Month: April 2018

Rebus Community Projects: Beta Invitation

If you’re interested in using the Rebus Community collaboration software for your Open Textbook or OER project, now’s your chance! Fill out our application form to register your project.


On May 16, we will launch the Rebus Community Projects platform – a custom-built project management tool for collaboration on Open Educational Resources (OER) publishing projects around the world. We will launch with 10 (selected) beta OER/open textbook publishing projects, and the platform will be open to all volunteers. Would you like your OER project to be a part of our beta? If so, tell us about it!

About the platform

While most project management software is designed for broad use, Rebus Community Projects is specifically customized for open textbook/OER projects and the communities that form around them. With the first release of the platform happening in mid-May, we are now looking for projects to trial the tool as part of their open textbook/OER publishing efforts.

About the beta

Accepted Beta projects will get full access to the tools, as well as some support from the Rebus team over the course of their project. All Beta users will have the chance to (directly and indirectly) inform our product development process, and help shape the future of the Rebus Community and our approach to publishing open textbooks.

Is your project a beta candidate?

Candidate OER projects for the beta should meet the following criteria:

  • The project aims to create an open textbook/OER which can be used in courses at a higher education institution.
  • The resulting textbook and associated materials will be published under a CC-BY license. (Note: for projects involving traditional knowledge or other similar content, we will work with project teams to amend our licensing policy as needed).
  • The text will be published online and made available in editable formats.
  • The project has a responsible and dedicated project manager, lead author or leadership team.
  • At least one member of the project team can communicate with the Rebus team in English. (Note: the textbook itself can be in any language.)
  • The project team understands that Rebus Projects is in a beta phase, and is willing to actively engage with the process to support its development.

In addition, we have particular interest in working with projects that:

  1. Are based outside North America (with the caveat that our platform and working language is currently English),
  2. Include and highlight traditionally marginalised voices and communities,
  3. Are at the peer review stage, OR
  4. Fit into any combination of the above.

Why are we prioritizing these areas?

The Rebus mission has always been to support collaborative open textbook publishing for all subjects, in all languages, everywhere in the world. This mission is a kind of shorthand for what we think is possible with OER, and drives everything we do — big and small.

In this case, it’s driving us to recruit projects that fit the categories above. Here’s why:

  1. We want to work with projects outside North America in order to further develop our model to suit many different regional contexts. We acknowledge that language will be a barrier for many, and are taking steps towards supporting more languages in future, but for now, we appreciate the extra effort made by project teams and contributors who work with us in English when it is not their preferred language. Beyond language, we also want to make sure that the decisions we make about features, user experience, process, etc. are not made with only one type of user in mind. We aren’t fulfilling our mission unless we’re involving people from all regions of the globe.
  2. We are seeking projects that include and promote marginalised voices and communities because we believe that open education has the power to make education more equitable and to promote content that is not well served by traditional publishing models. Supporting traditionally marginalised people, ideas, and approaches to education is critical to that vision.
  3. We want to hear from projects in peer review in order to further develop our approach to managing this phase of the publishing process. We are working towards a clear, replicable peer review process that can be used by anyone, and community input is invaluable to be sure it is a constructive process for both creators and reviewers. Peer review plays an important role in ensuring content quality, but can also play a less desirable part in gatekeeping, so needs to be carefully managed.

Why join our beta?

Joining the Rebus Community Projects beta will, we hope, deliver a host of benefits to project, including:

  • A public web listing of your project, where basic information of your project, team, activities, discussion threads, and documents can be shared. This listing can be used to promote the project, generate interest from potential adopters, and recruit collaborators.
  • Support & guidance on the publishing process from the Rebus team and the wider Community via the Rebus Community Forum
  • Guides and templates related to the OER publishing process
  • Amplification of recruitment calls and project updates in the Rebus Community’s media channels (newsletter, blog, social media, etc.)
  • An onboarding call with the Rebus Community, with training on how to use the platform*
  • Four one-hour drop-in webinars, where you can pose questions and talk through challenges in the process*
  • Access to the Rebus Press (powered by Pressbooks), if needed
  • An opportunity to contribute directly to the development of tools and resources that benefit the wider OER community

*All calls will be recorded and made available for project teams whose work day does not align with that of the Rebus team (based in Montreal, QC). Efforts will be made to run individual and asynchronous sessions wherever possible.

How do I apply to be a beta project?

If you would like to submit your project for consideration to become one of our first Rebus Community Projects platform beta projects, please fill in our application form.

Have questions about the platform, or the Rebus Community? Please contact us.