Peer Review Working Group: Next Steps

Peer review is critical for the acceptance of open textbooks by the wider world. Perceptions of uncertain quality of open textbooks is often cited as a barrier to adoption. Good, transparent review processes will help solve this problem.

While many open textbooks are comprehensively reviewed, there is currently no accepted standard or process for review.

We’ve put together a Peer Review Working Group to help the Open Textbook community come together to develop a clear approach to review. (Would you like to join us? Go here!)

We’ve currently got around 20 members in this group, from as many institutions, including: the Open Textbook Network, OpenStax, SUNY, Oregon State, and Ryerson University. You can find a recap of our first meeting (including the full video) here.

During this meeting, we identified a number of challenges for reviewing Open Textbooks, and our group hopes to provide some solutions, with subgroups focusing on the following issues.

Please join us if you think you can help us figure out smart approaches to reviewing Open Textbooks.

Group 1: Open Textbook Review Board
The Rebus Community has proposed to create a review board that can been leveraged to help find reviewers for open textbooks. Members of the board will be contacted when a book becomes available for review and make efforts within and possibly beyond their institutions to find volunteers. This group will define and help to launch the board. Join Group 1 here.

Group 2: Defining Categories of Review
This group will work to define the purpose and structure of the different kinds of review that could be valuable to an open textbook. They will also help guide the development of dedicated tools and resources for each kind of review. Join Group 2 here.

Group 3: Environmental Scan of Peer Review Tools, Processes & Research
This group will conduct a scan of the existing peer review market in order to inform the development of new review processes. Join Group 3 here.

Group 4: Creating Standard Markers for OT Review
This group will discuss creating a standardised system to clearly identify the kinds of review that any given textbook has undergone. This will link to the work of group 2, who are defining different categories of review. Join Group 4 here.

Group 5: Recognition for Reviewers
This group will discuss ideas of how to recognise and reward reviewer contributions. This may eventually feed into the creation of something similar to the Mozilla Contributorship Badges project, recognising all kinds of participation in open textbook projects, including peer review. Join Group 5 here.

Signup for the groups will stay open, but we encourage you to join by May 20 so we can start moving forward on each of them.

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