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Open Educational Resource Collective Administration Guide for Library Staff

Frequently Asked Questions


Can textbooks be authored collaboratively by academics and students?

Yes, textbooks can have student contributors or authors. However, there are many issues and associated risks that can arise related to student contributions. These issues include, but are not limited to:

  • student ownership of intellectual property 
  • teaching students about the implications of OA licensing their work 
  • managing risk related to plagiarism and/or inclusion of third party copyrighted content 
  • quality assurance processes (editing and peer review are strongly recommend, even if a student peer review process is used)
  • fairness and impact on assessment if students choose not to contribute to an OA publication that is being created as part of their assessment. 

These issues will need to be managed by the Institutional contact of the main institution. 


Can textbooks be authored collaboratively by authors at multiple participating institutions?

Yes, collaboration is a key element of the Collective and authors are strongly encouraged to collaborate within and across institutions. 

Membership of the Collective

What is the membership period?

Institutions sign up to participate in the Collective for a calendar year i.e. 1st January 2024 to 31 December 2024.

What happens to textbooks published by an institution if they choose not to continue participating in the Collective?

Textbooks published on the Collective platform by participating institutions will remain on the Collective platform for the duration of the program.. Member institutions are encouraged to self-archive a copy of all textbooks published on the platform and may choose to re-publish or publish updated versions elsewhere.

Types of Textbook Projects

Can we adapt an existing open textbook and publish it on the Collective platform?

Yes, adaptations can be published on the Collective platform. Starting with an adaptation is a great way for the library - and authors - to gain experience with textbook publishing. 


Are adaptation projects eligible for Collective grants?

Yes, adaptations are eligible for Collective grants.


How do you define open textbook?

An open textbook is an educational resource that is licensed to allow copying, re-distribution, and derivative works, and contains materials that contribute to a course (ie subject/unit) or program of study or co-curricular activities.

Textbooks on the OER Collective platform are generally assigned for use in a tertiary course (university or vocational education and training (VET)), however, institutions may also choose to use their allocated book shells for high school textbooks if desired. Textbooks may be collaboratively created with students and other institutions.

The OER Collective supports innovation and flexibility in terms of DIY member institution open access publishing projects. It is recognised that outputs may not always take the form of a traditional textbook but instead may include content and interactive objects in various formats.

Open textbook projects that are eligible for CAUL OER Collective DIY Author Grants must be associated with a tertiary course/s, program of study or co-curricular activities. Textbooks that are not for use in a university or VET context are not eligible for the grant program.