Biology professor helps author free textbook, saving students hundreds

  • A WSU biological sciences professor has helped write a textbook offered free to students.
  • The book will be available online or as PDF.
  • A print version, which would normally cost upwards of $300, will be only $55-$60.

Wichita State Biological Sciences Professor Mark Schneegurt is the lead author on a textbook that’s being offered free to students.

The book, called OpenStax Microbiology, is designed for the allied health microbiology courses, which are prep courses for nurses, physician’s assistants and related careers dealing with infectious disease and medicine.

More than 300,000 U.S. college students take an introductory microbiology course for allied health majors each year.

Mark Schneegurt

Mark Schneegurt

Schneegurt worked in partnership with OpenStax, the American Society for Microbiology Press and Sigma Xi. OpenStax publishes free, peer-reviewed textbooks for introductory college courses using experts such as Schneegurt, who has been at WSU since 2000.

It’s a unique publishing agreement that allows students to save a lot of money. Typically, a print copy would cost upwards of $300. Microbiology will be available free online and in PDF form. If a student wants a print copy, it can be purchased via Amazon or the campus bookstore for about $55-$60.

“I am excited by the publishing philosophy of OpenStax – free and low-cost textbooks that are as good as or better than comparable books on the market,” Schneegurt says.

The textbook is expected to be released in the fall and be available at The print version will be available worldwide in spring 2017 on Amazon and campus bookstores.