similar to the model first implemented at Virginia State University is being used.
The University of Minnesota created the Open Academics textbook catalog, the first of its kind at a major research institution. A significant number of Flat World titles in published subjects have been admitted to the catalog.
The University System of Ohio extended and expanded their agreement with Flat World after an initial study period, making the entire Flat World catalog available under a seat license agreement throughout the Ohio higher education system.
University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada, entered into a site-licensing agreement with Flat World Knowledge as part of a pilot program studying etextbooks for the 2012/2013 academic year. The agreement represents the first of its kind in Canada and has a stated aim of lowering costs while increasing textbook access.
Flat World Knowledge announced that it will no longer provide free access to their textbook content citing financial concerns as the reason for this change.
In January 2011, $15 million in Series B funding led by Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (BDMI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Bertelsmann AG, and Bessemer Venture Partners was announced. Returning investors for Series B funding include Valhalla Partners, GSA Venture Partners (formerly Greenhill SAVP), Primary Venture Partners and several angel investors.
Random House announced an investment in Flat World Knowledge in April, 2011. Random House is the world's largest publisher of commercial trade books. Random House chairman and CEO Markus Dohle states Flat World Knowledge is a “transformative company in higher-education publishing” and said, “We [at Random House] share a strong drive to make high-quality academically-oriented content widely available and affordable for students and educators, and we welcome the opportunity to invest in Flat World's growth."
A Canadian representation agreement was announced in March 2011 with Northrose Associates of Whitby, Ontario, Canada. The Canadian higher education system faces challenges similar to U.S. higher education providers from the ever escalating costs of traditional college textbooks. Open textbooks from Flat World Knowledge will be actively marketed by the firm to educators and higher education administrators across Canada.
In addition to use in Canada, worldwide learners are accessing Flat World Knowledge textbooks regularly. Adoptions have been reported in 44 countries. The company actively promotes use of their free and open textbook delivery platform to advance education internationally. The most frequent international access originates in India, China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Egypt, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Romania, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Germany. International usage is growing rapidly. In March 2011 alone traffic increased enough in four countries to be added to the cited Alexa Internet traffic ranking report. The "Make it Your Own" (MIYO) feature of the company's publishing platform allows for customization and annotation of published titles in English and other languages.
In 2009, BNET recognized Flat World Knowledge as an industry innovator for introducing an abundance-based disruptive business model to the college textbook industry. That same year, Flat World Knowledge and Bookshare were jointly recognized as publishing industry innovators of 2009.
Flat World Knowledge was identified in a 2010 report by Nicole Allen of The Student PIRGs A Cover to Cover Solution: How Open Textbooks are the Path to Textbook Affordability and the New Media Consortium's 2010 Horizon Report as a contributor to the rapidly progressing adoption of open content in higher education.
In December 2010, the American Library Association's Business Reference Sources Committee of RUSA's Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS) selected Flat World Knowledge's Business and Economics open textbooks for their 2010 list of "outstanding business reference sources." Specific criteria used by the American Library Association BRASS when evaluating texts for selection were:
"A resource compiled specifically to supply information on a certain subject or group of subjects in a form that will facilitate its ease of use. The works are examined for authority and reputation of the publisher, author, or editor; accuracy; appropriate bibliography; organization, comprehensiveness, and value of the content; currency and unique addition to the field; ease of use for intended purpose; quality and accuracy of indexing; and quality and usefulness of graphics and illustrations. Each year more electronic reference titles are published, and additional criteria by which these resources are evaluated include search features, stability of content, graphic design quality, and accuracy of links. Works selected are intended to be suitable for medium to large academic and public libraries."
The Flat World Knowledge open textbook Organizational Behavior by Talya Bauer and Berrin Erdogan was recognized by the Text and Academic Author's Association with a Textbook Excellence Award ("Texty") in March 2011. "This is the first time that an open textbook has won a Texty," notes Richard Hull, TAA’s executive director, "and signals the emergence of a new publishing model." Winners are determined by a panel of veteran academic authors. The award seeks to "recognize works for their excellence in the areas of content, presentation, appeal, and teachability."
