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Open Educational Resources: Authoring & Licensing

Authoring Resources

Authoring Software and Platforms

  • Pressbooks. Create Books. Print & Ebooks
  • 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. 
  • Open Author Open Author helps you build Open Educational Resources, lesson plans, and courses (on your own, or with others) — and then publish them, to the benefit of educators and learners everywhere. Learn more about creating on OER Commons and get started.
  • Rebus Community. The Rebus Foundation builds new models and technology for open book publishing and reading on the web, to encourage deeper engagement, and to enable people (and machines) to use and build on books and reading in new and meaningful ways
  • Book templates in Overleaf. Basic services are free, cost for additional features.

Guides

  • Authoring Open Textbooks. From the Open Textbook Network, this guide includes a checklist for getting started, case studies of publishing programs, textbook organization and elements, writing resources, and an overview of useful tools.
  • Modifying an Open Textbook: What you Need to Know. Also from the Open Textbook Network, this guide  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.
  • Guide to Developing Open Textbooks. Produced (August 2016) by the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and released as CC BY SA. 66 page guide presenting technical advice for textbook development in a variety of platforms and formats.
  • BCcampus Open Education Self-Publishing Guide. This guide provides details on the preparation, planning, writing, publication, and maintenance of an open textbook.
  • BC Open Textbook Accessibility Toolkit. The goal of the Accessibility Toolkit is to provide the resources needed so that each content creator, instructional designer, educational technologist, librarian, administrator, teaching assistant, etc. has the opportunity to create a truly open and accessible textbook.

Communities

  • Open Textbook Network (OTN). OTN promotes access, affordability, and student success through the use of open textbooks.
  • Library Publishing Coalition. The Library Publishing Coalition (LPC) fosters collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and the development of common practices for library publishers. 
  • Unizen Learning Environment.  the Unizin Consortium is finding solutions for the biggest issues facing higher education institutions today: affordability, access, and learner success.
  • The LibreTexts project.  A multi-institutional collaborative effort to improve education at all levels of higher learning by developing Open Access Resources. "In a nutshell, it's a bunch of people making the world a better place by sharing the world's scientific knowledge, and you can help!"

Creative Commons Licensing

The most common way to openly license copyrighted education materials — making them OER − is to add a Creative Commons license to the educational resource. CC licenses are standardized, free-to-use, open copyright licenses that have already been applied to more than 1.2 billion copyrighted works across 9 million websites. See Creative Commons: About the Licenses.

Image Attribution: Wikimedia Commons under a CC BY-SA 3.0 license.