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Open Educational Resources Collective Publishing Workflow

Manage Errata


Planning for Errors and Erratum

No matter how well your textbook has been copyedited and proofread, it’s likely to contain a few errors.

As part of the ongoing improvement process, you’ll need to plan how you’re going to address errors – called ‘erratum’ – discovered after publication, including:

Collecting Error Reports

You can invite readers to report errors through:

Example error forms:

Making Corrections and Responding to Errors Reports

When making corrections, you’ll need to consider:

  • who will monitor error reports and make edits – the author, the editor or someone else in the publishing team? This will depend on who has access to the platform or source files after publication, as well as the expertise of each team member. (Anyone can fix typos or broken links, but content errors will require the author’s input.)
  • how often will you make corrections – when you receive the error report or on a monthly or annual schedule? Small corrections such as fixing typos or broken links can be made immediately, but it’s best to wait until the end of the teaching period to make larger updates.
  • how you will respond to error reports. It’s a good idea to reply to the reporter to say thank you and share how and when the error will be addressed. 

Recording Errors and Erratum

After you’ve corrected any errors, you’ll need to record these errors and their corrections for your readers’ reference. This allows instructors and students to:

  • understand the changes and their impact on teaching and learning
  • avoid submitting duplicate error reports.

Errors and their corrections are usually documented by adding a page to the back matter of your textbook such as:

Some publishers – such as OpenStax – post errata as a separate page or document on their website or the book’s home page.

Example errata lists:

You don’t need to include every change (e.g. typos, grammatical errors or broken links) in the errata or version history, but larger edits or updates to your textbook’s content should be recorded.

If your textbook is available in more than one format or file type – for example, if you’re using the PDF or EPUB export options in Pressbooks – remember to update these as well and note the date on your errata or versioning history page.

Attributions

Adapted from:

Updates and Revisions’ in Authoring Open Textbooks by Melissa Falldin and Karen Lauritsen, licensed under a CC BY 4.0 licence.

Maintain the Book’ in Self-Publishing Guide by Lauri M. Aesoph, licensed under a CC BY 4.0 licence.

Improvements and Maintenance Overview’ in The Rebus Guide to Publishing Open Textbooks (So Far) by Apurva Ashok and Zoe Wake Hyde, licensed under a CC BY 4.0 licence.