In March 2012, Flat World Knowledge titles won two "Texty" awards. "Information Systems: A Manager’s Guide to Harnessing Technology," 2nd ed., by John Gallaugher won best new textbook of the year for the College, Accounting/Business/Economics/Management category. "Sociology: Understanding and Changing the Social World" by Steve Barkan won best new textbook of the year for the category College, Humanities/Social Sciences.
Accessibility and regulatory issues
Flat World Knowledge textbooks are developed for accessible publishing natively to facilitate compliance with expectations placed on educators for assuring student accessibility to course materials set forth in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). For students with text, vision, vision and hearing, or physical disabilities, Flat World Knowledge has partnered with Bookshare to provide no-charge accessible digital books including an electronic Braille format. Bookshare members with qualifying disabilities have immediate access to course and reference materials online as opposed to having to request materials direct from the publisher by mail or through another intermediary. According to Jim Fruchterman, CEO of Benetech, the non-profit organization that operates Bookshare, "Without the cooperation of a publisher such as Flat World, students often wait for weeks to get textbooks in accessible formats and, in some cases, are forced to drop courses due to lack of accessible books. Flat World is the first postsecondary textbook publisher to recognize and alleviate this problem."
Price disclosure and edition availability
Flat World Knowledge claims to make compliance with the recent Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) simple as the basic price for their textbooks is free and once published, any edition number remains available online at no charge or available for order in print by students, educators, and bookstores on-demand; educators change versions only when they wish and book versions are never "out of print."
Digital textbook and course material formats offer sustainability advantages over traditional paper textbooks. According to a publishing industry study, an estimated "net [carbon] emission of 8.85 pounds per book [is created for each paper book] sold to consumers." The net carbon emission for textbooks is much higher as the industry average includes high volume small paperbacks, children's books, and many other small form factors popular with consumers.
In 2010-2011, approximately 57.5% of students using Flat World texts opted for entirely digital delivery. As of fall 2011, 70% of students opt for digital formats, significantly reducing the ecologic footprint from textbook use when compared to the historic paper textbook format. Demand for free internet, ePub, .MOBI (Kindle), and PDF format books and materials is growing rapidly. Flat World Knowledge is "far ahead of the industry curve" for digital format use.
Local print on demand of licensed content offers environmental benefits by saving the need to produce, store, and ship books from a central location — saving energy, natural resources, and cost. Eliminating the need for shipping alone eliminates at least 12.7% of the carbon footprint for paper books.
Flat World Knowledge offers local booksellers the opportunity to license open textbook content for on-demand printing by the Espresso Book Machine and similar equipment, removing the need for shipping and warehouse inventory, bulk receiving, and stocking shelves. Local print on demand is an emerging trend that will help reduce environmental and financial costs of textbooks as the technology is adopted to serve educators and learners who desire print format books.
Some students use accessible and audio formats. Though Braille embossers print on paper, it is essential to provide access to educational materials in the format of choice to students regardless of disability. The same electronic file that is provided for a Braille embosser by Bookshare for Flat World Knowledge open textbooks is also compatible with many refreshable Braille displays.
Other accessible and audio mp3 formats are very sustainable as they are electronic.
Until November 2012, Flat World open textbooks were available to read for free through the Flat World Knowledge website in an e-reader like format. Any user with access to the Internet was able to read the entire textbook catalog for free. This option has since been eliminated because too many students were taking advantage of this option and the FWK business model was becoming unsustainable without increased revenue from the other options.
Textbooks in formats including print, individual PDF chapters, ePub, .MOBI (Kindle), audio mp3, abridged audio study mp3, and optional study tools are available for purchase by students direct, through bookstores, and via select online providers.
For users that desire note taking, highlighting, flash cards, or access to a condensed study view of textbooks through their online account, a paid study pass purchase is required.
Derivative works created through the Flat World publishing engine are available online at no charge in the two formats described earlier or for purchase in print format direct or through bookstores by ISBN. An ISBN is generated for all derivative work publications developed through the Flat World Knowledge publishing engine as is a Creative Commons license compatible with the original work. Accessible derivative work versions of Flat World Knowledge titles are made available for students with disabilities through Bookshare upon request.
The company produces textbooks in a device-agnostic manner to facilitate use of electronic publication formats on all major platforms including iPad, iPhone, Amazon Kindle, Nook, EnTourage eDGe, Sony Reader, and Android devices.
