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Minnesota State University-Moorhead biology professor George Davis, who is in our Public Insight Network, explains to me why professors keep using new editions of textbooks in their classes:
"What really happens is the publisher tells us after two years (usually) that the current edition of our book will be discontinued. The reason they do this is that by two years, used copies of the books are competing too much with new copy sales. Publishers make money on new book sales -- not used book sales. In the past we could use the same edition for many years.
The rapid turn over of new books is because of the publisher -- not professors."