When I am reading a textbook, especially on some esoteric subject, I sometimes wonder what percentage of the textbook consists of known, published material, and what percentage is the author's own contribution.

Is there a general rule of thumb (or a requirement from the publishers) that textbook authors use to determine how much of their own research should be a part of the textbook versus those that are drawn from existing sources?

  • 2
    Can be anywhere from 0% to 100% new material. (In case of 0%, of course, pedagogical innovations or better exposition than in the existing texts is expected. In case of 100%, the textbook is called a "research monograph" and the likely audience graduate students.) – darij grinberg Nov 4 at 5:42
  • At least in my field, textbooks are obsolete. Digital, multimedia open educational resources are the replacement. – Anonymous Physicist Nov 4 at 9:44
  • @AnonymousPhysicist, the same question applies to that, of course. – Buffy Nov 4 at 11:20
  • 1
    @darij grinberg: I can't help but give some examples. For 0% there's Book 1, for maybe 40%-60% there's Book 2, and for nearly 100% there's Book 3 and Book 4. – Dave L Renfro Nov 4 at 15:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.