No Internet browser preference is stated for general access to free online reading over the Internet. Flat World Knowledge textbooks can be viewed on all major browsers and platforms.
Content management systems
Flat World Knowledge textbook content can be integrated directly into a learning management system such as Blackboard Learning System, ANGEL, Moodle, WebCT,or Desire2Learn. Direct linking is available to Flat World textbooks, sections, and individual pages so other means of accumulating content in containers for group access to course learning materials are also supported. This addresses a controversy over time limitations placed on access to course content held by academic period based learning management systems.
Flat World Knowledge provides instructor resources including test banks and lecture slides to registered and verified educators at no charge. Instructor testing and quiz materials are suitable for import into learning management systems. Specifically cited formats include[Blackboard Learning System, ANGEL, Moodle, and WebCT plus a Respondus Neutral Personality file suitable for import to compatible systems. Compatible systems cited by Respondus include those previously listed plus Desire2Learn and eCollege.
Open-licensed textbook permissions
Usage permissions granted automatically under the Creative Commons license assigned to Flat World textbooks lets users remix, annotate, and build upon the publication non-commercially as long as users give credit to the original author(s) and license their new creations under identical (share-alike) terms. Translations are also automatically permissible under these licenses, either complete or as embedded content within the English or other language text. Educators are allowed to edit, add their own content, or insert annotations in a self-service manner using the Flat World Knowledge publishing engine available over the Internet.
Commercial use of published works requires an arrangement with the company and respective authors. Authors and the company are entitled to royalties from commercial use "in any manner that is primarily intended for or directed toward commercial advantage or private monetary compensation" according to license terms.
- Open educational resources
- OpenStax College
- Open textbook
- China Open Resources for Education
- Free High School Science Texts South Africa
- Khan Academy
- National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning India
- Tufts OpenCourseWare
- Lim, Ronald S. "The World is Flat – Even in Publishing." Manila Bulletin. October 1, 2010.
- Lener, Edward and Cy Dillon. "Building a Better Model: Eric Frank on Flat World Knowledge." Virginia Libraries. Jan–Feb–Mar 2010, pp. 5–9.
- Flat World Knowledge Homepage with company story.
- Wong, Chin. "Textbooks for free." Manila Standard Today. September 28, 2010.
- Howard, Jennifer. "Flat World Knowledge to Drop Free Access to Textbooks". Chronicle of Higher Education. Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
- Flat World Knowledge. "Freeing the Textbook." Accessed December 27, 2010.
- Koch, Sharon. "Instructor Resources Tutorial." Flat World Knowledge. (Video) Accessed January 2, 2011.
- Carpenter, Mason A. "Flat World Knowledge: Creating a Global Revolution in College Textbooks!" Social Science Research Network. Case abstract available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1588144.
- Haiken, Melanie. "Save Cash – Download Your Textbooks An Online Startup Plans to Disrupt the Staid World of Textbook Publishing." Fortune Small Business. December 4, 2008.
- Snyder, Chris. "Open Source Textbooks Challenge a Paradigm." Wired.com. September 1, 2008.
- Hilton, John Levi III, and David A. Wiley. "A Sustainable Future for Open Textbooks?" The Flat World Knowledge Story. First Monday. Vol 15, No 8. August 2, 2010.
- Abell, John C. "Open Source Textbook Company Now BMOC at 400 Colleges." Wired.com. August 20, 2009.
- Oshiro, Dana. "Open Textbooks Gaining Ground: Flat World in 400 Colleges." Read Write Web. August 20, 2009.
- Hoover, Lisa. "Flat World Knowledge Offers Open Source-Style College Textbooks." Gigaom Ostatic. March 25, 2009.
- Ferris, Marc. "Irvington Publishers Shaking Up the Textbook Industry." Rivertowns Patch. October 20, 2010.
- Lacy, Linda. "Innovative Open Textbook Solution." Community College Week March 23, 2010 p. 8.
- Llovio, Luis. "Students in Eight Core Business Classes at VSU get Free Digital Access to Texts." Richmond Times-Dispatch. August 31, 2010.
- Martin, Mirta M. "Digital at the Core." BizEd 9, no. 6 November 2010 pp. 40–43.
- Biba, Paul. "Flatworld Knowledge Textbook Usage Doubles for 2010/11 Academic Year." TeleRead. August 23, 2010.
