When inviting co-authors to contribute to your textbook, you’ll need to clarify important details, such as:
It’s a good idea to outline these expectations in a contract or written agreement such as a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to avoid misunderstandings. This will make it easier to answer questions or settle disputes that arise during the writing process.
If you plan to include students as contributing authors, The Rebus Community’s A Guide to Making Open Textbooks With Students can help you navigate this process.
Once you’ve recruited your co-authors, you’ll need to share how you plan to work together as a team. This might include:
While you should put this information in writing so co-authors can refer back to it, it’s also a good idea to set up a meeting to go over it. This is a chance to go through the details, answer any questions they have about the project or their role and introduce them to the rest of your team.
Make sure you stay in contact with your co-authors throughout the project, including:
It’s also helpful to ask for their feedback about how the project is unfolding.
Remember that your co-authors are volunteering their time and expertise on your project – even if they’re being compensated. Do whatever you can to make it a positive experience and recognise their contributions however you can.
‘Recruitment Guide’ 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.