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Open Educational Resources Collective Publishing Workflow

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Funding and Compensation Models for Open Textbooks 

Open textbooks are free to use, but they’re not free to produce. If you decide to write and publish an open textbook, you’ll need to think about how you’re going to compensate not only the people who help you, but yourself as well. The cost of producing an open textbook is often underestimated by authors.

Before you begin, make a list of people and resources you’ll need to support your project.

Funding and compensation can come in different forms. Besides cash, in-kind contributions should be considered. For example, your institution may offer support by providing access to educational designers, librarians or in-house copyeditors instead of funding. You may also be granted release time to work on your book.

Typically, the creation of an open textbook is funded (often through grants) by:

CAUL OER Collective Open Textbook Grants 

These grants will be offered through a competitive EOI process.

Once awarded, the grant will be paid to the authors’ institution and can be used for any purpose related to producing their open textbook (e.g. buy out of teaching, professional editing or design services, etc.).

Grants will be available to cover:

  • professional services such as copyediting, graphic design and peer review payments (managed by the CAUL OER Collective)
  • author payments for any purpose related to producing the open textbook such as buy out of teaching time or additional professional services (managed by the authors’ institutions).

Recipients of CAUL OER Collective open textbook grants will also receive space to publish their textbook on the Collective’s Pressbooks platform.

Read more about the 2024 grant program on the CAUL OER Collective Pressbooks Platform.


‘Funding and Compensation Models for Open Textbooks’ was adapted from ‘Who Pays For This?’ in Self-Publishing Guide by Lauri M. Aesoph, licensed under a CC-BY 4.0 licence.