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NAP to provide free PDFs of all books

The National Academies Press announced that all PDF versions of books it publishes will be available for free download. This includes both its current catalog of more than 4,000 books as well as all future reports. Printed books will continue to be available for purchase through the NAP website and traditional channels.

Browse the NAP catalog at http://www.nap.edu/

NAP is publisher for the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council. Known collectively as the National Academies, they are private, nonprofit institutions that provide expert advice on some of the most pressing challenges facing the nation and the world, including many government issues. The National Academy of Sciences was formed by a congressional charter signed by President Lincoln signed in 1863. Many of their activities are mandated and funded by Congress and federal agencies.

National Academies Reports (1863 to 1997) Now Available in Open Access

The National Academies (The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council) have a long history of advising the government. Now, they have announced “the completion of the first phase of a partnership with Google to digitize the library’s collection of reports from 1863 to 1997, making them available – free, searchable, and in full text – through Google Book Search. The Academies plan to have their entire collection of nearly 11,000 reports digitized by 2011.”

Some publications of the Academies are already available through Google Book Search, but not full text. (See for example: Realizing the information future By National Research Council). The announcement does not make clear whether some of these will become available full text or not.