Overview

Modifying an Open Textbook: What You Need to Know is for people who want to know what it takes to edit an open textbook and how to get started.

This guide focuses on the fundamental 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. It also gives general guidance on where to find additional help. Instead of trying to cover all of the nitty-gritty details of working with different file formats and platform types – details which are best explained and maintained by the software and tech companies themselves – this guide is designed to orient you to what you’re working with, walk you through how to get started, and then point you in the right direction if you need further help.

Modifying an Open Textbook: What You Need to Know is actually two guides in one, the Quick Guide and a collection of Format Guides.

The Quick Guide is for evaluating the open textbook you’d like to modify or edit, and determining how you’ll share the results of your work.

The Quick Guide is organized into 5 steps:

  1. Check license
  2. Identify format
  3. Assess editability
  4. Determine access
  5. Publish textbook

The Format Guides are for getting started with editing common open textbook file and platform types.

There are 5 Format Guides:

  • PDF
  • HTML
  • MOBI and EPUB
  • Pressbooks
  • OpenStax

The truth is that while most open textbooks are legally licensed to be modified, the real-life work involved can sometimes be tough because of technical issues. We offer this guide as a way to help.

A quick note about terminology: Adaptmodifyremix, and edit are used interchangeably throughout the guide.

Thank you for your work! Let’s get started.

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