Multiple Authors, OpenStax
Pub Date: 2015
ISBN 13: 9781938168390
Conditions of Use
If you are teaching chemistry for science majors this is the textbook you should be using. All content for GenChem classes will be found in the text, it is 1347 pages long, you will find every topic you want to discuss in your class in this... read more
If you are teaching chemistry for science majors this is the textbook you should be using. All content for GenChem classes will be found in the text, it is 1347 pages long, you will find every topic you want to discuss in your class in this textbook. You institution most likely has some sort of "Course Content Guide" for the courses you teach, if you compare that guide with this textbook's table of contents and/or index you will find content for all of content you are required to cover. This book is usable for GenChem for non-science majors, BUT, you will have to skip sections as it dives too deep for non-science major content requirements. I am currently using this text for my non-science major course and have had to make adjustments, meaning I will not, for instance say, "read chapter 3" I will have sections of chapter 3 assigned, and will let them know that the other sections are more comprehensive than we will be covering in this course. You can buy a hard copy for $20-40 buck, pick one up, then set it next to any of the traditional publisher textbooks like Tro or Brown/LeMay or Che, you will find that they look the same. The part that is different is that those text are well over $200 and this one is $20 in a hardcopy, BRAND NEW, or out right free in a pdf.
I have been using this textbook for 3 years now and have found all of the content to be accurate. There are errors. These errors are typos, grammar errors or errors in a calculation. There is a pdf listing all of the known errors and OpenStax periodically revises their textbook to fix these errors. Find those known errors here: https://openstax.org/errata/?book=Chemistry If you find one you are encouraged to point it out here: https://openstax.org/errata/form?book=Chemistry I have not found any bias in this text, I am not sure what kind of bias there could be in a chemistry text, but I am sure it is possible.
This content is current. I mean this is GenChem, not much new has been learned at the GenChem level. Again, you will find this text to be comparable to all publisher text. If there is a major change in the content of GenChem, this text will be changed within months of the need to change its content.
I have been teaching chemistry for two decades, so pretty much anything written in chemistry is clear to me. “Jargon/technical terminology” is pretty much the definition of a chemistry textbook. The book is written at a college level, readers at a college level will find this text readable, but it will be full of jargon and technical terms.
Yes, this text is consistent, it is linear. This is kind of a drawback if you intend to jump around from chapter to chapter. If you are not reading the chapters in sequence you will be missing terms and concepts germane to the understanding of later chapters.
Yes, you can easily divide this book into content segments. But as stated in earlier in the Consistency portion of this review, if the segmentation is not done in a linear fashion, there will be difficulty in understanding. In the way that trying to teach algebra to someone that has not learned how to multiply and divide.
I don’t always agree with the order in which this text is written, but I do agree that the organization is clear and logical. As the student or instructor you will be following a very organized content path.
This text is as professionally typeset as any textbook you will have very seen. This is not a bunch of chem profs putting all of their notes into a Word doc, the people that laid out the text and graphics were/are professionals. They have been trained in Publisher and or Illustrator and or Photoshop or whatever other publishing style software exists. Money was spent, and it was well spent.
There are occasional grammar error, the nice thing is the can be found on the Errata page I listed earlier. And if not, you can inform them of the error and it will be updated in the next revision. Having actual input is empowering.
There is not much culturalness to a chem text, which means it would be difficult to be insensitive about any particular culture. The only diversity associated with a text of this nature is the inclusion of the work of scientist form varied cultures of the world. You will find this text includes work from many different cultures, and occasionally bios on the scientists who made chemistry related discoveries.
I would like to see a non-science majors version of this text. I am very please with all of the available Student and Instructor resouces; solutions guide, test questions, lecture slides, and LMS cartridges.
This book covers the material that is commonly covered General Chemistry course. The chapter layout are almost the same as other textbooks. It is a fairly comprehensive textbook. read more
This book covers the material that is commonly covered General Chemistry course. The chapter layout are almost the same as other textbooks. It is a fairly comprehensive textbook.
The book is quite accurate, especially for the actual teaching content, concepts and terms. Occasionally I do find errors. This is very understandable given that the book quite new to the market. The good thing about this book is that since it's an online version, it updates and correct the mistakes quite often, instead of having to publish a new edition with a high price every year.
Unlike biology, chemistry knowledge don't change as fast, it's been pretty set for years, especially for General Chemistry. The content in this book is pretty accurate and compressively covering all basic General Chemistry knowledge and is no different from the other two most popular textbooks by Brown and Tro. It's going to be a competitive textbook on the market for years.
The book is written in a quite concise and clear manner can be easily understood.
The terms are used consistently throughout the book.
The book is clearly divided into sections and subsections. It's easy for us to assign the readings selectively given that it is impossible to cover the whole book. Sometimes, I do feel some sections are too long and can be broken down further, but it's just individual opinions.
The book is presented in a clear, logical fashion. I like that the problems are solved in a stepwise guided module, which is quite clear compared to other textbooks. I also like how the book incorporate animation links to Openstax source which is only available to faculties for other textbooks. In addition, all the solutions to end of chapter homework problems are available for free, students don't have to purchase a solution manual.
It's quite clear.
I don't see grammar mistakes, or it doesn't stand out to me.
The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It introduces scientists whenever relative.
Textbooks are used as a reference for college students. The percentage of students actually read the book is pretty low. If this is the case, is it worthwhile to invest a few hundred dollars on the textbooks? I think this is a great textbook itself already, it is even greater given that the it's free, and can be easily accessed in a variety of ways. Thanks to Openstax for providing this great resource for students and faculties.
This text appears to cover a similar list of topics to those covered in the more expensive text I currently use in my courses. This is good for faculty looking to switch because topics are still covered and there will be a textbook section to... read more
This text appears to cover a similar list of topics to those covered in the more expensive text I currently use in my courses. This is good for faculty looking to switch because topics are still covered and there will be a textbook section to refer students to.
The content appears to be as accurate and error-free as possible. One of the benefits of this textbook is the annually published Errata to help users identify errors to correct for their classes. Also, if glaring mistakes are found after the rigorous review required by Openstax, the web-based books are able to be updated, which traditional print texts cannot do as easily.
One of the nice things about chemistry is that a lot of it has been around for so long that it is hard to be “outdated”. There are some specific examples connecting chemistry to things that students encounter in everyday life that could be outdated quickly depending on how quickly technology continues to progress. There are also boxes informing students how science interconnects with other scientific disciplines. These are in a lot of cutting-edge or constantly changing fields such as biochemistry and climate science, respectively. Depending on how these sciences continue to change, these examples could also quickly become outdated. But the "basics" in the text should remain relevant for years if not decades.
The book is written with as much clarity as a science textbook can have. With professional quality graphics, connections to real examples, and access to online demos for clarification, this text is above and beyond the traditional print resource.
The text is cohesive and uses the same formatting throughout the chapters. This is comforting for readers who may already be daunted by the subject matter, giving the book a predictability in style.
The text is very well broken down into readable sections with great visual aids as well as links to online modules to complement or illustrate concepts. While links may be listed in a traditional printed text, having the ability to click the link right there is invaluable. Additionally, each section lists learning objectives that will be of use to students and faculty alike when it comes time for assessment.
There are typically two methods for presenting information in a General Chemistry sequence and like most popular texts, both are available here (Chemistry and Chemistry: Atoms First). For the most part, Chemistry seems to follow the topics in a very similar order to the textbook I currently use in General Chemistry (Tro, A Molecular Approach). This is useful for instructors looking to make the switch because it limits the amount of curriculum rearranging they will have to undertake in well-established courses. With Openstax, there is also an option for excluding or reordering sections to fit the course needs, which is not an option with more traditional texts.
One of the benefits of this text is the number of interfaces it is available on (which allows for assessibility). This review was written based on the iBooks and Online interface. Both appear to work very well and are very user-friendly, while I prefer the interface on iBooks personally. For those looking for the more traditional textbook experience, print and PDF copies are available but the iBooks and online interfaces give users an interactive experience with previously mentioned hyperlinks to online simulations and other modules. The iBooks version also condenses examples and other large areas to scrollable boxes, making them easy to skip over if they aren’t important to the reader.
The book uses exceptional grammar without topics going over the heads of the intended audience.
