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Library Subject Guides

Open Textbooks: Adopt, Adapt, or Create Open Textbooks

Open textbooks are freely available, openly licensed textbooks that can be linked in LEARN and added to the library catalogue. This page outlines the range of options available at UC for adopting, adapting and/or creating open textbooks. The easiest option is to adopt an existing textbook but in some disciplines it may be difficult to find texts relevant to the Aotearoa New Zealand context. For this reason, the library supports the adaption and/or creation of open textbooks that are culturally and/or geographically relevant to our local context.

Click through the tabs below to discover the open textbook options and the range of support offered by UC Library.

 

Adopt an Open Textbook

A few key steps for finding and adopting open textbooks.

Find a textbook that's right for your course. Use this UC Library support page for key sources and search tools.

Evaluate the text, much as you would do for any teaching resource. Is it easy to access and navigate through the content? Is there any ancillary material, such as quizzes, test banks, or similar?

Decide if  you want to to modify/adapt the text or use it 'as is'. Adapting a text will depend on the specific permissions and licensing information.

Distribute to your students. Most likely by linking to the item from Learn but where a Creative Commons licence allows you may want to use, or link to, just part of a text.

If you do adopt an open textbook please let the library know. We're keen to gather information on your experiences!

Share Texts in UC Research Repository

If you have already created educational resources for teaching then why not consider sharing them openly? The easiest way to do this is by making them publicly available in the UC Research Repository with a open license such as a Creative Commons License. We already have some examples of OERs that have been shared in the Research Repository:

Fire Engineering Design Guide (2008) by Michael Spearpoint

A Practical Guide to Particle Tracking Systems incorporating Streams (2021) by  Roger Nokes

The Global Entrepreneur (2021) by Herb De Vries

Adapt an Existing Open Textbook

Adapting an open textbook can be good way of picking and choosing the best bits from a book while adding in your own content, such as relevant local examples and context.

To adapt or alter any text you will need to check the allowed modifications based on the licence for that book. Many open textbooks do allow others to adapt or use such a 'pick and mix' approach. The information on this Creative Commons information page is a great resource for checking that the open text you have chosen allows you to adapt or modify the work, but the library can also help.

The following in an example of an adapted open textbook:

Research Methods in Psychology - New Zealand Edition (2018) – adapted for use at the University of Waikato in their 200-level research methods in psychology class so that it is appropriate for the Aotearoa New Zealand context (e.g. includes mātauranga Māori).

Currently, open textbooks are being hosted on the UC Research Repository. The library is investigating alternative platforms that will best show-case open textbooks while offering excellent usability.

The library can provide support in adapting an open textbooks. Please contact Fiona Tyson if you would like to talk more about this option.

Collaborate on Creating an Open Textbook

Collaborating with colleagues on creating an open textbook offers the advantages of sharing the work of creating a text and likely ensuring your work is used in multiple courses. Options include editing a book, with chapters contributed by different authors (from either within UC, New Zealand, or beyond), or writing a textbook with one or more colleagues (from either within UC, New Zealand, or beyond).

Publication Options

For professionally published texts UC Library has a relationship with Canterbury University Press, producing open books that are freely available online and can also be purchased in print. For example:

Rape Myths as Barriers to Fair Trial Process: Comparing adult rape trials with those in the Aotearoa Sexual Violence Court Pilot (2020) by Elisabeth McDonald.

There is a cost associated with professionally published open access texts. The library is investigating models for funding open textbooks. Please contact Fiona Tyson if you would like to talk more about this option. 

Another publication option is self-publishing a text which is freely available online. For example:

A Practical Guide to Particle Tracking Systems incorporating Streams (2021) by Roger Nokes.

Currently, open textbooks are being hosted on the UC Research Repository. The library is investigating alternative platforms that will best show-case open textbooks while offering excellent usability.

Current Textbook Creation Projects

  • A UC Library funded open textbook to produce a professionally published open textbook for a large 100-level course at UC.
  • A Council of New Zealand University Libraries (CONZUL) funded professionally published open textbook for use at all universities on the criminal process in Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • An Australasian open educational resources collective pilot that will publish open textbooks (and open educational resources) on the Pressbooks platform.

 

If you have a proposal for creating an open textbook, please contact Fiona Tyson.

Creating an Open Textbook

Another option to consider is authoring your own open textbook. 

Publication Options

For professionally published texts UC Library has a relationship with Canterbury University Press, producing open books that are freely available online and can also be purchased in print. For example:

Rape Myths as Barriers to Fair Trial Process: Comparing adult rape trials with those in the Aotearoa Sexual Violence Court Pilot (2020) by Elisabeth McDonald.

There is a cost associated with professionally published open access texts. The library is investigating models for funding open textbooks. Please contact Fiona Tyson if you would like to talk more about this option. 

Another publication option is self-publishing a text which is freely available online. For example:

A Practical Guide to Particle Tracking Systems incorporating Streams (2021) by Roger Nokes.

Currently, open textbooks are being hosted on the UC Research Repository. The library is investigating alternative platforms that will best show-case open textbooks while offering excellent usability.

Current Textbook Creation Projects

  • A UC Library funded open textbook to produce a professionally published open textbook for a large 100-level course at UC.
  • A Council of New Zealand University Libraries (CONZUL) funded professionally published open textbook for use at all universities on the criminal process in Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • An Australasian open educational resources collective pilot that will publish open textbooks (and open educational resources) on the Pressbooks platform.

 

If you have a proposal for creating an open textbook, please contact Fiona Tyson.