My writing is an open book

The first time I thought about potentially authoring a textbook was in 2005.  I was teaching as an adjunct at four different colleges and was using a different textbook for each.  Each time I brought the correlating textbook for the correlating College Success class with the correlating handouts, assignments, quizzes, and other materials, it felt like a small victory.  As I started to create my own content, I decided that if I ever was hired full time, I would write my own text.  A few years later, I accepted a full-time tenure track faculty position at Grossmont College in San Diego and two years after that I began writing my first textbook.

The top 9 myths about OER publishing

In a recent blog post, we explored some of the questions authors are asking about open textbooks. In this post we have continued the discussion with several leaders in the open textbook movement to identify some of the common misconceptions associated with open educational resources (OER) publishing.

Our industry leaders include Barbara Illowsky (co-author of one of the first open textbooks, Introductory Statistics), Amy Hofer (Open Oregon Educational Resources), Apurva Ashok and Zoe Wake Hyde (Rebus Foundation), and Nicole Finkbeiner (OpenStax, Rice University).

Below are the top nine myths they have identified, and the facts related to each.

Is open access publishing where you want to see your work? Questions to ask yourself and best practices

During their 2018 Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference presentation, “A New Publishing Landscape: Open Access,” Kristen Cvancara, Laura Jacobi, and Heidi Southworth shared curiosities, opportunities, and pitfalls of open access publishing. For those curious about how their work may fit in the open access publishing landscape, the panel encouraged conducting a self-assessment and getting feedback from others first. For when you’re ready to explore open access publishing, they shared best practices as well.

4 Questions authors are asking about open textbooks

Whether you are a veteran textbook author or new to the industry, you’ve likely heard of open educational resources (OER) and open textbooks by now. As with anything new, the open textbook model is faced with scrutiny and questions from those familiar with the traditional publishing process. It’s also laden with opportunities, such as the current $5M open textbook pilot program.

To better understand the open textbook model, specifically what is the same and what is different from traditional publishing options, we asked some questions of several leaders in the open textbook movement. Here’s what we learned.

Pay to play: Are submission fees common for publication in journals?

There seem to be many recent email messages, advertisements, and calls for journal submissions that have touted competitive or lower than average submission fees. From a traditional perspective of submitting work to academic journals, you may 1) never paid for submission of articles, and 2) been wary of those journals who required payment for submission, thinking them to be less credible “pay to play” sources of publication.

With evidence of a more common practice of submission fee requirements, we solicited the opinions of TAA members Jörg Waltje, executive director of the Center for Faculty Excellence at Texas Woman’s University, and Patricia Goodson, presidential professor for Teaching Excellence and director of POWER Services for Texas A&M University, who provided different perspectives.