One of the features of this text is a supplemental section in select chapters “Portrait of a Chemist”. While there is a nice gender diversity of the scientists features, racial diversity seems a bit lacking. This may be a consequence of the subject matter, but efforts to be more inclusive in future editions could be made. There is a fair representation of various countries, however.
This text appears to be an excellent text for general chemistry curricula and I look forward to adapting my classes to utilizing this low-cost option.
The text covers the standard topic for 1 year (2 semester) college chemistry. read more
The text covers the standard topic for 1 year (2 semester) college chemistry.
Content is presented in historically accurate/accepted view of chemistry.
Chapters flow in a natural progression for learning. Beginning with the scientific method and continuing on with traditional basic chemistry topics, stoichiometry, energy, structure, kinetics equilibrium and acid base. Examples can be easily changed to fit modern norms.
Chapters are divided into sections with each section having introduction, theory, examples and problems to worked out by the student.
The same methodology including terminology/symbols are used throughout the book.
Traditional college chemistry with subject matter divided into rational chapters and sections. Extensive review, including summary and glossary, at the end of each chapter should prove to enhance learning.
Chapters and sections flow in a logical fashion. Each chapter contains problems of varying difficulty , starting with simple and progressing to difficult.
Illustrations and explanations are clear and movement from page to page is easy.
I did not note grammatical errors and found the writing easy to follow and understand.
The text contains examples of contributions to chemistry from young and old, male and female, historical and modern. There are abundant examples of chemistry how it applies to modern popular and classical cultures.
The text to should provide for an excellent chemistry course for outdoor and environmental programs at VCC . The text is comprehensive with sufficient rigor to be sufficient as a stand alone for any college chemistry course.
The OpenStax textbook for college-level General Chemistry provides the typical topics covered in this class. (Atomic theory, stoichiometry, gas laws, electronic structure, bonding theories, equilibrium, thermodynamics, kinetics, electrochemistry,... read more
The OpenStax textbook for college-level General Chemistry provides the typical topics covered in this class. (Atomic theory, stoichiometry, gas laws, electronic structure, bonding theories, equilibrium, thermodynamics, kinetics, electrochemistry, nuclear chemistry, organic chemistry.) The topics are covered in good detail and at a level that is appropriate for beginning chemistry and biology majors. The appendices are likewise appropriate for the intended audience. Each chapter contains a useful glossary and summary of important points from the main text. The book also contains a large number of worked examples in each chapter. The end-of-chapter problems are at the appropriate level in terms of completeness and rigor.
The chemistry content is accurate. Some of the example exercises and solutions to end-of-chapter problems contain errors. The errors seem to be present in both the hard copy and online versions of the textbook.
The contextual information is helpful, relevant, and current
The writing style is clear and accessible. I have used the book for two years now and I have not any students complain that they have difficulty in understanding the book. Chemical terminology is introduced, explained and used in ways that are natural and appropriate.
The textbook is internally consistent in terms of the terminology and approach to understanding introductory chemistry principles.
The modularity of the book is good. As discussed below, I typically rearrange specific sections from Chapters 3, 4, and 11 with no problems to student understanding.
The textbook follows a fairly standard organization for introductory General Chemistry. While the organization is logical and clear, there are aspects of the organization that I would do differently. The book introduces the mole concept, empirical formulas, and molarity (Chap. 3) before chemical equations (Chap. 4.) In fact, I teach the sequence that I prefer by jumping back-and-forth between chapters 3 and 4. The students seem to be able to handle that approach without difficulty. I likewise introduce the concept of electrolytes (in Chap. 11, Solutions) while discussing aqueous reactions and ionic equations in Chapter 4. The chapter on gases can be taught either after stoichiometry (Chap. 4) or along with liquids and solids (Chap. 10.) The textbook works for either approach. Overall, the organization is fine and I have been able to adapt it to my preferred approach to introducing the key topics.
The textbook is easy to navigate, both in the hard copy and online forms.
The writing is free of grammatical and stylistic errors.
The textbook is culturally sensitive.
Overall, I like this textbook very much. The quality of the entire presentation (text, figures, pictures) is excellent. My students appreciate that different modes available for using the book.
Overall the book is fairly comprehensive and covers all the material that I teach in general chemistry. read more
Overall the book is fairly comprehensive and covers all the material that I teach in general chemistry.
Not surprisingly, there are differences between the online version, PDF version, and hard copy version of the textbook. Hopefully, there is an annotated list of changes as they are made to the online version so that these can be provided to students and professors with the hard copy or PDF. For example, the Born-Haber cycle in chapter 7 describes cesium fluoride in the figure and table in the online and PDF versions, but the hard copy version describes cesium fluoride in the figure and a mixture of cesium chloride and sodium chloride in the table. In chapter 6 section 1, the first figure has errors in equating the cycles per second to hertz in the PDF and hard copy versions, but it has been fixed in the online version. Errors are easy to repair in the electronic version but will obviously remain in the used textbook market until a newer hard copy edition is printed. However, it would be helpful if the errors were uniformly fixed in both the PDF and online versions so there are only two versions: a consistent electronic version in either PDF or online format and an out of date printed hard copy version that will be fixed in the next printing run.
The content presented is still relevant in my reading of the text. Any longevity issues should be relatively easy to fix in the online and PDF versions.
The text was accessible and provided adequate context to help with understanding the chemical terminology.
The text used consistent terminology and provided a list of key terms and their definitions at the end of each chapter.
Each chapter is broken into numbered and titled sections and titled subsections e.g. 10.1 Intermolecular Forces contains subsections for Dispersion Forces, Dipole-Dipole Attractions, Hydrogen Bonding, etc. As a result, a chapter should be able to be broken up into distinct reading sections or reorganized assuming care is taken to cover/introduce any prerequisite terminology.
The book provides a fairly logical and clear flow, as it is similar in organization to other general chemistry textbooks. One addition would be to add exact references to the sub-parts of each figure. For example, when the text describes homogeneous and heterogeneous mixtures, the text correctly references the figure however it could be more specific by identifying the sub-part of the figure e.g. 1.13a vs. 1.13b. This is applicable to the downloadable PDF and hard copy of the book only. The online version provides hyperlinks in the description of both to the figure. However, this type of reference where the parts of a figure are separately referenced is rare in the text and don't detract from the structure and flow.
Navigation of the online text and PDF were problem free for me. The images and charts all seemed to be high quality in both formats. However, the one note I will make is in the lack of consistency of figure numbering in the online, PDF, and hard copy versions. If a student is using a different version of the textbook (online vs. PDF/hard copy) than the professor, you should be aware that the figure numbering system is different. The figures in the PDF/hard copy are designated with the chapter number and figure number separated by a period e.g. figure 8.11 (chapter 8 figure 11). However, the figures in the online version are only numbered consecutively and the numbering starts over in each chapter section. As a result, figure 8.11 in the PDF/hard copy is the eleventh figure in chapter 8, but it is labeled figure 6 in the online version because it is the sixth figure in chapter 8 section 2. It would be great if all versions of the text used the same figure numbering system.
I did not notice serious grammatical errors that detracted from the readability of the text.
I did not notice any culturally insensitive or offensive text. The text has incorporated “Portrait of a Chemist” subsections to highlight “the work of prominent figures from history and present day so that students can see the ‘face’ of contributors.” There are twelve scientists highlighted in these sections, however not all of them have pictures of the highlighted person which may help students better picture themselves in those scientists. In addition, more of these subsections could be included to build a group of chemists that better reflects the current cultural diversity within the field.
The book is quite comprehensive. It covers all the main topics that are usually covered by General Chemistry (both I and II). The order of these topics is appropriate and easy to follow. The index at the end is pretty long (9 pages), which also... read more
The book is quite comprehensive. It covers all the main topics that are usually covered by General Chemistry (both I and II). The order of these topics is appropriate and easy to follow. The index at the end is pretty long (9 pages), which also indicates that this book is quite comprehensive.
Most of the content are accurate in the chapters that I read through. There are a few typos here and there, which could happen to any book that has 1300+ pages.
Many chapters start with a short introduction and a real life picture. They are up-to-date. Also, they could be easily replaced with a more up-to-date introduction as time passes by. I really like the "Chemistry in Everyday Life" feature in this book. Almost every section has one or two "Chemistry in Everyday Life" examples to relate the chemistry with our lives. These examples make it easier to understand chemistry, especially for the readers who learn chemistry for the first time.
