John McMurry's textbook Organic Chemistry has helped millions of students across the globe pass the infamous gauntlet of its namesake class -- also known among stressed-out pre-med students as "orgo" -- since the book was first printed in 1984.For his bestseller's 10th edition, McMurry has decided to part ways with his longtime publisher, the industry giant Cengage, which has published the book since the beginning. He recently sold the rights to OpenStax, a nonprofit based at Rice University that is dedicated to developing open education resources (OER), learning and research materials created and licensed to be free for the user.That means for the first time, the digital version of Organic Chemistry and its accompanying solutions manual -- usually priced at almost $100 -- will be available for students to download free."My textbook is the best selling organic textbook in the world and has been for some time, but it's expensive. All textbooks are expensive," McMurry said. "I liked the notion of making my work free for anyone."OpenStax will pay McMurry a licensing fee for the rights, as opposed to the traditional royalty model used by publishers like Cengage, but McMurry won't be accepting it. He plans to donate it directly to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, a nonprofit research center seeking a cure to the life-threatening genetic disorder, in memory of his son Peter, who passed away in 2019 after a decades-long battle with the disease.
Gotta say, this seems pretty cool.