The National Academies Press [NAP] has announced that it is making all PDF editions of its books available for free download, effective yesterday, June 2. The NAP is the publishing organization for the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Research Council, and the Institute of Medicine. The list of available books currently includes 4,000+ titles, and will include most future titles. Some older books are not covered because a PDF edition was never made; and there are a few specific publications on “Nutritional Requirements of Domestic Animals” that are not included.
The NAP has a FAQ page that covers the licensing and use of the PDF editions. The material is copyrighted, and not in the public domain; there are a few reasonable restrictions, aimed at ensuring that distributed copies are authentic.
This is another welcome step toward making one of the hoped-for functions of the Internet materialize, by making a wide range of information generally available.