Project Summary & Updates: Soil and Water Conservation

Lead editor/author(s): Colby Moorberg
Project Title: Soil and Water Conservation: An Annotated Bibliography
Lead editor: Colby Moorberg
Subjects: Soil Science, Agronomy, Agriculture, Environmental Science
Book Website

This open textbook is an annotated bibliography that curates freely-available online content related to soil and water conservation. Cited resources include extension bulletins, government reports, technical bulletins, and more. The textbook is designed for upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses on soil and water conservation, as well as conservation practitioners. For more information, please visit the book website.

The book is complete. However, we are currently seeking peer-review comments through March 8, 2020, followed by revisions as neccessary. If you would like to peer-review this book, please see the active call for reviewers here: Call for Participation - Soil and Water Conservation

We are no longer seeking contributors to this project, but we are seeking peer-reviewers. Please see above.

I. History and Fundamentals
Chapter 1 - Introduction
Chapter 2 - Key Concepts in Soil Science
Chapter 3 - Soil Erosion Processes
II. Conservation Practices
Chapter 4 - Conservation Practices on Farmland
Chapter 5 - Conservation Practices for Shorelines, Streams, and Wetlands
Chapter 6 - Conservation Practices for Forest, Range, and Wildlands
Chapter 7 - Conservation Practices for Construction Sites and Disturbed Areas
Chapter 8 - Rehabilitation of Problem Soils
Chapter 9 - Water Quantity and Quality Conservation
III. Conservation Implementation
Chapter 10 - Conservation Practices in a Broader Context
Chapter 11 - Conservation Agencies
Chapter 12 - Conservation Policies
IV. Careers in Conservation
Chapter 13 - Careers in Soil and Water Conservation

TWEET THIS PROJECT! (less than 140 chars, copy-paste into Twitter)

Check out this open textbook, ‘Soil and Water Conservation: An Annotated Bibliography’. #OpenSoilWaterCon @ColbyDigsSoil

As a quick update for everyone, we are now up to 25 contributors that have signed up with the project. The contributors have been mostly from within the soil science/soil and water conservation world. Progress on the book seems to be moving along well.


Hey Colby - that’s fantastic news! Congrats! What a great response. Can’t wait to see what you all do together.

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Hello all. The abstract and slides for my presentation on this project at the 2019 Open Education Conference can be viewed here.
If that link doesn’t work, please copy and paste this URL into your browser:

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Thanks for sharing this, Colby. Sorry to have missed you at the conference, but hopefully you’ve made some good connections and had a positive response to the presentation! I especially liked how you included the student outcome survey results and future plans!

I have one question having looked through your slides: beyond the updates to URLs and citations, was there anything in particular that you think will be easier to do next time round when editing directly in Pressbooks?

I expect the primary benefit from drafting and/or editing directly in PressBooks would be avoiding having to convert from a Google Doc to a Word Doc (for the tech editor), then importing into PressBooks. If all of the steps were done in PressBooks from the beginning, it would have made my job easier. The caveat to that would be the need to train all of the collaborators on how to edit within the PressBooks environment.

There were also steps that I had to do for all parts of the book that could have been done by the contributors in PressBooks, such as add alternative text to images, add the “aria-label” commands to the HTML code for all URL links in the bibliography entries, and things like that. Each chapter takes about half a day or more for me to format once I get a Word doc ready to import. It would have been nice to spread this out among all collaborators throughout the process.

Thanks for laying this out so clearly, Colby. While training collaborators on how to use Pressbooks may have taken some time in the workflow, it would have also left them with a neat skill to use on this and future projects!

The alt-text, image attributions, aria-labels are smaller details that we don’t tend to think of as taking a lot of time to input, but as you said, it can add up! Maybe in expansions to the bibliography, or a second edition, you can work with other collaborators to take on some of this workload, or even encourage authors to provide this information as they are writing their sections, so the entry in Pressbooks can be easier (or even done by them).

It’s always nice to hear on lessons/reflections from creators after they’ve worked on projects. Thanks for taking the time to put together the presentation, and for answering my question. :slight_smile:

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I updated the project summary. We’re getting close to the finish line. The official publication is on track for early January, and we’re conducting an open peer-review process through March 8.

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This is fabulous news. I’ll be sharing your call for peer reviewers in the newsletter and on Twitter.


The book is published! Check it out:

It’s available as a PDF, EPUB e-book, Kindle e-book, and PressBooks web book.

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Great news! I’ll share an announcement in our upcoming newsletter on January 3rd.

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Congrats, Colby! What a great milestone to end the new year on! As Leigh said, we’re happy to spread the word. :smiley:

Some great repositories to submit your book to in addition to the New Prairie Press collection and K-state repositories include OER Commons, Open Textbook Library, BCcampus Open Textbook Collection, and MERLOT. I see that you have an open peer review on the book until March this year, so hopefully the more discoverable it is, the more feedback from reviewers and adopters you can get!

Thanks, @apurva. I just submitted this book, and the open Soils Laboratory Manual I published previously to each of those repositories.

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Great! Hope you hear back from them soon. :slight_smile: My final suggestion would be to add a short description to the book itself, so that anyone arriving to the book from these repositories, or channels other than the New Prairie Press page see the same description for the book that you’ve written out on the New Prairie Press page. You could even include a sentence or two about the open peer review and the adoption form, linking to both those sections of the book.

I’ll try to stop with the suggestions now, and let you bask in the accomplishment of having released the book! :smiley: