1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Other Campbell Biology 9th vs 10th edition

  1. May 4, 2015 #1
    I'd like to know if there's much difference between Campbell Biology (9th edition) and Campbell Biology (10th edition).
    People always tell me that Campbell Biology is the best Biology introductory book, so I've decided to buy it, and I'd like to save money and just buy the 9th edition if there isn't much difference.
    Could anyone with an experience with these editions help me make a choice.
    I really do appreciate your help.
    Thanks in advance.
    (Sorry for any English mistakes, I'm not a native English speaker)
    Last edited: May 4, 2015
  2. jcsd
  3. May 4, 2015 #2


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    This book has shocked me somewhat. I see the 10th edition is selling for $200 on Amazon whereas there are 507 used copies of the 8th edition on sale for as little as $10.

    Now if 500 people are selling their used 8th editions at this time, why wouldn't there be 500 people buying the new edition? Because it's reasonable to suppose that as many people are going to buy the new one as bought the old one. At $200 each, that's $100k the new edition can be expected to turn over. The 8th edition is from 2008 so probably a new edition lasts about 4 years. So that $25k per year this book series brings in, based on this heuristic evidence.

    The authors are all professors at well known universities: Duke University, Berkeley, etc. They teach and research and read journals and stay up to date as part of their daily jobs, they couldn't do what they do if they didn't have up to date knowledge. And they are paid for that because of course they are tenured professors, they get salaries and grants and are no doubt well funded. So they have the knowledge to update the book, it's not like they have to do a lot of research.

    Of course there is tax and publisher's fees, etc. But surely publishers would want to publish their book; they could bargain with the publishers because their book is lucrative and will sell. Probably they pay more to Amazon than they do the publisher, for that reason.

    So I don't see that there would be a lot of costs involved. I also read in reviews of the 9th edition that the 8th and 9th editions are almost identical. So that particular cycle they decided not a lot needed to be changed. So it seems reasonably to assume not a lot is changing in the world of biology at the introductory level, it should not take them long to update the book. If we assume the authors get $75 from a $200 book, and suppose it takes 120 manhours to update the book, for their 4-yearly exercise of updating the book they are being paid on the order of $300 per hour.

    I don't see why they couldn't publish other books about biology, this is just a low hanger. Shameful, utterly shameful.

    Sorry for being off topic. I would choose the 8th unless you can't. Then I would choose the 9th.
  4. May 4, 2015 #3
    I have both 9th and 10th editions of Campbell Biology (for my major in microbiology). I agree with Mr. verty about 8th and 9th editions being identical to each other, but 10th edition is more detailed (lots of additional information, clear figures, etc.) than two previous editions. Also in biological science, tremendous amount of new knowledge are generated almost every day; in fact, even 10th edition is little bit behind in terms of current research trend (particularly in the fields of molecular biology and biochemistry). If you are not tight on money, then I strongly recommend the 10th edition. If not, 9th edition will do just fine. Good alternative to Campbell Biology is Life: The Science of Biology by Purves et al.
  5. May 5, 2015 #4
    Thanks a lot for your replies.

    I've already ordered the 9th edition. I've never done introductory Biology before so I guess that the 9th edition will just do for the time being, but I'm going to buy the 10th edition later on.
  6. Jan 25, 2017 #5
    Has the 11th edition changed from 10th?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted