Whether you are considering customizing an existing OER or creating something new, you want to make sure that your resources are easy to find and use. Below, we've outlined some of the support available for you to easily publish your OER.
Support Available for Creating Content
The Iowa State University Digital Press is an online platform for publishing and/or hosting ebooks, journals, and conference proceedings. We recommend the Digital Press for publishing text-based content and interactive textbooks. For open textbooks, the Digital Press can coordinate:
- online hosting for your project in our catalog of open textbooks
- clone existing books published in Pressbooks (e.g. Human Nutrition) and edit or remix the content easily
- training and support on the creation of interactive exercises with H5P, a tool built-in to our Pressbooks system
- training and support on the use of Hypothes.is for collectively annotating your text
- DOI creation to help readers easily cite and share your work
- formatting support and training for Pressbooks, an attractive and easy-to-use system similar to Wordpress
- peer review coordination for your work
- create exports of your book in HTML, Print, PDF, and EPUB formats for students to download or print
The ISU Digital Repository can host content that you would like to make easily findable for outside instructors and archived for future students. Because the Digital Repository is indexed by Google, your content will show up in basic searches for instructional content online. We recommend that you use the Digital Repository for hosting archival copies of materials that you have published through the Digital Press or for sharing small OER, such as reading lists, syllabi, and lesson plans.
Each spring, our committee puts out a call for proposals for projects to publish, update, or adopt OER. If you are interested in creating a new open educational resource but need support to make that a reality, see our Apply for a Mini-Grant webpage for more information about our grants.
Tips for Content Creators
One of the largest benefits of open educational resources is that you can modify and remix existing OER to meet your students’ needs. Not all OER are as adaptable as others, though. If you are looking to adapt an existing OER or create a new one, keep these features in mind:
- An Open License Allowing Derivative Works: Creative Commons licenses are the most common open licenses applied to educational resources. There are various types of Creative Commons licenses, but the ND (no derivatives) restriction should be avoided if you want to adapt a resource. An ND restriction stops users from being able to remix or modify your work.
- An Adaptable File Format: Many educators release their materials as PDFs, since they are usable on nearly every desktop and mobile device. If you are creating or find a PDF made from scanned images, make sure that the text is accessible and machine-readable. This will allow for much easier adaptability. To make a document even more modifiable, an author can provide a copy in a word processor format, such as .docx or .rtf, in addition to the more polished .pdf content.
- A Modular Format: It is far easier to modify an open educational resource that has been broken up into modules (sections) than it is to modify one gigantic OER. Generally, the more modular your content is, the easier it is to adapt. OpenStax College textbooks in Web View are separated not only by chapter, but also by subchapter, making it easy to mix and match sections for an adaptation.
Printing your Course OER
Many OER publishers have print versions of their texts available to purchase at a low cost. These print books can be ordered through the ISU Book Store in the same way you might be used to them ordering copies of traditional textbooks. However, if this option is not available to you, or if you would like to combine multiple OER into a course pack, consider using one of the printing services listed below:
Institutional Printing Services
Third Party Printing Services
The image used for the button on the Resources & Support page leading to this page was retrieved from Marten Byork on Unsplash.