Adapting, Creating and Publishing OER

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Authoring and Publishing Guides

  • The Rebus Guide to Publishing Open Textbooks (So Far)
    A “living repository of collective knowledge, written to equip all those who want to publish open textbooks with the resources they need. Representing two years of collaboration, innumerable conversations and exchanges, and a wide range of collective knowledge and experience, the Guide is a book-in-progress and will evolve and grow over time.”
  • Authoring Open Textbooks
    “This guide is for faculty authors, librarians, project managers and others who are involved in the production of open textbooks in higher education and K-12. Content includes a checklist for getting started, publishing program case studies, textbook organization and elements, writing resources and an overview of useful tools.”
  • BCcampus Open Education Self-Publishing Guide
    Authored by Lauri Aesoph, BCcampus. “The BCcampus Open Education Self-Publishing Guide is a reference for individuals or groups wanting to write and self-publish an open textbook.This guide provides details on the preparation, planning, writing, publication, and maintenance of an open textbook. Copyright, open-copyright licences, and the differences between citation and attribution are discussed as well as the importance of copy editing and proofreading. Checklists and templates are also provided. This guide replaces the BCcampus Open Education Authoring Guide.” This site also links to Adaptation Guide and Print-on-Demand Guide.
  • A Guide to Making Open Textbooks with Students
    “A handbook for faculty interested in practicing open pedagogy by involving students in the making of open textbooks, ancillary materials, or other Open Educational Resources. This is a first edition, compiled by Rebus Community, and we welcome feedback and ideas to expand the text.”
  • Modifying an Open Textbook: What You Need to Know
    “This is a five-step guide for faculty, and those who support faculty, who want to modify an open textbook. Step-by-step instructions for importing and editing common open textbook file and platform types are included.”
  • The OER Starter Kit Workbook
    “The OER Starter Kit Workbook is a remix of the OER Starter Kit to include worksheets to help instructors practice the skills they need to confidently find, use, or even create open educational resources (OER)”
  • OER Authoring Tools
    Guide of resources compiled by Michele DeSilva, COCC & Amy Hofer, Open Oregon Educational Resources.
  • Pressbooks User Guide
  • Open Access Journal PublishingResource Index by SPARC
  • Open Textbook Adoption Tutorial Five steps to adopting an Open Textbook for a course from Openstax CNX.

Tools for Authoring and Publishing

The list of free to access authoring and publishing tools is not meant to be an exhaustive listing. Some of the tools are free or available only to the CUNY Community.

  • Open Author Tool from OER Commons
    Open Author helps you build Open Educational Resources, lesson plans, and courses (on your own, or with others) — and then publish them on OER Commons (powered by ISKME)
  • State University of New York SUNY OER. Similar to Author Tool (also powered by ISKME) Services include (1) Tools & a platform for creating a textbook; (2) Consultation on publishing workflow; (3) Community resources for faculty mentors, volunteer editing, & peer review; (4) Print on demand services; and (5) OER sharing platform. The site suggests:
  • OpenEd CUNY (City University of New York) is similar to SUNY and OER Commons Author Tool (also powered by ISKME). It is a WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get online) editor. “Note: Currently, remixing is limited to resources that are created directly in OpenEd CUNY. This means that you can use Our Remix tools for content created with our authoring tools, but not content that is hosted on another site.” Limited type of file import and export.
  • Open Educational Resources: OER Authoring Tools (SUNY Empire)
  • MERLOT Content builder (similar to the OER Commons authoring tool)
  • Manifold (limited editing on the platform; intended for publishing)
    “With iterative texts, powerful annotation tools, rich media support, and robust community dialogue, Manifold transforms scholarly publications into living digital works. This CUNY installation serves as a free publishing platform for the CUNY community and as a repository of open educational resources for teaching and learning.”
  • CUNY Academic Commons (for CUNY faculty, staff and students) (powered by WordPress)
  • LAGCC ePortfolio (for LAGCC faculty, staff, students)
  • CUNY Pressbooks (coming) (Pressbooks is similar to WordPress but tailored for books) (free Pressbooks plan is limited to 5 MB storage and limited export and download formats)
  • CUNY Graduate Center LibGuide Digital Tools and Techniques
  • LibreTexts Remixer (Chemistry example)
  • Hypothesis
    Freely accessible web annotation tool
  • H5P
    “Create, share and reuse interactive HTML5 content in your browser”
  • TED Ed Lesson Builder
    Build lesson plans around TED talks.
  • MyOpenMath “is a free, open source, online course management system for mathematics and other quantitative fields. MyOpenMath’s primary emphasis is to facilitate the creation and implementation of online homework and assessment, although it also supports content delivery on a limited basis. MyOpenMath runs on the open source IMathAS platform, providing free hosted use of this platform in support of free, open textbooks like the ones listed on” Functions include randomizing questions, online tests, and automatic grading. It can be integrated into BlackBoard, Canvas, and other learning management systems.
  • WeBWork (supported by MAA and NSF; it is similar to MyOpenMath but must be self-hosted or there is limited hosting for NGOs)​
  • OpenOChem (like MyOpenMath but with organic chemistry questions; the 2D editor is based on ChemDoodle and the 3D editor is based on JSmol.)
  • Jupyter Book and Notebook open-source web applications allow you to create and share documents that contain live code, equations, visualizations and narrative text.
  • Gitbook (hosted on GitHub) (markdown)
  • CK-12 FLEXBOOKS (As of 2.1.2021, there were five college-level books, including Biology and Astrobiology)
  • H20 (Harvard, legal textbooks, written in Python)
  • LibreOffice (free) (Wordprocessor, Spreadsheet, Slides, Draw) (alternative to Microsoft Office)
  • Google Docs and Google Workspace (previously G Suite) (free online version or educational account)

Notes: LAGCC faculty authoring a new textbook found the OpenStax online CNX Legacy Editor very slow to use. The only format that can be downloaded is CNMXL.
Many of the authoring platforms listed above are for creating new contents on or remixing contents that have been authored on the platform.


  • Rebus Community Forum
    “The Rebus Community is developing a new, collaborative process for publishing open textbooks.

Attribution: Most of the resources listed are copied from OER@BCMM.