The language in the book is easy to follow. The chapters that read through explain the content with adequate explanation, real life, figures, tables, math examples and even videos (Link to learning). Some of the examples require multiple-step calculation. Then a flow chart was given to help explain the steps, which makes it easier for students to follow the steps and understand how to solve the problem. Hopefully, with the examples with this, students could eventually draw their own flow chart to solve multiple-step problems. Some figures are really good. For example, Figure 5.11 on Page 235 clearly demonstrates the energy direction between the system and surroundings and also the temperature change for both endothermic and exothermic reactions. I am ready to adopt this figure for my class.
This book is very consistent in terms of its framework. Each chapter has the following components. (1) a short introduction with pictures. (2) definition and description of concepts and theories, followed by examples. (3) "Chemistry in Everyday Life" to connect content of that section with real life (4) "Link to learning", which are videos for demonstration (5) "Key terms" to summarize the definitions of terminology in that chapter. (6) key equations and content summary (7) end-of-chapter practices (100+ practices for each chapter) In addition to the list above, the format of the book is quite consistent, which makes readers easy to follow.
Each section has its own description and examples. I can use all the sections in the order as the book, or if it is needed, I could easily rearrange the sections to the order I need. I don't see much reading disruption to do so.
The topics are arranged in a similar order as most other Gen Chem textbooks: structure of atoms, molecules, nomenclature, reactions, thermochemistry, bonding, intermolecular forces, solution, kinetics, equilibrium, thermodynamics, electrochemistry, etc. I noticed that "Gases" chapter is after "bonding", while most General Chemistry textbooks have "Gases" after reactions. I feel it is OK both arrangement. I don't see any issue with it.
The hyperlinks worked really well for me. I can navigate within the book without any problem. I really like the "Links to Learning" in the book. They took me to videos or simulations. If I were a student who is taking General Chemistry, I would be very happy to watch the videos to better understand the material. Also, the videos can be accessed at any time, which are good supplement to our lectures. Also, simulations allow students to try different things to explore what would happen, so they can better understand the content.
I did not see grammatical error in the text.
I don't see any content that is culturally insensitive or offensive.
I really like this book, not only for the affordability but also for the chemistry content. If I have to give my comments, please see below. (1) It would be convenient if there is a button on every page to take me to the book content table at the beginning. (2) I hope there are more "Links to Learning" in the book. They help students to understand the content. Also, simulations (such as https://phet.colorado.edu/) could be added as "Links to learning". So students could learn and practice by running simulations. I feel that the book would be more interactive.
The text covers all of the basic concepts usually found in general chemistry textbooks, but also delves into advanced topics such as transition metals and coordination chemistry, organic chemistry, and nuclear chemistry. The inclusion of these... read more
The text covers all of the basic concepts usually found in general chemistry textbooks, but also delves into advanced topics such as transition metals and coordination chemistry, organic chemistry, and nuclear chemistry. The inclusion of these chapters allows the curious student to learn more about these topics in preparation for other courses, or for the instructor to touch upon advanced topics building upon fundamental concepts in general chemistry.
The book is accurate.
The contents are up to date, and the examples given in the text are relevant to real world applications that students may encounter.
The book is clearly written and makes difficult concepts clear.
The book is consistent in its use of terminology.
The modularity is excellent and allows the instructor to use this text as an Atoms First edition, if needed.
The organization and flow is consistent with many General Chemistry texts.
The interface is very nice, and the printed edition is also very good. The printed edition has "Link to Learning" sections that allow you to review specific topics.
The book's grammar is correct.
The text is not culturally offensive.
Yes, the book covers all the material that is covered is the same as our current General Chemistry 1 textbook. read more
Yes, the book covers all the material that is covered is the same as our current General Chemistry 1 textbook.
Yes, I could not find any inaccuracies when going through the textbook
I believe chemistry theory on the first year level has remained somewhat consistent for the past couple of decades and I do not foresee any changes in the near future. The format of the textbook will allow for easy changes as the sections are nicely compartmentalized.
The chemistry concepts are presented in a clear, concise and straightforward manner
The terms used are consistent with other General chemistry terms
This is the strength of the textbook in its ability to divide and subdivide the chemistry materials
Yes, the material is presented in a similar manner to other textbooks
All images and charts are clear.
I did not find any grammatical errors.
I did not notice any insensitive or offensive remarks. There is a couple of images that have company labels that could be changed.
One addition for the textbook could be more worked out examples in chapter 3 and 4 as I believe the mole concept is one of the most vital concepts for students to understand in General Chemistry 1
This book is as good as any printed Chemistry Textbook. It has an index that lists all (and more) fundamentals of chemistry: Phases, physical and chemical changes, atomic model, ions, nomenclature, Periodic Table, the mole, formulas,... read more
This book is as good as any printed Chemistry Textbook. It has an index that lists all (and more) fundamentals of chemistry: Phases, physical and chemical changes, atomic model, ions, nomenclature, Periodic Table, the mole, formulas, concentration, reactions and stoichiometry, Thermodynamics, Lewis dot structures, polarity, bonding, gases, Intermolecular Forces, phase diagrams, Kinetics, equilibria, acid-base chemistry, titrations, pH, electrochemistry, etc. These are all fundamentals in General Chemistry I and II; needed to understand many phenomena and solve problems. For example: understanding Lewis dot structures to determine why certain things dissolve (or don’t) (sugar in water vs. oil in water) and how that can be used to make better water or oil based paints. Polarity and electronic ink, Gorilla® Glass (ions in glass strengthen the glass, based on Periodic Properties (Periodic Table)), goiter (iodide ion deficiency), Mohave Desert Solar Power plant, Astronomy (energy and supernovae) and atoms. Each chapter has practice problems as the student goes through the chapter (some with answers worked out stepwise, some with just answers). The book gives lots of examples where chemistry shows up in a typical person’s daily life- food, minerals (rocks), cleaning products, air bags, etc. At the end of each chapter a review key terms list, a chapter summary and more problems for the student to work through at the end of each chapter as more practice. The book goes into at least adequate detail on all needed topics, and a few in even more detail than I (personally) need (but more is better than not enough). These are: significant figures, Mulliken’s oil drop experiment, and atomic mass units (amu’s). As for not enough detail (the absence of one thing in an equation, Ch. 11): The book doesn’t give quite enough detail on the change in boiling point or melting point of a solution via the Van’t Hoff ‘i’ factor. No book has that constant, that I’ve seen, in many years. Also, Ch. 13: I derive the integrated forms of the rate law, this book does not (it is a mix, many books don’t show the derivation, but a few do)
In the book, the examples relate well to everyday life and give lots of accurate uses of chemistry and accurately worked out examples (math problems). In terms of errors, most are typographical (ex.s p. 174, ‘sight’ instead of ‘side’, p. 191 duplicate notes (1 and 2), p. 235 (Tfina – Tinita instead of Tfinal – Tinital), p. 489 (effusion instead of effusion), p. 490 (xygen and ydrogen instead of oxygen and hydrogen). The only accuracy issue (minor) was on p. 345; electronegativity was defined as electron pulling power of an atom, but with NO mention of it being an atom IN a molecule.
Lots of everyday examples (cell phones, cars, brewing beer, fruit ripening chemistry, artificial sweeteners, examining molecules in exhaled breath as early disease indicators, ionic compounds and their uses (CaCO3- antacid), solid rocket fuels, touch screens, lithium batteries, etc. Some of these will be around for a long time (and already have been), some will change or become outdated. But since the book is primarily on-line (but students can have it printed and bound for a small fee; a nice feature for those that want a physical copy), updates are easy to implement. The book already has the ‘new’ definition of the standard meter and the ‘new’ concept of atom economy (not just percent yield). Book still has a few elements in the Periodic Table missing. Not crucial, but since the elements were made ‘official’ this past summer (2017), the Periodic Table should be up to date (missing Nh, Mc, Ts and Og). But basic information is there and because chemistry books are written mostly as fundamental facts (that haven’t changed much in many decades; ex. water will always be essential to life—like the fundamentals of physics (ex. gravity)) the book won’t ever really be out-of-date.
