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Open Educational Resources Collective Publishing Workflow



When you are ready to publish, submit the Request to Publish form. CAUL will complete final checks before publishing your textbook (please allow three weeks minimum).

Your institution (the publisher) and CAUL (the platform provider via Pressbooks) have rights and responsibilities regarding the publishing of textbooks on the OER Collective platform.  

CAUL is responsible for the final step in the publishing process: switching the textbook from 'private' to 'public'.

Publish in Pressbooks

Before publishing your textbook on the OER Collective Pressbooks platform, book teams are to:

Filling Out Book Information in Pressbooks

The Book Info page is where you enter all the information about your textbook. This includes details such as:

Some book info (metadata) is required and will be filled in by default when CAUL creates your book shell. Required metadata allows Pressbooks to build your book's home page, automatically generate the cover, title page, and copyright notice in your book exports, and meet the metadata requirements of the Collective.

In general, we recommend adding as much information as you can when creating your book.

The following table identifies information in the General Book Information module that Pressbooks and the CAUL OER Collective deem required or optional

Information Required/Optional
Book Title Required
Author Required
Language Required
Publisher (your institution) Required
Publication Date Required
Short title Optional
Subtitle Optional
Editor, Translator, Reviewer, Illustrator, and Contributor Optional
Publisher City Optional
On-sale Date Optional
Ebook ISBN (International Standard Book Number) Optional
Print ISBN (International Standard Book Number) Optional
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Optional

General Book Information glossary:

Title: Pressbooks will automatically fill in this section with the title you chose when creating your book, though it can be edited at any time. Your book's title will be displayed on your webbook's home page and included in the automatically generated title page and half-title page of your export files. 

Author: The author name is displayed on your webbook's landing page and included in the automatically generated title page of your exports. This field is a required metadata element for EPUB exports, and is populated with the username of the person who created your book by default. It can include several names.

Language: The primary language the book is written in. All CAUL OER Collective books are created with English (United Kingdom) as default. Authors can select a different language provided the field is not left blank. 

Publisher: Publisher information will appear on the webbook homepage, in the automatically generated title page, and your ebook metadata.  The author/s institution/s is the publisher. CAUL is the platform provider. 

Publication Date: The date the book is to be, or was published on. The publication date will be included on the webbook homepage. 

Short Title: A shorter version of your title can be entered if your full book title is too long for the running content in your PDFs. 

Subtitle: Like the title, this information will automatically populate the title page and webbook homepage if entered. 

Editor, Translator, Reviewer, Illustrator, and Contributor: These metadata fields can be filled in to properly credit the contributions of individuals who filled specific roles in the creation of the book. Learn more about creating and displaying book-level contributors.

Publisher City: The publisher city will be displayed on the webbook homepage and included in the automatically generated title page in your export files. 

On-sale Date: The date the book became available for purchase (or will go on sale). 

Ebook ISBN: An ISBN or "international standard book number" is a number assigned to your book that is unique. ISBNs allow bookstores across the world to know important things about your book, including: title, author, publisher, publication date. The ebook ISBN is added to the metadata file in your ebook, and is included in the webbook homepage. For more details on how to acquire an ISBN, see the Guide to Self-Publishing.

Print ISBN: See above for a description of ISBNs. Note that each format of a book (print, ebook, audiobook) must have its own ISBN. 

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): A DOI is a unique handle used to identify digital publications like online books. DOIs are commonly used for academic publications. If you are affiliated with a university, an academic librarian or other colleague with scholarly publishing expertise may be able to help you generate a DOI for use with your book. If set, the DOI will be displayed on your webbook's homepage. 

Book Cover

Upload an image of the front cover of your book in this section. The cover image you upload here will be displayed on your webbook homepage and included in your EPUB exports.

The Collective provides two cover templates for members to copy and edit. Read more at OER Collective Style Guide for Book Covers.

Cover images should have a 1:1.5 aspect ratio. Recommended dimensions are 2500px by 3750px. The maximum upload size of images is 2MB.

NOTE: The cover image is not included in print or digital PDF files. PDF files are designed as interior files only, as many print and print-on-demand services require cover files to be submitted separately. See the guide chapter on designing Ebook and PDF covers for more details.

Other Book Information

The following additional items will increase visibility for your book when listed in the OER Collective network catalogue and the Pressbooks Directory.


Information Required/Optional
Subject Required
Additional Subject(s) Optional
Institutions Optional
Copyright Year Required
Copyright Holder Required
Copyright Licence Required
Copyright Notice Required
Book Tagline Required
Short Description Required
Long Description Optional
Additional Catalog Information Optional

Other Book Information glossary:

Primary/Additional Subject(s): Adding accurate subject categories to your book can help users find your book more easily, especially if your focus is primarily on distributing a public webbook on Pressbooks. You should select a primary subject for your book, and can select as many additional subjects as you need to properly categorize what your book is about. 

Pressbooks' subject categories use the Thema taxonomy, a subject category scheme developed for the global book trade by EDItEUR, an international trade standards organization. You can use the free, online Thema Subject Category browser to find the most appropriate subject categories for your book.

Institutions: If the institution listed in the publisher field is different to the institution you wish to list here, use this field.

Copyright Year: 2024

Copyright Holder: Your institution or the author/s (check with your Copyright Service)

Copyright Licence: Must be a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) unless otherwise discussed with CAUL Office.

