Using OER

Consider copyright

Creating open textbooks

Several guides are available to help open textbook authors:

  • Authoring Open Textbooks, from the Open Textbook Network, features a checklist for getting started, case studies of publishing programs, textbook organization and elements, writing resources, and an overview of useful tools.
  • Open Education Self-Publishing Guide, from BCcampus, provides details on the preparation, planning, writing, publication, and maintenance of an open textbook. Copyright, open-copyright licenses, and the differences between citation and attribution are discussed, as well as the importance of copy editing and proofreading. Checklists and templates also are provided.
  • Open Textbook Toolkit, from several universities in Canada, is for faculty who want to create their first open textbook. Sections cover stakeholders, technology, copyright, accessibility, production, and classroom use.
  • Guide to Making Open Textbooks with Students, from the Open Textbook Network, is a handbook for faculty interested in practicing open pedagogy by involving students in the making of open textbooks, ancillary materials, or other OER.

iBooks Author: This free software from Apple is easy to use when creating iBooks. The software is only for Mac computers, and iBooks can be viewed only on iPads and Mac computers. Supporting resources:

  • Publishing with iBooks Author: An Introduction to Creating Ebooks for the iPad. By Nellie McKesson, Adam Witwer. Publisher: O'Reilly Media / Tools of Change (free iBook available in the iBook store)
  • Creating Accessible iBooks Textbooks with iBooks Author. Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) at the WGBH Educational Foundation (free iBook available in the iBook store)

Pressbooks: This web-based software lets you create ebooks in a variety of formats: PDF, Kobi (for Kindle), Epub, and others. The basic version is free (after you register). Subscribers get premium features. This software is a product of WordPress. Because the UA is a member of the Open Textbook Network, we have free access to a Pressbooks account. Please contact Cheryl Cuillier if you're interested in creating an open textbook.

Editing open textbooks

The Open Textbook Network has published a guide, Modifying an Open Textbook: What You Need to Know, which focuses on the technological aspects of editing open textbooks found in the Open Textbook Library or elsewhere, and will help you assess the effort, expertise, and technical tools needed. In addition, this guide includes step-by-step instructions for importing and editing common open textbook file and platform types. Finally, this guide provides a basic overview of accessibility considerations and general guidance on where to find additional help.

UA employees and students have free access to the complete suite of Adobe Creative Cloud products, which include Acrobat Pro DC for editing PDFs and Dreamweaver CC for editing HTML.

Printing books

The UA BookStores offer print-on-demand services. For information about the UA BookStores' service, contact Fast Copy.