Nice pictorial representations of chemical processes. Shows representations of atoms combining to form new compounds. Great as students often have trouble “seeing” this concept. Ex. 2 H (two separate atoms) vs. H2 (two combined atoms; a molecule) vs. 2 H2 (two molecules). Terminology in explaining terms is adequate, some definitions are clearer than others, but all terms are defined in plan, clear English. And not chemistry textbook explains everything perfectly. This book is just as good as any other in terms of this (and this one is free!).
Every chapter is consistent in that it has a small introduction with a real-life example or current issue that we are trying to solve. This is followed by the chapter being divided into sections with main topics for each section with example problems throughout (some worked out step-wise, some with just the answer). Then end of chapter list of terms to know (with definitions), then the chapter summary, then many more practice problems for the student to work out. Each chapter also has real-life examples and profiles of people that contributed towards our chemical understanding or policy-making through environmental stewardship.
Just like a printed text, it is split into chapters and sections within the chapters. So you can navigate to any page or section you want, much like a printed book. It also has Figures, Tables, and little sub-sections with chemistry of every-day things and examples that break up the chapters nicely.
The order is a typical order of presentation of General Chemistry textbooks (note: there are two versions, the ‘regular’ order and the ‘atoms first’ approach. The ‘regular’ order was reviewed here). But the order isn’t that crucial as teaching from the book (being separated into chapters) allows the professor’s syllabus to be put together in whatever order they would like). Since the topics often build off of each other, the first few chapters tend to not be moved around much, but later chapters can be moved around a bit more. In terms of within each chapter; again the flow is logical (brief introduction, then each section with a main topic (with examples and short topics on chemistry or the people behind the chemistry), then an end of chapter review, then more practice problems at the end of the chapter.
The format is a bit different depending upon what device you are using, but all allow easy navigation through the book. On a tablet device, one can tap the screen and get a small representation of all the pages, just flip through them like a book, or scroll on the bar below the pages representation to go through the pages even faster (with pages marked as you move the bar from left to right). Includes links to videos and applications that help visualize concepts not possible (as easily) with a printed textbook. All pictures (Figures, Tables, etc.) are clear (Note: there are two versions of the book, a high and a low resolution, and both are very easy to see and are very clear without any visibility issues. Pictures used well in conjunction with everyday examples. Lots of worked examples, examples with just an answer, crossing out of units (showing each step in unit analysis. This makes for a very clear and easy way to follow this concept. Unit analysis is a very important concept, not just for chemistry, but any scientific analysis).
The book is written in plain, simple to understand English whenever possible. Sometimes some special terms are unavoidable, but this is fairly rare. Also see #2 accuracy and #10 (below).
More about the facts / compounds / science than people… but science is based on facts and has always been written in a neutral third-person- so really not an issue (more an issue if it were a humanities text). But pictures with people / people’s hands are all colors- so even more inclusive and relevant than chemistry books of the past. Also includes scientific contributions from men and women from many races and backgrounds (England, Russia, Germany, India, US, etc.; environmentalists, biochemists, mineralogists, brewers, farmers, etc.).
This book is an excellent one for its clarity, examples, video examples, worked problem examples, organization, and range of topics covered. It is doubly excellent in that it is free online, so it saves students money and because it is online, students are much more apt to read it (they have the internet constantly via their cell phones).
This textbook has a thorough coverage of general chemistry, and has good coverage of subject matter I rarely am able to touch on in a general chemistry course, such as coordination compounds and the chemistry of the representative elements. The... read more
This textbook has a thorough coverage of general chemistry, and has good coverage of subject matter I rarely am able to touch on in a general chemistry course, such as coordination compounds and the chemistry of the representative elements. The text has sufficient depth and breadth, and incorporates some historical references as well to assist in the explanation of concepts. The book is laid out in a logical pattern, and has a useful table of contents and index, as well as multiple appendices replete with useful information.
The information contained in the chapters I read thoroughly was accurate and gave excellent explanations of the topics. I did find a few errors here and there, typographical in a few figures, but you find typos in every textbook, every edition. The actual text of the book I read appeared to be without error. Quotations were accurately referenced (I checked the one by Lagrange). Most of the topics covered in general chemistry have had little change for years. There appeared to be no apparent bias in the information presented in the textbook. I found it to be informative and fact-based.
There are several instances of examples that have come from recent events around the world, as well as those that are traditionally included in chemistry textbooks. I would find it difficult to think the textbook would fall out of date, as the material in a general chemistry class would have little variation over time. The examples that are primarily “real-world” appear to be separate from the bulk of common textbook information, a design feature that lends itself to efficient updating for future information to be included, revised or revisited.
The language used in the textbook is appropriate and adequate for explanation of chemical concepts. In fact, at times it reads more like a lecture than a textbook, which I think helps the student with more detailed information than that of other textbooks. Having the learning objectives listed for each section assists the students in understanding what they will learn and should understand.
The textbook layout varies little from the textbook I currently use and could most likely be used by reordering the chapters in this text with little effort. There is a logical grouping of information, and there is a similar presentation throughout the textbook. I saw little variation in the explanation of material between this text and others.
As I mentioned above, the textbook could be used with little rearrangement in my current classes. The chapters, due to limited crossover in the text, are capable of being arranged in a different order than the current version. I like the fact that the book even provides an “atoms first” order, suggesting the alternate pathway through the material. I believe this text can be organized easily and effectively for the students based on the faculty member’s choices.
The organization of the textbook is similar to other general chemistry textbooks I’ve seen, so there isn’t anything surprising it the structure of the chapters or the flow of the text. I have rearranged lectures in the past based on the books I have used, so that I don’t have to introduce material in later chapters to explain the material in the current chapter. I believe this book would help alleviate this issue.
I used a bound copy to evaluate, but also looked at the textbook online. It appears nearly identical. The only difference is that in the print version, examples were numbered while those online were not. Figures have numbers in the hard-bound version while they are in-line with the text online. One benefit of the online version is that after each section, the end-of-chapter questions are right there. The only thing that was distracting is that the examples in the book seem to extend on to the next page, and tables stretch over two pages also. It would make more sense to start the table at the top of a page and have it all together.
I found no grammatical errors in the chapters I read thoroughly. It reads well, and is put together well.
I found it to be very relevant to the times technologically, and did not see anything that would be offensive or insensitive to any particular group. I appreciate the effort of putting scientist features in the text, and would suggest incorporating more of these features with a wider variety to benefit outreach for chemistry as a whole. Also, I had to flip through each chapter to find information on scientists, as there was no index for those features.
Looking over the textbook, and considering the very low cost for students, I am seriously considering using this textbook instead our current text. Before looking at the text, I had been a bit wary due to a colleague in a different discipline who struggled with open resources that were disjointed, and had terrible figures. After reviewing this book, I found the pictures to be clear, concise, and useful. Additionally, the text itself is well-written and organized in a logical fashion.
The book is quite comprehensive and covers all the material I want it to. read more
The book is quite comprehensive and covers all the material I want it to.
Content is accurate. Does still include d-orbitals in hybridization, which has lately fallen out of favor.
I think the book is relevant and should be easy to update if necessary.
The level seems appropriate for first-year college students.
The book uses a consistent vocabulary and terminology. It is easy to keep track of the new words being introduced.
The book seems fairly easy to break into smaller reading sections. However, compared to other chemistry texts, there are fewer subsections per chapter. This occasionally means the professor has to say "We won't cover the information on the bottom of page 105" rather than simply saying "We'll skip section 4.3."
The topics are fairly logical. Occasionally, it feels like the book makes a right-hand turn (for example, ionic equations are given very sudden and swift treatment) and starts covering a subject for which the background has not been fully established.
The interface is quite nice.
I have not found any grammatical errors.
I always wish chemistry texts would find a way to highlight non-white, non-male scientists, and this text is no different.
A side by side comparison of this text and two others currently on the market (Silberberg/Amateis and Atkins/Jones/Laverman) reveal a nearly identical coverage of overall content/subject matter. There are differences in sequencing at times but I... read more
A side by side comparison of this text and two others currently on the market (Silberberg/Amateis and Atkins/Jones/Laverman) reveal a nearly identical coverage of overall content/subject matter. There are differences in sequencing at times but I value Openstax's explicitly presented alternative sequencing scenario. The other two texts have significantly more detailed tables of contents, glossaries, and indexes. In my opinion, however, this detailed presentation of contents is over-rated in terms of effectiveness for the student's learning and while it distinguishes one text from another, if cost and access are the issues to be addressed here by the existence of open textbooks, then the Openstax Chemistry text does the job. Modern textbooks are, again, my opinion, regurgitations of each other. Nothing is missing from Openstax that is found in other texts.
