Textbook Organization

15 Managing Assets

Faculty are used to borrowing liberally, especially from something like Google Images, for their course content and slide decks. Getting them to understand that they should use openly licensed images, and that they should look for and reuse existing openly licensed content, is surprisingly challenging. Faculty seem to understand attribution and copyright when it comes to text, but images seem to be fair game for many of them! The nuances of all the content they usually bring together to produce their course content can present some interesting challenges, both in how to explain best practices about open publishing to faculty, and how to successfully find openly licensed replacements that help faculty reach their educational goals for their students. — Shane Nackerud, Technology Lead, Library Initiatives, University of Minnesota Libraries

In most cases, asset management is a crucial component to not only the production of your book, but your legal compliance as well.

As you seek resources, be them text, images, graphs, maps or other materials, consistently document as much as possible about the resource. Not only will this assist in any future updates or modifications to your textbook, but the information will be vital as you provide proper attributions.

Building asset management into your writing process may also be beneficial. For example, if writing as a group, one individual may be tasked with seeking out a list of items to be included and obtaining all material information.

Information to document should include:

  • Given resource name
  • Type of material (ex. video, image, website)
  • Link to resource
  • Description of resource
  • License type*
  • Author/owner
  • Title to be used in textbook
  • Caption
  • Location in work (ex. Chapter 2, Section 2.5)

* Special attention should be paid to license type when dealing with asset management. Some Creative Commons license types do not allow for mixing with others and will effect what resources can ultimately be used. Using a spreadsheet to manage assets allows for quick and easy review of such issues. For more information see Understanding Open Licenses.