[EDU/LIB] Authoring Open Textbooks (Guide)


    Book Title: Authoring Open Textbooks
    Lead Author(s): Melissa Falldin & Karen Lauritsen
    Project manager: Karen Lauritsen (Open Textbook Network)
    Subject: Guide for writing open textbooks.
    Target Audience: Authors or project managers/librarians working with faculty authors
    License: CC BY


    Short Description: Guide for authors or project managers/librarians working with faculty authors who want to write an open textbook. Content will cover author intake processes, timeline development, textbook organization and elements, writing resources and useful tools. This will be the first edition release; ideally it will evolve with time and greater community experience.

    Contributors needed:

    For two chapters - 1) Institutional Considerations and 2) Writing Recommendations

    Institutional Considerations: We’re looking for case studies about how publishing programs have started or evolved in academic libraries within different institutional contexts. This can be as simple as an author came looking for support, and together two people made it work. Or perhaps it started with state funding. Or a partnership with a university press. We’d like brief case studies that illustrate different possibilities. Riffs are welcome. I can also provide prompts. Programs can be in early stages. The idea is to show how things get started.

    Writing Recommendations: This is a “words of wisdom” section that can be from either authors or those who support them (and may find themselves trying to organize a messy manuscript, for example). It’s about what kind of soft skills benefit the process. Could be as short as a zinger, or a longer paragraph with recommendations about how to work in authoring teams, for example. I can also provide prompts.

    Content will be edited for clarity and length.

    Feedback once it’s published is also needed. For example, what we can add to the guide in a second edition.

    Timeline: Published April, 2017 with updates to follow

    How to participate:
    Sign up to the forum, and post below. Please let me know to which chapter you’d like to contribute (or both!). If you have a brief quote that you’d like to offer for the words of wisdom chapter, you’re welcome to post it right here, too.

    List of Existing Resources:

    Current project team:
    @klaurits, @lindafrederiksen326, @danielle, @fisherdi, @ro.mckernan

  • Hi, Karen–

    For the chapter Institutional Considerations, I am interested in writing a section on institutional challenges/barriers librarians and authors may need to consider when starting an open textbook project. Does that fit in to your project?


  • @lindafrederiksen326
    Hi Linda,

    Thanks for your interest! Your proposed section sounds very helpful for those starting an open textbook project. It will be great to be honest and direct about challenges and barriers, and when possible offer suggestions for how to overcome them.

    In terms of next steps, what do you think about creating an outline for the section?

    Welcome to the project! We’re glad to have you, and thankful that you’d like to share your experiences.

  • @klaurits
    Hi, Karen–

    Thanks for your quick reply! I’d be happy to send you an outline. How long are you thinking you want these chapters/sections to be?


  • @lindafrederiksen326

    Hi Linda,

    I can imagine a range of different lengths (I want to encourage others who may be thinking about contributing)! In the case of what you’re offering, it sounds like there may be a lot to delve into.

    How about we set up a quick time to talk? That way I can hear more about what you’re thinking and we can talk about different ways to present the content. If that works for you, I’m happy to set it up. I just need your email address. (Mine is klaurits@umn.edu).

  • @klaurits
    Hi, Karen–

    Sounds good to me. My email is lfrederiksen@wsu.edu I am currently away from campus on sabbatical, however, so let me know if you prefer a gmail address instead.


  • @klaurits
    Hello Karen,

    I might be able to do something with the Writing Recommendations piece, but I would prefer to wait until our project is further along to offer my experience. Would this be fine?

    Also, I could collect tips from any or all of our authors, yes? I would think that would be more valuable than my experience alone.

    This is my project: https://forum.rebus.community/topic/93/hist-history-of-applied-science-and-technology-lead-danielle-mead-skjelver-university-of-maryland-university-of-north-dakota

    We have submissions coming in already for editing, but we are a long way from completion.


  • Hello again Karen,

    I just saw the timeline of April, 2017. Anything I could provide would be preliminary since we do not know how many chapters will be completed by that time, but I see that you have a second edition planned. Shall we discuss this by email? I want to be sure that what I could provide is what you are seeking. danielle.skjelver@faculty.umuc.edu


  • @klaurits I would love to contribute to this. My unit has a partnership with the university libraries and the university press and we publish in a few different ways with these partnerships.

  • I may be able to add some notes for both “Institutional Considerations” (small cc, limited scope and support perspective) and “Writing Recommendations” (will there be space for tool specific info such as Pressbook-Textbook best practices?).

    Would information on train-the-trainers work (working with grant recipients with open licensing needs and communication with authors in a team?)

  • @danielle Hi Danielle, I’m emailing you now, thank you! - Karen

  • @fisherdi

    Hi Dianna,

    Awesome! I’m excited about your contributions, thank you.

    I have your email and will reach out to chat more.


  • @ro.mckernan

    Sounds great, thank you! We do have a separate section on tools, and can talk about where your recommendations may best fit.

    I’m finding it helpful to have a quick chat with contributors. If you’re amenable, I’m happy to set it up. I’ll just need your email address. Thank you for posting!

  • Re: Authoring Open Textbooks (Guide)

    We’re excited to share the first iteration of our new open textbook authoring guide with you! Our goal was to create a useful resource for those who are making open textbooks from start to finish. The guide features adaptable tools like an author intake form and timeline framework, as well as an overview for organizing textbook content.

    With big thanks to our contributors for sharing their experience, wisdom and case studies:

    • Karen Bjork, Head of Digital Initiatives, Portland State University Library.
    • Caitie Finlayson, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, University of Mary Washington.
    • Dianna Fisher, Director of Open Oregon State.
    • Linda Frederiksen, Head of Access Services, Washington State University, Vancouver.
    • Ralph Morelli, Professor, Computer Science, Emeritus, Trinity College.
    • Shane Nackerud, Technology Lead, Library Initiatives, University of Minnesota Libraries.
    • Deb Quentel, Director of Curriculum Development & Associate Counsel, Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI).
    • Cody Taylor, Emerging Technologies Librarian, University of Oklahoma Libraries.
    • Anita R. Walz, Open Education, Copyright & Scholarly Communications Librarian, Virginia Tech.

    Read the Guide: https://press.rebus.community/authoropen/

  • administrators

    @klaurits Awesome work, Karen! (And all others involved!) Great to see this out in the world :smile:

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