- Butler, Mary. "Open Textbooks Offer Instructors More Control, Customizability." ASSETT. September 14, 2010.
- Kolowich, Steve. "A Call for Open Textbooks." Inside Higher Ed. October 1, 2010.
- Walters, Carole. "150,000 College Students to Save $12 Million Using Flat World Knowledge Open Textbooks for 2010/2011 Academic Year: Transformative New Publishing Model Gaining Traction With Faculty, Students, Authors." Marketwire. August 23, 2010.
- Stratigos, Anthea, Leigh Watson Healy, and Marc Strohlein. "Information Industry Outlook 2011: Looking for Revenue in All the Right Places." Outsell, Inc. December 21, 2010.
- Walters, Carole. "Outsell Names Flat World Knowledge Among Top “30 to Watch” Innovators, Disruptors in 2011." (Includes ALA reference) Pressitt. Flat World Knowledge. January 13, 2011.
- Schaffhauser, Dian. "Ohio System Teams with Flat World Knowledge on Freebie Digital Textbooks." Campus Technology. March 9, 2011.
- Reid, Calvin. "Flat World Knowledge, University System of Ohio, Ink Site License Deal." Publishers Weekly. March 9, 2011.
- Walters, Carole. "Free College Textbooks for Ohio Students; University System of Ohio and Flat World Knowledge Team Up to Expand Access to College Textbooks and Measure Student Learning." Pressit. March 9, 2011.
- Norris, Kim. "Board of Regents and Flat World Knowledge Announce Textbook Program Extension." Ohio Board of Regents. June 7, 2012.
- Walters, Carole. "Flat World Knowledge Doubles Growth, Outpaces Digital Textbook Trend / Choice and Price, Not Device, Matter Most to Students." Marketwire via FinanzNachrichten.de. August 24, 2011.
- Reid, Calvin. "Flatworld Knowledge Reports Growth, Adds 'All-Access' Digital Pass." Publishers Weekly. August 24, 2011.
- Dennis, Alan. "e-Textbooks at Indiana University: A Summary of Two Years of Research." Bloomington: Indiana University. August, 2011.
- Hunt, Leonard M. Jr. "Text book company to sell low-cost textbooks through IU Bookstore by offering online, print-out options." Indiana Daily Student. April 19, 2010.
- Indiana University. "Pioneering agreements will reduce cost of eTexts for IU students." Office of the Vice President for Information Technology, Indiana University. September 6, 2011.
- Young, Jeffrey R. "Major Publishers Join Indiana U. Project That Requires Students to Buy E-Textbooks." The Chronicle of Higher Education. September 15, 2011.
- Carson, Stephen. "MIT OpenCourseWare teams up with Flat World Knowledge to combine free texts and free course materials." MITnews. February 29, 2012.
- "Open Academics Open Textbook Catalog." University of Minnesota.
- Ernst, Dave. "U creates Open Academics textbook catalog to reduce student costs." UM News. April 23, 2012.
- "Partnership to provide access to etexbooks." University of Windsor. July 23, 2012.
- Business Headlines. "Flat World Knowledge Secures $700,000 in Funding." EdNet Insight. October 21, 2008.
- Rosenberg, Dave. "Maker of 'open,' free textbooks raises $8 million." Cnet.com. March 26, 2009.
- Ricketts, Camille. "Flat World Knowledge Lands $8M for Online College Textbooks." VentureBeat. March 24, 2009.
- Walters, Carole. Flat World Knowledge CEO Jeff Shelstad to Speak at the Venture Capital in Education Summit 2010. Pressitt. December 2, 2010.
- GSA Venture Partners. Focus. "We serve entrepreneurs who transform industries and build great companies. As active, long-term partners to our entrepreneurs, we contribute capital, strategic advice, and a deep network of relationships to fuel their success." 2011.
- Marketwire. "Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments and Bessemer Venture Partners Invest $15 Million in Flat World Knowledge Open Textbook Publisher Presents Viable Alternative to Traditional Industry." MSNBC. January 20, 2011.
- Purkiss, Alan. "Bertelsmann Puts Cash Into College Textbook Publisher, FT Says." Bloomberg. January 20, 2011.
- Edgecliffe-Johnson, Andrew. "Bertelsmann Backs Open Textbook Publisher." Financial Times. January 20, 2011.