I believe accuracy is the most difficult trait to "review" since I usually only find errors during the close reading done while I am teaching from a text (and from having students do close reading and problem solving from a particular text). That being said, I see no errors, glaring or otherwise in my page by page comparison of several definitions (Ksp, dissociation, Hess's Law, Dalton's atomic theory). Though the latter is broken down into 5 postulates compared to the traditional 4...but that's really just a result of style of presentation of that particular item. I find no accuracy issue to report here.
ALL of the tradition/conventional/necessary/foundational content is included here. There are certainly no too many necessarily updateable examples/figures/photos. Up to date is an interesting way to try to assess a basic chemistry text...fact of the matter is that the subject matter does not change!!!!!
Chemistry is, by nature, a "second language". But Openstax does no more or less jargon usage than is necessary and the clarity is absolutely consistent with the best products on the commercial textbook market. In addition, the absence of "margin notes" makes the open page of the Openstax text a calm proposition. I believe the STUDENT is well-served by the Openstax level of clarity.
Yes! In addition, it is consistent with the best products on the commercial textbook market!
I've no issues at all with the modularity. In fact, I prefer the look of the Openstax page. Modern textbooks are WAY too jam-packed with information per page and that makes them hard to read! There are plenty of sub-units to allow for instructor-initiated alternate reading scenarios. I comment on some modularity issues that are also flow issues below.
Indeed, the organization is nearly identical to best-selling products currently on the market. Organization/structure/flow is always a personal preference on the part of the instructor; with respect to this issue, I have no critical comments to offer for the Openstax text.
I did find a number of Tables (2.3, 2.4, 4.2, 10.4, 15.1, 18.2, as examples) and Examples (7.11, 10.6, 11.3, 11.4, 20.10 for example) that continued to the next page. Those are just representative cases...the book is FULL of this particular interface issue. I don't believe Tables should EVER continue to a next page in a textbook (though that is certainly necessary for bound volumes of tables like the CRC!) and while it is not at all uncommon for Examples (example problems) to need to run to the next page, the examples I list here have only the title of the example problem on the bottom of the page and then the worked example in its entirety on the next page...I believe this to be particularly distracting. Tables in other texts with which I am familiar are far more densely packed and subsequently more difficult to read but at least they are all contained on a page. Honestly, though, I'm only going to knock one point off of my rating, below, because I don't think most students care about this especially now that they are moving to reading in digital format...really they care about how much that textbook costs. One thing I really like about the Openstax text is the complete lack of "margin" information. Those margin notes have become way too distracting. In modern texts, the "margins" are full of dense material, not "notes". The pages of the Openstax text are calmer, more spaciously presented, less colorful...good stuff.
I see no glaring errors in the Openstax text with spelling, punctuation, super and sub-scripting, capitalization, etc. I find third person prose a tedious read, but that is convention and the Openstax text, sticks to it!
The Openstax text does a good job of minimizing persons in photos where their presence is of no consequence but if I'm being hypercritical (as a reviewer should!) I'm wondering why we have a large photo of Walter Kohn and a blurb but no photo of Dorothy Hodgkin? And there are a number of figures and photos that could be changed to include persons of color; the text is overwhelmingly Western and white. That's pretty traditional in the discipline and it needs to change.
Hands down worthwhile for the $$$. I would teach from this text without hesitation. Though at this time our department uses a common text, making individual instructor preference irrelevant. If there existed a non-majors basic chemistry text, I would not hesitate to class test it!
The text is quite comprehensive. Standard areas of general chemistry are covered very well, at level above that found in most currently used texts. The numerous and well chosen examples and exercises are well designed to help students master the... read more
The text is quite comprehensive. Standard areas of general chemistry are covered very well, at level above that found in most currently used texts. The numerous and well chosen examples and exercises are well designed to help students master the material
The text is accurate. I have found it free of errors and bias.
The main concepts of introductory chemistry such as atomic theory, the periodic table, equilibria etc. have been well established for many decades. Relevance is introduced through use of common everyday examples in the home, environment and industry. Well chosen illustrations and PhET animations help make this a modern text. Numerous modern examples, like new materials, devices and environmental aspects of chemistry are highly relevant today, but may be relatively easily updated with future scientific progress.
The text is clear, well organized and easy to read. Well designed and carefully chosen illustrations are a great help in understanding the concepts.
The treatment of is consistent, a single style/voice maintained through text. Terminology use is well explained.
The text is well designed for modularity. Every chapter has multiple well delineated sub-sections. Re-ordering chapters to emphasize a more atoms-first approach is easy.
The book is well organized, topics are introduced in a clear and logical fashion, with new material building on previous knowledge. Introductory and closing sections ensure a smooth flow of information.
Navigating the text is easy (I read the PDF version through a web browser). One feature that I disliked was splitting tables across pages.
The text is grammatically correct.
The 'Portrait of a Chemist' vignettes introduce the reader to the achievements of a diverse group of chemists.
This is an excellent text, comprehensive, clearly written, well organized. I especially liked the multiple examples of chemistry in everyday life. I am recommending this book for use in my department.
This book is an excellent as a choice for a one quarter or two quarter chemistry class. The subjects cover all the essential information. The glossary is complete. There were many subjects included that are not included in my current textbook that... read more
This book is an excellent as a choice for a one quarter or two quarter chemistry class. The subjects cover all the essential information. The glossary is complete. There were many subjects included that are not included in my current textbook that is used for Introductory Chemistry.
Book has been great so far. I (and my students) have not uncovered any mistakes.
Having an online presence can make updating the book a much simpler process. The content was very up to date. Examples given were timely and still relevant to today's student.
Text was easy to follow and clear for students. Not too overly wordy with nomenclature.
The text is consistent in terms of terminology. Words that are defined early on in the text are used again later.
I appreciate the shorter chapters. Smaller reading sections make it seems less daunting to students and easier to break up assignments.
I think the topics are presented in a logical, clear fashion. It makes sense to the introductory student, and as an instructor I don't have to skip chapters and then come back to them later.
Interface looks and works great. Navigating through the pdf and clicking on links embedded in the text is a great tool for expanding on ideas in the classroom.
None found (yet).
I found no examples that were insensitive or offensive in any way.
I am very happy with using the textbook in my class. I know my students are thrilled about the price. I usually have the pdf open on my classroom's workstation. If I need to refer to a diagram I can click to it immediately and show it on the big screen. I can also click on links to further enforce ideas and show some great application and demonstration videos.
The text is very comprehensive and includes all of the content areas expected in a comprehensive general chemistry textbook for use in a two-semester general chemistry course. The text also includes an extensive set of appendices including a... read more
The text is very comprehensive and includes all of the content areas expected in a comprehensive general chemistry textbook for use in a two-semester general chemistry course. The text also includes an extensive set of appendices including a section on essential mathematics and the usual tabulated data (physical constants, thermodynamic data, standard potentials, etc). Extensive open-source art has been incorporated into the text along with all additional features that extend the text beyond just content and allow customization of the text for use in a variety of general chemistry courses.
Content is accurate and can easily compete with any other general chemistry textbook offered by the major publishing companies.
The general chemistry content is up-to-date and reflects some of the best practices in presenting core chemistry concepts to students including extensive use of graphic visualizations both in the content body as well as practice problems and worked examples. Applications used within the text are current and most will hold over time, however, some examples and side notes may become irrelevant with time such as the use of statistical figures. Updates to these applications, facts, and figures would be easy and straightforward and they do not impact to the core content of the text.
The text is written with a nice balance between introducing technical terminology and ideas while supporting learners who are just starting out in college-level chemistry. The book is certainly written to a college-level and some descriptions and explanations may be difficult to follow for learners with language difficulties or weaker science backgrounds. Nonetheless, the book is well-written and edited such that most statements and explanations are kept concise and to the point which should make the information more accessible to wider range of learners.
