Creating Your Own
Are you interested in creating your own open source textbook or learning more about the process and work involved? There are a number of campus and external resources available to help you as you consider this option and to bring your ideas to fruition.
Step 1: Consultation
We suggest that you first discuss your ideas with your subject specialist in the University Libraries. Subject librarians can guide you through exploring textbooks that are already available and to offer advice on how to begin.
The Library’s Guide to Open Educational Resources has tools for faculty, including information about copyright and the types of print and media that you can include.
The University Libraries also operates the Digital Repository at the University of Maryland (DRUM), which allows you to store and share any open access materials that you produce.
Step 2: Explore Resources to Help you Produce Your Work
Perhaps there are a number of financial and other resources available that you can explore to assist in the creation of your work. Grants or other incentives might be available at your institution. Also examine participating in the Maryland Open Source Textbook Initiative (MOST), launched in 2013.
Step 3: Creation
The idea of combining many different types of freely available materials into a single course-specific "textbook" is rather daunting. A number of products and services exist to facilitate that process, such as OER Commons Open Author, OpenStax CNX and the Authoring Open Textbooks Guide. Many also serve as repositories to give you a head start on Step 4.
Step 4: Make Your Work Widely Available
In addition to DRUM, there are a number of existing open source textbooks repositories that you can use to more broadly disseminate your work. OER Commons and MERLOT are the most well known, but review this list for some of the other major players. Getting a Creative Commons license for your content furthers your cause, as this means your content will appear in a Google search for openly licensed resources.
Step 5: Publicize
The University Libraries can assist in promoting and marketing your work both locally and nationally. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.