- Schaffhauser, Dian. "Open Textbook Publisher Flat World Knowledge Gets Random House Investment." Campus Technology via WebCitation.org. April 8, 2011.
- Marketwire. "Random House, Inc. Invests in Flat World Knowledge: Closes Series B Funding Round for Publisher of Free and Open College Textbooks." MSNBC.com. April 7, 2011.
- CARL ABRC. "Open Textbook Publisher Flat World Knowledge Expands its Presence in Canada." The Canadian Association of Research Libraries. March 4, 2011.
- Walters, Carole. "Open Textbook Publisher Flat World Knowledge Expands its Presence in Canada." Pressit. February 24, 2011.
- Center for Educational Technology. "Shaping the Future: Reconstructing the Textbook in the Digital Age." Eric Frank, Presenter. “Is There Still Such a Thing as a Free Lunch? Economic Models for Content on the Web,” and “Mommy, What’s a Book? The Nature of the Books of the Future.” Tel Aviv, Israel, March 27–28.
- "Flat World Knowledge Usage by Country." WebCite Archive Page. March 29, 2011.
- Hampson, Keith. "Interview: Ed Tech Leader, Jon Williams of Flat World Knowledge." Higher Education Management Group via Bloomberg Businessweek Business Exchange. May 2, 2011.
- Anderson, Chris. "Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business." Wired.com. February 25, 2008.
- Creative Commons. "Creative Commons Case Studies: Flat World Knowledge." Company CEO states in GOOD blog entry, "[D]isruptive business model is based on the idea of abundance, not scarcity." September 2, 2010.
- Weir, David. Flat World Knowledge: A Disruptive Business Model. bNet.com. August 20, 2009.
- Weir, David. "Publishing Industry Innovators of 2009: Flat World Knowledge and Bookshare." bNet.com. December 30, 2009.
- Allen, Nicole. "A Cover to Cover Solution: How Open Textbooks are the Path to Textbook Affordability." The Student PIRGs. September 2010.
- Johnson, L., A. Levine, R. Smith, and S. Stone. 2010 Horizon Report Chapter 7. New Media Consortium and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative. 2010. Accessed December 23, 2010.
- BRASS Business Reference Sources Committee, American Library Association. "Outstanding Business Reference Sources: The 2010 Selection of Recent Titles." Reference & User Services Quarterly, a publication of the American Library Association's Reference and User Services Association. Vol. 50:2, Winter 2010. December 29, 2010.
- Bauer, Talya, and Berrin Erdogan. Organizational Behavior v1.1 Flat World Knowledge. 2010.
- Text and Academic Author's Association. "Open textbook wins 2011 Textbook Excellence Award." TAA Notes. March 7, 2011.
- Text and Academic Author's Association. "2011 Textbook Excellence Awards ("Textys")." Accessed March 11, 2011.
- Text and Academic Author's Association. "2012 Textbook Excellence Awards ("Textys")." Accessed July 5, 2012.
- Kerscher, George, and Jim Fruchterman. "The Soundproof Book: Exploration of Rights conflict and Access to Commercial EBooks for People with Disabilities." DAISY Consortium. Accessed January 2, 2011.
- Bookshare. "Flat World Knowledge Partners with Bookshare: Breakthrough Agreement Reduces Costs for Postsecondary Institutions; Improves Timely Access to Core Textbooks in Accessible Formats." Joint Press Release. December 14, 2009.
- Edu1world.org. "Flat World Knowledge Makes HEOA Compliance Quick and Easy." The Week in Review. May 20, 2010.
- Zinshteyn, Mikhail. "Delving Into Textbook Costs." Campus*Progress. September 24, 2010.
- Sather, Sarah. "In The Public Interest : Open Textbooks and the Tech-Friendly Generation." Huffington Post. September 30, 2010.
- Johnson, Bryce. "Textbooks: Dead Trees in a Backpack." Earth911.com. August 31, 2007.
- Chowdhury, Gobinda. "Carbon Footprint of the Knowledge Sector: What's the Future?." Journal of Documentation 66, no. 6 December 2010 pp. 934-946.
- Milliot, Jim "Toward a Greener Future. (Cover story)." Publishers Weekly 255, no. 10 March 10, 2008 pp. 26–32.