The text is very consistent with a clear framework for providing explanations, supporting examples, and practice problems.
The book has a similar modularity to most general chemistry textbooks which is limited without further customization. For students using the text as a reference source, the different content areas easily standalone assuming an appropriate prior knowledge background. As pointed out in the preface, the chapter content could be rearranged. However, as with most general chemistry textbooks - the topics in later chapters build upon some topics in earlier chapter. This is mostly a function of the nature of general chemistry itself coupled with the comprehensive structure of this textbook.
The book is organized in the typical structure of nearly all general chemistry textbooks. The advantage in the open-source structure is the ability to customize and adapt the sections and chapters for use in a variety of course designs. The book has been written in a traditional topic order but includes a description of a potential atoms-first sequence for faculty desiring that sequence. However, the preface warns that the reordered sequence may require careful consideration of textual consistency. Nonetheless, the adaptive and customized nature of the book allows adopters to make any necessary changes as they see fit for any desired alternate sequencing in the content.
The online interface is clean and professional looking. Navigation requires a small learning curve, but quick links allow you to readily jump from topic to topic. The system seemed to be fast, but occasional server lag was noticed upon linking from topic to topic as each page was loaded. In addition, due to the open-source nature, 'please donate' screens appear periodically and break the usability and flow of the textbook. These donation screens can be off-putting from a faculty side and certainly could be damaging to learners when trying to quickly find and use the information in the book.
The text is well-written and appears to have been heavily edited to omit and avoid grammatical issues.
The text makes good use of references to a wide variety of interesting applications and issues across a range of cultural aspects. The use of freely available open source images and links to web-based supplements hint at global sources of information. While the book is not culturally-offensive, the examples and applications are certainly US-centric. This US-centric view may limit the books attractiveness to the international audience.
Openstax Chemistry is an exceptional starting point for a free, open-source textbook. The content, examples, and supporting materials are on-par with most publisher textbooks. However, the customizable and adaptable nature of the Creative Commons licensing makes the book an ideal option for breaking away from the grip of publishing companies. This general chemistry textbook is a viable and excellent alternative for any faculty member who has struggled with textbook adoption and has spent far too many hours haggling with publishers and sales reps over student pricing, bundling of 'extras', and the inevitable 'how many students in your class' mentality. Whether you teach a class with 30 students or 300 students - this textbook provides a reliable and 100% customizable general chemistry for free. No haggling, no dealing with sales reps, and no 'new editions' every 2-3 years just for the sake of new editions.
The textbook covers all areas one would expect in a general chemistry textbook. I really liked how in many of the sections there were great particle level examples as well as links to Phet animations and tutorials to help solidify concepts. I... read more
The textbook covers all areas one would expect in a general chemistry textbook. I really liked how in many of the sections there were great particle level examples as well as links to Phet animations and tutorials to help solidify concepts. I also liked how many of the concepts were simply stated. The style of writing was very clear. The amount of detail in many cases would be perfect for my community college general chemistry course. I know writers of many textbooks feel as if they need to include more difficult concepts or added detail to add to the rigor of the text. As I am not looking for pages and pages of thermodynamic equations and derivations for a 1st year general chemistry course, I did not miss them. I am not sure if this text would be appropriate for an honors level general chemistry course. It did, however, provide a nice in-depth discussion of molecular orbital theory with a blurb on LEDs as well. For the majority of the text, the succinctness without excess verbiage was a plus. The risk is, of course, that an instructor may find certain sections under explained. For example, I thought some of the detail and examples were a little sparse in the Collision Theory discussion in the kinetics section which would benefit from more particle level images and animations as found in the other chapters. It would be something easily supplemented by the teacher.
As it is a general chemistry textbook without much interpretation of feelings and events as found in liberal arts classes, the text came across as unbiased. While reading through the text, I did not find any errors. I feel for most texts these tend to pop up in the worked problems and solutions which I did not fully explore.
I really like how each chapter made a significant effort to contextualize the chemistry content and relate it back to student's everyday lives. As it is included in the introduction section of each chapter I imagine it would be very easy to update over time. If I had any complaint here it would be that I would like to see even more contextualization throughout.
As I mentioned previously in the comprehensiveness section of the review, I thought the book was very clearly and simply written. Perfect in my mind for the 1st year undergraduate science student or honors chemistry high school student.
The writing tone is consistent throughout. The lead editor did a good job putting their voice to the content. The only inconsistent aspect in my mind is that some sections were great relating the particle level view to chemistry concepts while others seemed a little underdeveloped.
At PCC we don't just run through the topics of a text in order as we use a guided inquiry workbook created by Moog to lead our discussions. We then assign various sections of the text to provide reinforcement of a topic. After reading through this text I felt it would be very easy to assign individual sections. They all appeared to be very 'stand-alone' in nature.
The topics were presented in an "atoms first" type framework which is fairly common among general chemistry textbooks.
I found the text very easy to use on my PC. It was a minor annoyance that the loading of a number of images had a bit of lag time which was a little distracting. I wonder if the size of the images could be reduced without loss of educational value? I also tried to read the on-line version from my iPhone. It also had the same issue of slow loading time for the images. I tried the molecular shape Phet simulation on my iPhone as well and it loaded but did not work properly versus on the PC where it worked fine. For some reason I could not get the Polarity interactive tutorial to work on my PC but will reboot and try again.
Well edited and written.
Chemistry is a notoriously difficult topic to try and tie into other cultures as much of the recent advancements took place in Europe or the US. I don't feel it is impossible however. I think it would great to include more historical references to different cultures such as gunpowder in china for the stoichiometry chapter as well as the historical advances made in the middle east. There is also room to discuss the advancement of women in chemistry. Marie Curie was briefly mentioned for her notable two Nobel prizes in the section on nuclear decay but again I think an emphasis on diversity could be taken up a couple notches. Do note that this book is average in respects for the general textbook industry meaning most texts approach cultural awareness in a similar fashion, thus the average rating. It is not deficient in any way compared to standard textbooks. I would like them all to improve as a whole.
I would like to convince my department to adopt it. We don't "teach from the text" but rather use the textbook as a resource to supplement our guided inquiry activities in class. This would work fine. I also like how it offers a number of resources for the instructor in terms of powerpoints, testbanks, as well as different options for affordable on-line homework systems. It is an improvement over ChemWiki in my opinion due to the contextualization (which could be expanded) and the particle level images and embedded animations and tutorials.
The book provides a fairly complete overview of what your would expect to see in a general chemistry textbook. This text provides additional information not directly related to the chemistry content (e.g. portrait of a chemist) that may be... read more
The book provides a fairly complete overview of what your would expect to see in a general chemistry textbook. This text provides additional information not directly related to the chemistry content (e.g. portrait of a chemist) that may be interesting or important to some users, both through text boxes in the book and numerous links to material on the web, taking good advantage of the ebook format. The book contains a thorough, linked index and a glossary at the end of each chapter. There are a significant number of questions at the end of each chapter and some effort has been made to include conceptual questions and questions integrating multiple topics.
Overall, the book seems to have been carefully prepared and reviewed. I didn't see any major issues with accuracy.
The book does a good job of choosing interesting applications of general chemistry (e.g. respiration and low pressure weather systems when talking about the behavior of gases) that won't become less relevant with time. My only concern would be that the numerous links to external resources may become dead if the content is deleted or moved but this would seem to be a straightforward update.
The text is clearly written and easy to understand. There are an adequate number of examples for which the important steps are clearly explained. I was particularly impressed with the large number of generally useful figures included in the text which is often a significant shortcoming of open resources.
There didn't seem to be any significant issues. Terminology is maintained throughout and the approach to solving problems relies on a regular, consistent approach.
There aren't enormous blocks of uninterrupted text but I wish that the book were divided into more sections that can be navigated using the table of contents. The thermochemistry chapter, for example, is presented in only three sections. The fact that the authors do a good job of breaking these sections with subheadings partially mitigates this problem. It's not possible (or desirable), to avoid referring back to previous material in later chapters, but it doesn't appear that it would be a large problem to cover material out of order to suit the needs of a particular class.
The textbook adopts a "chemistry first" approach, though the authors provide an alternative framework in the introduction for an "atoms first" or "molecules first" approach, with a minor caveat about modularity. Within the framework that the authors have chosen, the book is sensibly structured and organized. The chapter and section organization seem to have been carefully considered.
