Revisions

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Textbooks can always be improved upon on and upgraded after their initial release. The following outlines the ways you can gather feedback to improve your open textbook.

Think about how you will process feedback. The treatment for each item will depend on what has been reported: an error, new information, a potential resource to add, or suggestion on the structure of the textbook. It is also good practice to respond to recommendations by thanking your colleague for taking the time to write to you. If you have information about how to use your textbook or ideas about supplementary materials, include these in your response.

Feedback/Contact Page

Example - Hypothes.is for Open Textbook Feedback

To learn more about using Hypothes.is in Pressbooks, go to Using Hypothes.is in Pressbooks.

You can provide your contact information such as an email or create a feedback page to be added to the front or back section of the textbook. This feedback page should contain details about the kind of feedback you’re looking for and how the reader can submit comments. If the textbook is housed in an online platform that doesn’t use page numbers, it can be difficult for readers to clearly describe what section of the text they want to comment on. In your call for feedback, encourage readers to be as specific as possible in their description of the location of their comments. Alternatively, some online platforms have a comments feature that can be enabled. Another option would be to use an external (and open source) annotation system, such as Hypothes.is, which allows users to leave comments directly on a web page.

Textbook Reviews

'Example - Open Textbook Review

  • Chemistry (OpenStax) by Paul Flowers, Klaus Theopold and Richard Langley shows a review at the bottom of the landing page.

Another way to collect feedback on your textbook is to give instructors the opportunity to submit a review of your textbook. Textbook reviews are an important way to not only provide feedback on its improvement for the writer but also a way for others interested in adopting the textbook to see recommendations by a neutral expert. There are a number of textbook review processes that have been developed by open textbook publishers. A few examples include BCcampus and Open Ed Manitoba. The base level criteria for a review includes faculty who have expertise in the subject area and have taught content included in the specific textbook.

Errors

Example - Errata List for an Open Textbook

  • Astronomy (2016) by Andrew Fraknoi, David Morrison, Sidney C. Wolff. Houston, Texas.
Examples - Bug Bounties

Regardless of how carefully a book is copy edited and proofread, it will probably contain errors after publication. Your job is to create a system that allows readers to report errors to you and develop a means to correct these errors. A feedback form that invites error reporting might be sufficient for you, or you can just provide an email where people can contact you.

Think about who will make the corrections. This can be you or someone else, like a student assistant or copy editor. This will often depend on who has access to the book’s source files after publication. Also, how often will corrections be made? Will you fix them immediately? Monthly? Quarterly? And how will you respond to the individual reporting the mistake? A simple thank you with a description of how and when the error will be addressed is one way.

Develop a means to track and record corrected errors for your readers’ reference. You can use an erratum — a record of errors and their corrections for a book or other publication — that is added to your book. Or, like BCcampus, record adjustments on a versioning history page. If there is more than one format or file type for which the textbook is available, remember to update these and note the date on the erratum or Versioning History page.

In the classroom, several authors have found success by offering "bug bounties" to their students: a reward system where teachers offer rewards to students for finding errors which had not already been found in the textbook.


Revisions

Many authors are already thinking about the next edition of their textbook before the first edition is published. They realize that their textbook is a snapshot of information and that this information will continue to evolve after the book is published, so they plan for the next edition immediately. Remember: Writing a book will never feel finished. There is always something that can be changed, improved, or added. At some point you will need to stop and say “good enough.”

Some authors prepare by collecting notes about what they’d like to change, and material and resources they want to add to the next edition. Others create a duplicate copy of their book — easy to do in Pressbooks, for example — and use it as a template for the next edition. If you want to plan ahead for the next edition, decide how much new and changed information warrants a new edition, and how often this might occur.

Maintenance Schedule

The maintenance schedule for your book can and should include all tasks that will keep your book relevant and current. Develop a timetable and process for each of the following:

  • Responding to, reviewing, and incorporating feedback
  • Checking and fixing links and embedded multimedia in online books
  • Correcting reported/detected errors
  • Adding minor updates to keep the content current
  • Creating a new edition

Don’t forget to inform colleagues and collections that use and host your textbook about significant changes.




Adaption Statements

source: https://wiki.ubc.ca/Documentation:Open_Textbook_Publishing_Guide/Revisions