Copyright Notice: The default copyright notice includes limited information which we override with a custom copyright notice to ensure all licensing requirements are listed simply and transparently. This section must include:

Book URL: If the book is downloaded (and not just viewed online) reference to the CAUL OER Collective and URL metadata is lost. Including the URL in long form ( here retains this information. This is required

Disclaimer: Clarifies that logos and branding are not included under the CC BY-NC licence. This is required

Copyright: This detailed copyright statement should list:

  • Title of the book (required)
  • Title of the adaption (if it is an adaption of an existing work) (if applicable)
  • Book licence (required)
  • Any items included with permission but excluded from the book licence (if applicable)
  • Recommended attribution and/or recommended citation (optional)
  • Cover image attribution (if applicable)

See an example by scrolling down to the metadata on this text:

Book Tagline: This is a very short, one-line sentence that explains why someone should read your book. Ideally, the tagline is something that would fit in a tweet. 

Short Description: A short paragraph describing your book. The short description is displayed beneath the title and author near the top of your book's webbook homepage. The short description will also be included in the Pressbooks Directory if no long description is present. 

Long Description:  A longer paragraph about your book that can also include reviews, praise, blurbs, etc. The long will be displayed on your webbook's homepage and will be displayed in the Pressbooks Directory, if available. 

Additional Catalog Information: Click the Show Additional Book Information button at the top of the Book Info page to open the Additional Catalog Information section. Enter more optional information about your book including series title, series number, editor, translator, keywords, hashtag, list price,  and BISAC subjects

Add Book Pages Including Front and Back Matter

The following pages will be included in your  textbook shell by default:

Page Information Required/Optional
Accessibility Information Required
Acknowledgement of Country Recommended for Australian titles
Acknowledgements (general) Optional
About the Author/s Recommended
Book Cover Required
Versioning Required
Reviews Optional

Book Pages glossary:

Accessibility Information: include an accessibility statement page like seen in this  BCcampus textbook. Also, all downloadable formats listed below must be turned on:

  •  PDF (for print)
  •  PDF (for digital distribution)
  •  EPUB
  •  Pressbooks XML
  •  Common Cartridge with Web Links
  •  XHTML
  •  HTMLBook
  •  OpenDocument
  •  WordPress XML

Any site member with Book Administrator role can turn on via Export > Export Options> Tick all options.

Acknowledgement of Country: Include the Acknowledgement of Country provided by your institution, or a suitable option agreed to for multiple institutions. 

Acknowledgements (general): Include a page to thank your institution for any additional support, the original creator (if the book is an adaption), grant funding providers like CAUL (if applicable), family/friends, the OER Community, mentors, editors and/or peer reviewers (if they wish to be named). 

About the Author/s: Provide an opportunity for readers to contact the authors by including their names, titles and contact details.

Book Cover: If a user downloads the pdf version of your textbook, the book cover is not automatically included. If you add the book cover to this additional page, it will appear in the pdf download.

Versioning: Provide a brief record and description of any changes you make to the text since its initial publication date via a Versioning History page like displayed in the Pressbook Guide.

If you are publishing chapters as they are completed (rather than the whole book at once), include that information here, too. This is required once you begin changing your text beyond the original publishing date.

Reviews: Review statements are a great way to let potential adopters know your textbook has undergone peer review and is a high-quality resource. It’s also an opportunity to credit your reviewers (If you haven’t already).

Include a Review Statement page like the example seen in Introduction to LGBTQ+ Studies by State University of New York Press.

Exporting Book Files in Pressbooks

Once you’ve finished filling out the information about your textbook and adding the book cover, you can export the book files to all download formats including:

Request to Publish

Once the above book information and pages have been incorporated, complete the Request to Publish form.

You will be contacted by a CAUL Staff member who will:

  • briefly review the textbook and contact the authors and library support staff to rectify any issues.
  • confirm the expected publishing date
  • arrange a press release/advertise via social media channels.
  • tick ‘Public’ (effectively publishing the book) on agreed date.
  • add textbook to OER Collective "My Catalog"/ Pressbooks Directory.

Please ensure you complete this form a MINIMUM OF THREE WEEKS prior to your expected publish date to allow CAUL Staff time to confirm publication readiness.

Organising Print on Demand Copies

Some students and instructors may prefer to use a physical, bound version of your textbook. Print on demand services allow you to print copies of your textbook as needed, without the expense or potential waste of a large print run.

You can arrange to make print on demand copies of your textbook available through:

  • your university bookstore
  • an online print on demand or self-publishing service (e.g. Amazon).

If you can, it’s best to use a service located in your country to avoid issues such as: price confusion due to differences in currencies international shipping costs and delays duties and fees related to customs and processing.

While most publishers charge for print on demand copies of open textbooks, prices are usually set for cost recovery only. The costs involved in printing open textbooks vary depending on:

  • number of pages
  • black and white or colour
  • softcover or hardcover
  • shipping and handling costs.

Create Book Cover provides advice on designing print on demand covers.

For more detailed advice about setting up a print on demand service for open textbooks, see the BCcampus Open Education Print-on-Demand Guide


Adapted from:

Prepare for Publication’, ‘Book Info Page’, ‘Add Contributors’, ‘Export Files’ and ‘Make a Book Public’ in BCcampus Open Education Pressbooks Guide by Lauri M. Aesoph, licensed under a CC BY 4.0 licence.

Book Info’ in Pressbooks User Guide by Pressbooks, licensed under a CC 4.0 licence.

Print-on-Demand Copies’ in Self-Publishing Guide by Laurie M. Aesoph, licensed under a CC BY 4.0 licence.