For the most part, graphics and figures look fine, even in the lower quality version of the PDF. There are some minor issues with the formatting, such as the heading for a textbox falling on one page, and then the vast majority of the text ending up on the next page. I think some of the end of chapter questions could have profited from a little more blank space in between problems to make it easier to locate specific questions. The fact that the index and the table of contents are both linked make navigation convenient and easy.
I didn't see any significant problems with the spelling or grammar.
In the "Portrait of a Chemist" sections the authors have made an effort to include a fairly diverse group of chemists.
I was impressed with the book overall. The authors have clearly put forth a substantial effort to construct a resource that can be an adequate substitute for an expensive hard copy textbook. As mentioned above, I was particularly impressed with the large number and good quality of the figures which are often not available in open texts. Between the ancillary materials that the authors have provided and the numerous links to other resources on the web, I think the authors have been mindful of some of the biggest obstacles to adopting open resources and have made a good effort to address them.
Within the confines of the two-semester, general chemistry sequence, the text is comprehensive. Index is a mess. Glossary of key terms at the end of every chapter is good. read more
Within the confines of the two-semester, general chemistry sequence, the text is comprehensive. Index is a mess. Glossary of key terms at the end of every chapter is good.
The content is accurate and almost error-free.
The basic science doesn't change all that much. Modern texts try to make the subject relevant to the everyday experiences of students. Periodic updates will be needed.
All chemistry texts are written in a rather impersonal style. This text is just fine with regard to voice and word choice.
Excellent. The "editors" have been vigilant and done a good job.
The book is very fine grained in terms of modularity.
Topics are presented in a clear, logical fashion.
Interface is no problem. In the pdf verison, worked example boxes are sometimes split between two pages. Just a little harder to work with than wehn all on one page.
The text is well over 1000 pages. I am not convinced that it is free from grammar errors, but there are so few that they are not a distraction.
Not so good here. The writers are aware of some gender problems, but a broader interpretation of diversity is lacking.
I teach at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where I have held a full professor’s position since 1989. Prior to that I was, for 13 years, a faculty member at Loughborough University in the UK. Umass Amherst offers a two-semester, general chemistry sequence for non-chemistry STEM majors, and a two-semester general chemistry sequence for chemistry majors. Students in STEM majors, who are also members of the Honors College, also take these courses. I have taught only the first semester of the non-chemistry general chemistry course, which I have done on 10 occasions (summer 95, 96, 2015; fall 2001-4, 2010, 2014 and 2015). Until the fall of 2014, we have used various editions of “Chemistry and Chemical Reactivity” by Petrucci and Harwood, and “General Chemistry: Principles and Modern Applications,” by Kotz and Treichel. From 2014 onwards, we have been using “General Chemistry OWL” by Vining, Young, Day and Botch. Full disclosure: Bill Vining used to work at Umass Amherst, but is now at SUNY Oneonta; Roberta Day and Beatrice Botch are retired Umass Amherst faculty. Our decision to adopt was taken by the instructors of both the first and second semesters courses. This OpenStax College text is comparable is all respects to the other texts with which I am familiar. The order of the chapters is exactly in line with current thinking (the alternate “atoms first” approach is also described), the depth of coverage is the same (the book is 1393 pages long when viewed as a pdf file), and the ancillary material is, if anything, broader in scope (there are links to simulations and videos, boxes featuring famous chemists—both living and dead, and boxes showing connections to (a) everyday life and (b) other sciences). The book is visually appealing with plenty of photographs, colorful line drawings, worked examples on a blue background, and plenty of white space. The authors use the full width of the page and so there are no wide margins in which material might be placed in parallel with the text; everything is presented serially. The text is inelegant in places, particularly in the writing of chemical equations: fractions (such as ½) are given with full size numerals and there are no spaces between stoichiometric coefficients and the associated formula. Although some 16 individuals have contributed to the text (including three senior authors), there is excellent consistency between the chapters. This has been helped, no doubt, by the input of some 54 reviewers (two of whom are my colleagues at UMass Amherst). There are also very few typos or word processing errors (the substitution of “special” for “spatial” by well-meaning spellcheck software, will I fear, cause some confusion; others, such as the missing final “l” of “final” are less problematical). The authors have decided to distinguish between “weight” and “mass,” and there are almost no instances where a writer has not done so correctly. They have also decided to use the IUPAC numbering of the groups in the periodic table. The writers have, I think, tried to be sensitive to gendered stereotypes and several examples of the activities of scientists refer to “she.” Of the 12 “Portrait of a Chemist” entries, 4 feature women, and for the two living ones, there are pictures. Of the male chemists featured, only two do not have pictures. Why not take this one step further and include some racial diversity in the picture? The text needs a close read (and some editing) from a diversity viewpoint. It is clear, for example, that the writers of the very first sentences in the book think that all chemistry students own fancy electronic alarm clocks, cells phones, and a car (in which they drive to campus to attend their chemistry classes). The first chapter, the hardest in many ways to compose, is perhaps not as good as those is some other texts. The authors do not indicate whether prior knowledge of chemistry is assumed and start as though the reader knows little or nothing, but the chapter soon strays into territory where prior knowledge is definitely needed. One of the problems at the end of the chapter requires a knowledge of “amu.” Each chapter starts with a statement of the learning goals and concludes with a list of key terms, key equations, a summary of each section, and a large number of exercises and problems (nearly 100, for example, at the end of Chapter 1). In the pdf version, there are answers to the odd-numbered problems; in the web version there is a link to “show solution” for some of the problems, but for those that I followed, only the answers were given. The OpenStax website indicates that an instructor’s solution manual is available (as well as PowerPoint material). I have not looked at either of these. The web version of the text features an “ask us” tab that tracks the reader. When I clicked on this, I was presented with a dialogue box asking for my question, some details, and my name and email address. On providing these, I received an email message to the effect that I would get a response within one business day (as I submitted my request on a Saturday morning and am writing this on Sunday morning, I am still waiting). I am not competent to provide detailed commentary on the treatment of the “second-semester” topics (chapters 10 – 21), and so I have confined my examination of text to the treatment of the first-semester material, which is covered in Chapters 1 through 9. The balance between the coverage of the two semesters is appropriate: the first-semester material occupies 532 pages, leaving 715 pages for the second-semester material. There are 13 appendices (61 pages), answers to the odd-numbered problems (77 pages) and index (8 pages). The index must have been machine generated and is badly in need of attention: initial capitalization produces a separate entry (for example Alkane and alkane), as does the addition of “s” to make the plural (as in alkene and alkenes), as does the insertion of a hyphen (such as base-ionization constant and base ionization constant). But what’s the point? A pdf text can be searched electronically with the “find” feature, ditto the web version of the book. The results of my, admittedly small, sampling of the “interactives that engage” simulations and videos, of which there are 50 for the first 9 chapters (out of 97 in total), were mixed. A simulation of experiments related to density was excellent, but a video about “plasma” was not. This latter was embedded in a website where in inadvertent click of the mouse presented me with many images of scantily clad, grossly overweight, former celebrities from which I could escape only with some difficulty. I applaud the inclusion of plasma as the fourth state of matter and was delighted to see that it was mentioned as a component of “specialized analytical instruments used to detect trace amounts of metals.” However, as is always the case with general chemistry texts, the widespread application of atomic emission (and absorption) spectroscopy in chemical analysis was not mentioned at all in the later relevant chapter. Now that I have shown my analytical chemistry hand, I can report that this text is not really any better than others in the treatment of analytical topics. The topics of precision and accuracy are dealt with competently when first introduced (though an archery target with what looks like bullet holes may baffle some students), but the terms are not deftly handled at some later points of the text. There is also lax use of the terms “analysis” and “determination.” However, more important topics at the early stages of student’s introduction to chemistry, such as the mole concept, are handled entirely satisfactorily. I have no negative critical comments to make about such topics; the book does an excellent job once we are passed the rather clunky first chapter. There are 42 “Chemistry in Everyday Life” features that supposedly tie chemistry concepts to everyday issues and real-world application
This textbook covers all of the typical areas addressed in the (many) General Chemistry texts that are on the market. The layout is very similar to the one that we are currently using and the coverage in each subject area is equal to or better... read more
This textbook covers all of the typical areas addressed in the (many) General Chemistry texts that are on the market. The layout is very similar to the one that we are currently using and the coverage in each subject area is equal to or better than our current text. There is an effective and highly functional (using embedded links in the pdf file) table of contents and index. There are also cross-links within the text to all of the Tables and Figures as well as to external sources, including the excellent PHeT simulations maintained by the University of Colorado. Nearly every section and subsection includes an example problem that is keyed to the material. This allows for ready integration of the quantitative and qualitative levels of understanding that is critical to success in General Chemistry.
