When using Creative Commons-licensed materials, it’s important to understand what each license means. Start with this video (available under a CC license from Seminole State Library) for a refresher:
- Creative Commons also supplies a list of best practices for attribution, with examples (from ideal to pretty good).
- New Media Rights also provides a guide with examples of how to attribute works.
This excellent guide by Clint Lalonde at BC Campus provides six steps to editing/remixing an open textbook.
The WR121-122 textbooks are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution (4.0) license, meaning they can be used anywhere, for any purpose, as long as there is an attribution included. This includes editing the material. The book is available in three different formats:
- A Pressbooks XML file (to upload back into Pressbooks, where you can edit the text)
- An OpenDocument format file (which will have some formatting issues, probably, but can be edited in most word processors, like Microsoft Word)
- As a PDF
PDF documents are difficult to edit, of course; however, individual chapters are available in this format, if you would like to take only pieces of the book and add them to other resources.
Pressbooks provides an online platform for editing and publishing. Online access is free, and links to specific chapters are easy to provide. Pressbooks can be exported into other formats (like PDF), but to do so without a watermark will cost the creator a one-time publishing fee (between $49-$99, depending on whether you find a sale).
Other textbook publishing options include:
- iBooks Author: This app is free but only available on Mac OS. It provides easy design of textbooks that look like standard, printed textbooks. The pages can be output into PDF (large files with multiple colors) or into iBooks format, which is then readable through the iBooks app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Books can also be exported into EPub format for use on eReaders/eReading apps like Kindle, Kobo, and Nook. This can be a difficult format for sharing/remixing, however, as not everyone has access to the Author app.
- Kindle Textbook Creator: Use existing PDFs and publish into the Amazon store. There are some odd notes here about copyright, but it is an option for getting work out.
- OpenStax CNX: The OpenStax tools can be used to create content/collect into a textbook. The technical skill necessary here is higher than the other creators.
- OER Commons Open Author: Use the OER Commons authoring tool to post materials into a collection. It allows direct import from Google Docs.
Image credit on this page:
Tower of used books. © Jorge Royan / http://www.royan.com.ar, via Wikimedia Commons