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Library Publishing Project

Creating Open Textbooks

Library publishing project supports two types of open publishing projects. There are things to consider before you begin your work. Here are 6 things to consider before embarking on your publishing journey.

The Rebus Foundation

The Rebus Community is a global community working together to create and share Open Educational Resources (OER). Here you’ll find people, processes, and tools to support your publishing efforts. You can use the platform to:

  • start an open textbook project
  • give and receive guidance on publishing open textbooks
  • post and respond to calls for contributors, and
  • connect with global communities that are changing the world through Open Education

Video Guide

If you’re looking for a light overview of OER creation, check out the video series version of this guide. Making Open Textbooks: A Video Guide provides a brief summary of each of the major phases of creation. The short videos present the roles, models, and guidelines that make up the process of creating and publishing open textbooks. From project conception and rounding up a team of collaborators, to creating, editing, and reviewing your content, all the way through to release, marketing, adoptions, and revisions, these videos summarize the many steps along the way.

Making Open Textbooks: A Video Guide features Zoe Wake Hyde. It is edited and directed by David Szanto. Transcript and captions provided by Mei Lin.

Introduction

This video starts with the beginning of the process—building the project team that will create your open textbook!

For more read the complete text of "The Rebus Guide to Publishing Open Textbooks (So Far)."

Building a Team

This video starts with the beginning of the process—building the project team that will create your open textbook!

For more read the complete text of "The Rebus Guide to Publishing Open Textbooks (So Far)."

Leading a Team

This video follows up on what to do once your team starts coming together—who you need, how to involve them, and what you can do to support their work and enthusiasm!

For more read the complete text of "The Rebus Guide to Publishing Open Textbooks (So Far)."

Project Scoping

This video focuses on the process of scoping out an open textbook project, including details of your audience, subject, and team, as well as an outline of the themes involved, an overview of timelines, and starting plan for project management.

For more read the complete text of "The Rebus Guide to Publishing Open Textbooks (So Far)."

Content Creation

This video addresses the exciting and often collaborative processes of creating the content for your open textbook, including planning for effective teamwork, creating a voice and planning for accessibility, and the long-term potential for ongoing content development, even after the book is released.

For more read the complete text of "The Rebus Guide to Publishing Open Textbooks (So Far)."

Editing Content

This video covers the many different kinds of editing that are involved in making open textbooks, from structural and project editing through copyediting and proofreading.

For more read the complete text of "The Rebus Guide to Publishing Open Textbooks (So Far)."

Peer Review

This video covers the process of peer review, an important step in assuring content quality and academic credibility for open textbooks. Additional resources can be found at the following links:

For more read the complete text of "The Rebus Guide to Publishing Open Textbooks (So Far)."

Testing and Feedback

This video addresses different kinds of feedback, other than peer review, that can help improve the quality and usability of open textbooks. Pre-publication "beta testing" or classroom usage, as well as feedback from other users, testers, or contributors are some of the ways to make your OER as strong as possible before release.

For more read the complete text of "The Rebus Guide to Publishing Open Textbooks (So Far)."

Marketing

This video addresses the processes and purposes of marketing, promotion, and communications overall. It includes an interpretation of marketing in the context of open textbooks, as well as several ideas about specific tactics to use during the course of the publishing workflow. 

For more read the complete text of "The Rebus Guide to Publishing Open Textbooks (So Far)."

Release

This video covers the many steps involved in releasing an open textbook, from the formatting and final proofreading to making the OER available for adoption and print-on-demand. Several other steps are also addressed, including placing the resource in repositories and the all-important task of thanking the contributors and reviewers!

For more read the complete text of "The Rebus Guide to Publishing Open Textbooks (So Far)."

Adoptions

This video covers the multiple steps involved in setting up your open textbook for adoption and use by teachers and learners. Engaging the existing community around the book is key in helping it reach its users, as well as tracking who is using it and in what contexts.

For more read the complete text of "The Rebus Guide to Publishing Open Textbooks (So Far)."

Maintenance & Improvements

This video addresses what can happen after an open textbook has been released into the world and is adopted and used by teachers and learners. This includes everything from fixing typos and broken links to major revisions and additions that can lead to the release of a new edition of the resource. Several other issues are also covered, such as keeping a Version History that documents relevant changes, as well as the importance of keeping the communications flowing as these changes are made and incorporated into both e-book and print book formats.

For more read the complete text of "The Rebus Guide to Publishing Open Textbooks (So Far)."

Adaptations

This video covers the world of possibilities related to adapting an open textbook, both from the side of the adapter and that of the original creation team. Because of their open licenses, OER can be adapted, reconceived, modularized, and re-released in many ways. Many issues are covered in this video, including licensing, maintaining links between versions of a resource, ways to make your textbook more adaptable from the start, and keeping track of what has been changed.

For more read the complete text of "The Rebus Guide to Publishing Open Textbooks (So Far)."