- Outsell, Inc. "Flat World Knowledge Doubles Growth, Outpaces Digital Textbook Trend." Outsell Headlines. August 24, 2011.
- Kolowich, Steve. "Students Face New Textbook Picks: Rent vs. Buy, Print vs. e-Book." (Analog innovations section) USA Today. August 31, 2010.
- Cooper, Tanika. "Free Online Textbooks Becoming a Reality." Daily Nebraskan, University of Nebraska, via UWire: The College Network. July 26, 2010.
- Walters, Carole. "Flat World Knowledge Doubles Growth, Outpaces Digital Textbook Trend: Choice and Price, Not Device, Matter Most to Students." Marketwire. August 24, 2011.
- Park, Jane. "Flat World Knowledge partners with Barnes & Noble and NACS Media Solutions." Creative Commons News. April 9, 2010.
- Xerox. Digital Presses: Black and White Publishing. Company product line webpage. 2011.
- Park, Jane. "Flat World Knowledge partners with Barnes & Noble and NACS Media Solutions." Creative Commons News. April 9, 2010.
- Nelson, Mark R. "HP In-Store Print-on-Demand Pilots." The Cite. October 14, 2010.
- Ryman, Anne. "In-Store Book Printing Lets College Students Save Big." The Arizona Republic. September 10, 2010.
- Schnabel, Janieve. "The Future of Textbooks." Portland State University Vanguard. October 8, 2010.
- Reid, Calvin. "Flat World Knowledge Reaches Out to College Bookstores." Publishers Weekly. April 2010.
- Florez, Dean, Charles Cook, Eric Frank, and Dennis Passovoy. "How to Drive College Costs Down and Quality Up in TX and CA: Emerging Textbook Solutions." (Archived webcast) Flat World Knowledge. 2010.
- Udell, Jon. "Talking with Eric Frank and Jon Williams about Flat World Knowledge, a commercial publisher of open textbooks." Strategies for Internet Citizens Blog Entry. February 23, 2010.
- Snyder, Chris. "Flat World Knowledge to Bring Free Textbooks into Blackboard." Wired.com. February 4, 2009.
- Mott, Jon, and David A. Wiley. "Open for Learning: The CMS and the Open Learning Network." In Education: Exploring our Connective Educational Landscape. Accessed January 15, 2010.
- Flat World Knowledge. About "Free Textbooks. Online. Anytime. Anywhere." section, paragraph 3.
- Respondus. "User Guide for Platform-Neutral Personality." Accessed January 15, 2010.
- Linksvayer, Mike, et al. "Defining “Noncommercial:” A Study of How the Online Population Understands “Noncommercial Use”." Creative Commons. September 2009.
- Creative Commons. About Licenses. Accessed January 2, 2011.
- Smith, Kevin. "The Textbook World is Getting Flat." Scholarly Communications @ Duke. Duke University Libraries. December 23, 2009.
- Koch, Sharon. "Customize Tutorial." Flat World Knowledge. (Video) Accessed January 2, 2011.
- Creative Commons. "Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported" License Sample legal code including restrictions.
- Linksvayer, Mike. "Defining Noncommercial Report Published." Creative Commons News. September 14, 2009.
- Flat World Knowledge Official website.
- Flat World Knowledge Company "In the News" website.
- Flat World Knowledge Learn About the Higher Education Opportunity Act (Video).
- FLYX Online Learning and Assessment tool for Financial Accounting.
- FLYX Online Learning and Assessment tool for Principles of Economics.
- "Online Textbooks Deliver Timely, Real-world Content" by Kim Seidel. EDUCAUSE Review. January/February 2009.
- Digital Textbook Sales in U.S. Higher Education — A Five-Year Projection by Rob Reynolds. ("Factors within the Publishing and Education Markets Affecting the Sales of Digital Textbooks" section and trend charts) Explana. 2010.
- "A Cover to Cover Solution: How Open Textbooks are the Path to Textbook Affordability." Original research report by Nicole Allen of The Student PIRGs.
- Creative Commons Talks With Student PIRGs’ Nicole Allen: "Open Education and Policy." October 14, 2010.
- "Get Rid of Print and Go Digital" by Anya Kamenetz in the New York Times. August 16, 2010.