Community & Tools

27 Community Support

Open Textbook Network

The network has been invaluable; by pooling knowledge and resources, we benefit from the expertise of the growing network and don’t have to go it alone or reinvent the wheel. — Karen Williams, Dean, University of Arizona Libraries
. Former President, Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL)

The Open Textbook Network (OTN) is an alliance of higher education institutions that have joined together to promote access, affordability, and student success through the use of open textbooks. Started at the University of Minnesota and funded by the Hewlett Foundation, nearly 10% of higher education institutions in the United States are now members, and academic libraries are often at the hub. The Open Textbook Network also supports the Open Textbook Library, which has grown to include more than 350 textbooks, half of which have been faculty reviewed. We are collectively taking action to transform higher education. We invite you to join us. For an overview of member benefits and community, visit open.umn.edu.

Rebus Community

The following information was provided by the Rebus Foundation, which is also an Open Textbook Network partner. Together the organizations host monthly Office Hours on open authoring and publishing topics. 

Rebus is a nonprofit building an new, collaborative model for publishing open textbooks. Our objectives are to:

  1. Define, with community input, clear processes and best practices for publishing open textbooks in standard formats.
  2. Grow a vibrant global community of collaborators on open textbook creation.
  3. Make it easy for faculty, staff, students, volunteers, etc., to contribute to the creation of open textbooks (their own, or others’).
  4. Create many new, high-quality open textbooks, available for free to anyone, in standard formats (web, EPUB, MOBI, PDF, and print).

To kick off our efforts, the Rebus Community is supporting a dozen pilot open textbook projects in 2017, working with faculty and institution staff to provide project management, help find collaborators from authors to peer reviewers to proofreaders and formatting wranglers and get the books published, adopted and distributed in open, remixable formats.

Through this process, we hope to build a community-driven, open textbook publishing process, supported by technology where appropriate. Equally important, we’re building a global, connected community of volunteers dedicated to increasing access to open education through open textbooks.

All books created with support from the Rebus Community will be licensed CC BY, to ensure maximum compatibility with the 5Rs.

How to Get Involved

In the (near) future, we expect Rebus to be a platform anyone creating open textbooks can come to create the seed of a project and connect with global collaborators to build it.

We’re no longer actively looking for open textbook projects for our pilot phase (though you’re welcome to email us at contact@rebus.community if you want to convince us otherwise).

In the meantime, we’re actively looking for contributors (co-authors, editors, peer reviewers, proofreaders and formatters) for our first dozen books. Please take a look at our active projects at https://forum.rebus.community if you are interested in helping out.

Opportunities come in chapter increments, so no one person bears too much weight. Some members of the Rebus Community contribute just five or 10 minutes. Others spend countless hours helping to create open educational content for the world.

Even if you’re not ready to contribute, we encourage you to join the Rebus Community forum.