The book is accurate and almost entirely free of typographical errors (we would presume that there would be few errors of substance in a subject as well-developed as General Chemistry). Some of the "real world" examples touch on areas that can be considered politically controversial (like Global Climate Science) but these are well done and stick to unimpeachable facts, so their accuracy is a strength of the text. To my eye, these sections are pretty neutral and unbiased. The majority of the content is comprehensively and accurately presented and there is little controversy in the presentation of the science behind General Chemistry, most of which is decades, if not centuries old. I have not carefully checked the veracity of the answers to the problems at the end of each chapter (of which there are a very good number) but I am a pretty good copy editor and I only found three typographical errors in the six chapters that I carefully read. This book therefore has less errors in it than all of the commercially produced editions that I have used in the last twenty years.
As I mentioned in the point above, the vast majority of the content in a General Chemistry textbook hasn't changed in decades and isn't likely to change much in the foreseeable future. The "real-world" examples and artwork are the things that I can see will need updating. As they currently exist, they are very topical and well-chosen and all show high relevance to the sections that they were placed in. There are a few examples of reuse of artwork of examples, but these are actually useful in showing the students the "connected-ness" of the material and to reinforce the concept of building a topic from fundamentals upward. The beauty of the open-access format is that updating these "extra" sections of the text will be relatively painless and I could even imagine a user-forum where students or faculty could submit their own contributions to the list of connections and relevant examples. I also expect that the use of video (instead of stills) within the chapters will continue to become seamless, allowing much more accessible illustrations of the material. Obviously these types of things will never be easy to implement in a hardcopy text.
The text is easy to read and is careful to explain the first (and in some cases repeated) occurrence of necessary jargon, which a study of Chemistry is obliged to include. The sections are relatively short and avoid long explanations of the application of equations and other actionable concepts by including clear and relevant example problems. The explanation of the key concepts was as clear or clearer than that in the text we are currently using. The links to the external sources should significantly improve the students comprehension of the material, since it allows them to clearly visualize the material that is described in the text. All of the links that I followed connected cleanly and quickly to the targets, all of which were on-point to the material in that section.
Again, this is a bit of a given in General Chemistry texts, where there is broad agreement on the presentation of the content, including symbology, terminology, and algorithm. This book is both internally consistent in its treatment and externally consistent with the accepted approach (at least in the traditional sense, since the new atoms first approach represents a slightly different paradigm). I should note that each chapter also stands on its own allowing some freedom in choosing the order in which they are presented. At my institution, which is on quarters, we save Chapters 5, and 9 for the second term and then progress through to Chapter 13 in the rest of that quarter, and I see no problems in that order for the presentation in either of the first two terms.
The book is wonderfully modular with clearly encapsulated sub-sections, nearly all of which have example problems and related end of chapter homework. Almost every sub-section has an external link to help illustrate the material or a "real-world" example to improve the currency. We (faculty who teach General Chemistry) tend to follow the same rough order of presentation, as I noted above, but at my institution, we also use a POGIL workbook, which does not always align exactly with the order of topics in the text. I think it would be easy for faculty (or even students, who are not always used to using an index or table of contents) to identify the subsections (often referred to as modules in the text) that relate to a given POGIL assignment. None of the modules in any of the six chapters that I read carefully would require more than a half-hour of dedicated study time for the initial reading by an average student.
Again, this large scale organization of this book is similar to the large majority of General Chemistry textbooks on the market, so it is a bit of a given that this is the right way to do it. But as noted in the point above, the small scale organization of this text into small digestible modules, most of which incorporate relevant example problems and external links or examples is what makes it so readable. There are always difficult transitions and/or conceptual cul de sacs in the material in a General Chemistry class, but this text does a better job than many of easing those transitions and attempting to show how the material fits into the bigger picture.
I must confess that I only used the pdf version of the text (there is also an online reading tool and a hardcopy that can be printed and mailed to the student) but I did try it out on a computer, ipad mini, and older Blackberry device and it was quite usable on all three. The operating system on the Blackberry was old and out of date, so that was the only device where the links in the text didn't work properly. On both the ipad and my desktop and laptop, the links worked quickly and were never broken. The illustrations (tables and figures) were clear and faithfully displayed on all of the devices as is typical of the modern generation of adobe pdf files/readers. One real advantage of this reading mode is the access to the page thumbnails or bookmarks and the "last view" button that allow a reader to hop back and forth between the beginning and end of the book, chapter, etc. The one oddity that I did note is that some Example problems and other content would split between pages in the pdf, which most people would avoid during compile-time by inserting new pages. This was minimally distracting, but presumably easy to fix(?)
As noted above, I am a pretty decent copy editor and I detected few typos and no clear grammatical errors (being somewhat generous in attributing the source, I'll allow) in the text. In general the authors adopted a clear, concise style and tried to keep sentences short and simple.
It is difficult to make a dry subject like chemistry culturally inclusive (or even exclusive) but the authors did select both male and female scientists to highlight, which is appreciated. Some of the slightly politically touchy areas like the real-world connections to climate change science will probably cause some readers discomfort, but they are scientifically correct and uncontroversial in their limited conclusions. We aim to teach students the scientific method, so they should begin to grapple with areas where demonstrable facts are in contradictions to their previously held beliefs.
I was very pleasantly surprised in reading this book. It is a very high quality General Chemistry textbook and I think we will take a serious look at adopting it.
Table of Contents
- Essential Ideas
- Atoms, Molecules, and Ions
- Stoichiometry of Substances and Mixtures
- Stoichiometry of Chemical Reactions
- Electronic Structure and Periodic Properties of Elements
- Chemical Bonding and Molecular Geometry
- Advanced Theories of Covalent Bonding
- Liquids and Solids
- Solutions and Colloids
- Fundamental Equilibrium Concepts
- Acid-Base Equilibria
- Equilibria of Other Reaction Classes
- Representative Metals, Metalloids, and Nonmetals
- Transition Metals and Coordination Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Nuclear Chemistry
- The Periodic Table of Elements
- Essential Mathematics
- Unit and Conversion Factors
- Fundamental Physical Constants
- Water Properties
- Composition of Commercial Acids and Bases
- Standard Enthalpies of Formation, Standard Free Energies of Formation, and Absolute Standard Entropies
- Ionization Constants of Weak Acids
- Ionization Constants of Weak Bases
- Solubility Products
- Formation Constants for Complex Ions
- Standard Electrode (Half-Cell) Potentials
- Half-Lives for Several Radioactive Isotopes
About the Book
Chemistryis designed for the two-semester general chemistry course. For many students, this course provides the foundation to a career in chemistry, while for others, this may be their only college-level science course. As such, this textbook provides an important opportunity for students to learn the core concepts of chemistry and understand how those concepts apply to their lives and the world around them. The text has been developed to meet the scope and sequence of most general chemistry courses. At the same time, the book includes a number of innovative features designed to enhance student learning. A strength of Chemistry is that instructors can customize the book, adapting it to the approach that works best in their classroom.
OpenStax College has compiled many resources for faculty and students, from faculty-only content to interactive homework and study guides.
About the Contributors
Paul Flowers, PhD, University of North Carolina - Pembroke
Klaus Theopold, PhD, University of Delaware
Richard Langley, PhD, Stephen F. Austin State University
Mark Blaser, Shasta College
Don Carpenetti, Craven Community College
Simon Bott, University of Houston
Andrew Eklund, Alfred University
Don Frantz, Wilfrid Laurier University
Paul Hooker, Westminster College
George Kaminski, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Jennifer Look, Mercer University
Carol Martinez, Central New Mexico Community College
Troy Milliken, Jackson State University
Jason Powell, Ferrum College
Vicki Moravec, Trine University
Tom Sorensen, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee