Whether you’re the author or project manager of an open textbook, it’s helpful to define your roles and responsibilities and how they relate to those of others on the team. Discussing expectations early on can keep emotions under control and the project on track.
The author’s responsibilities depend on whether they’re working with co-authors or a project manager, as well as the needs of the project itself. Common responsibilities include:
The project manager may be the author, or a librarian, educational designer or other publishing team member. Their responsibilities depend on the strengths and expertise of team members and the project itself. Common responsibilities include:
Some other roles commonly involved in textbook production:
Most books are written with an authoring tool like Microsoft Word or Google Docs and then transferred to a publishing platform like Pressbooks, so you’ll also need to decide which of these roles is responsible for copying, pasting and reformatting content.
When you’re planning your open textbook, you’ll need to account for a number of tasks across each of these steps:
You can use a project timeline to record the tasks involved in each step, along with the team member(s) responsible and estimated completion dates. Remember to allow time for when you and your team are first learning to work together and with the book, and for unexpected delays.
As the project progresses, there may be opportunities for team members to take on other roles. Each time you identify a new task, consider:
‘Defining Your Role’ in Authoring Open Textbooks by Melissa Falldin and Karen Lauritsen, licensed under a CC BY 4.0 licence.
‘Project Charter and Timeline’ in Self-Publishing Guide by Lauri M. Aesoph, licensed under a CC BY 4.0 licence.