Category: Open Textbook Projects

Financial Strategy for Public Managers: Now Available!

Financial Strategy for Public Managers by Sharon Kioko and Justin Marlowe is the first Rebus-supported open textbook project to be officially released, and is now available for adoption and use in classrooms!

This book offers a thorough, applied, and concise introduction to the essential financial concepts and analytical tools that today’s effective public servants need to know. It has been reviewed by 8 subject experts at 8 different institutions, and is available openly available in web, PDF, ebook, and other formats from the book homepage. If you’re interested in adopting the book, let us know!

Kioko and Marlowe’s book covers materials found in most public financial management texts, but it also integrates foundational principles across the government, non-profit, and “hybrid/for-benefit” sectors. Coverage includes basic principles of accounting and financial reporting, preparing and analyzing financial statements, cost analysis, and the process and politics of budget preparation.

Book homepage on Pressbooks, with a short description and links to download formats including PDF, EPUB, MOBI, XML, WXR, XHTML, ODT

Throughout the text, Kioko and Marlowe emphasize how financial information can and should inform every aspect of public sector strategy, from routine procurement decisions to budget preparation to program design to major new policy initiatives. Their book is written in an accessible style, understanding that students in Master of Public Administration programs often do not have backgrounds in finance or budgeting. Marlowe says, “Our book covers the same basic material in just over 200 pages, with just a few selected cases and a couple dozen practice problems, and it’s written in the plainest possible language. And of course, it’s free and open, so students download it and get to work immediately. That removes another important psychological barrier to the subject. So our book is different because it’s more accessible, and the fact that it’s open really reinforces that message.”

The book is already being used in classrooms as of Fall 2017, and students are responding to the book well. Marlowe, who is using the book in his course at the University of Washington, says, “[The students] know that I can update it almost in real time, so they’re eager to offer suggestions for cases, examples, problems, exercises, etc. because they know their ideas might appear in it sooner than later.” He says that students are also appreciative of the fact that it is available for free, and adds, “but they also say ‘it’s about time.’”

The Rebus Community provided support for this project in the form of coordinating peer review at the chapter and book-level. Rebus also ensured that the book will be available through print-on-demand, in order to enable students who prefer print to obtain a copy for less than it would typically cost to print off using a home computer or at a copy shop. Students who would like a print copy, can purchase it on Amazon, where it was the No. 1 new release in Government Accounting for several weeks.

If you’re located outside the US, and would still like to use this book, you can adapt it to better fit your needs. Marlowe encourages this remixing of content, and says, “Public budgeting and finance is the same in most places, but it’s also different from place to place depending on the local laws, politics, history, and other factors. The OER structure allows professors using the book in other states and other countries to swap out our discussions of budgeting and finance in Washington State, and swap in a discussion that’s more relevant to their own context.”

If you’re interested in adopting or considering the book for use in your classroom, or if you’d like to stay abreast of future editions, please sign up here. Alternatively, if you are a librarian who knows faculty at your institution who teaches a course that could use the book, please help us spread the word!

First Open Textbook on North American Archaeology!

The latest Open Textbook project to join the Rebus Community is the first of its kind in its field. Aptly titled From the Ground Up: An Introduction to North American Archaeology, this book brings together an intergenerational and international team of scholars to shed light on the multiple voices and vibrant diversity within North American archaeology.

The project is led by Dr. Katie Kirakosian from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, with support from a steering committee of colleagues who will offer support and advice throughout the process. The decision to pursue the project was fueled by feedback Katie had received from her colleagues in the field about existing textbooks, which don’t often contain diverse perspectives or include primary data with which students can practice.

Katie hopes that this book will “make North American archaeology more accessible and help archaeologists inspire and train the next generation.”

In contrast to existing books, this textbook is committed to including voices from descendant communities and community members, as well as perspectives from individuals in various archaeological sectors, including academia, CRM, museums, non-profits, and the government. It will discuss regional sections that summarize indigenous and non-indigenous cultures and allow students to explore culture change across space and time. In addition, this open textbook will include primary data whenever possible so students can see the data behind archaeological interpretations and can practice making interpretations of their own. The focus of the book is on presenting how material culture and other data help to understand the lived experiences of people through time and space.

As the first step, Katie is seeking contributors to form teams of 6-10 people around each chapter, who will be responsible for:

  1. Creating an outline for the chapter that will be shared with other contributors for feedback
  2. Writing the initial “background” chapter for their region
  3. Securing a case study of a particular site or landscape within that region
  4. Potentially contributing to peer review, beta testing, creating ancillary materials and other activities related to the project

If you are interested in joining one of these teams, you can view the list of chapters, and sign up on the contributor sign up thread in the Rebus Community forum. Or, if you want to find out more about the project, you can read the full project summary and post any questions you may have on the discussion thread.

From the Ground Up will be available for adoption in 2018. Follow the project on the Rebus Community forum for updates!

Four New Part Editors for Introduction to Philosophy!

We’d like to welcome Dr. Benjamin Martin, Dr. Beau Branson, Dr. Douglas Giles, and Dr. Heather Salazar as part editors on this open textbook. Would you like to get involved as an editor or chapter author? Join the project on the Rebus Community Forum.


It’s been almost a year since Christina Hendricks at the University of British Columbia decided to work with Rebus to create a new, open (CC BY-licensed) textbook for use in Introduction to Philosophy courses. The project has grown tremendously, with dozens of collaborators, and we’re pleased to announce that four new editors have recently joined the team to kick off four new subject parts; Logic, Philosophy of Religion, Social and Political Philosophy, and Philosophy of Mind.

Benjamin Martin joins us from the UK, and will be working as the part editor for Logic. Since receiving his Ph.D. from University College London in 2014, Martin has held the position of assistant professor at Queen’s University. His current research interests include the philosophical implications of non-classical logics, responses to scepticism, and the relationship between negation and denial.

Beau Branson has taught in Almaty, Kazakhstan and Owensboro, Kentucky. He will be curating the Philosophy of Religion part. Branson received his Ph.D. in 2014 from the University of Notre Dame. He specializes in Ancient and Hellenistic Philosophy, Metaphysics, and Philosophical Theology. Branson’s current research focuses on the philosophy of the early Church fathers. By bringing the rigour of contemporary logic and analytic metaphysics to bear on deep historical questions in patristics scholarship, he hopes to show how both analytic theology and historical theology can benefit from a deeper engagement with one another.

Douglas Giles taught philosophy in the U.S. for twelve years, and will be compiling the Social and Political Philosophy part. He recently completed his Ph.D.in critical social theory at the University of Essex, U.K.. Giles plans to continue teaching at the university level. His research interests include political philosophy and phenomenology.

Heather Salazar is an associate professor at Western New England University. Salazar will join us as the editor of the Philosophy of Mind part in early January. Her specializations within philosophy of mind include substance dualism and externalism. Salazar’s current work focuses on enlightened self-interest both within Western perspectives (neo-Kantian constructivism and philosophical psychology) and Eastern traditions (Yogic philosophy and Buddhism).

These part editors will be responsible for:

  • Creating and sharing a part outline with a summary and short chapter descriptions
  • Soliciting & incorporating community feedback on the outline
  • Helping to recruit authors
  • Working with Christina Hendricks to answer questions from chapter authors
  • Helping to edit contributed chapters

We’re so pleased to have these incredible individuals onboard and thank them for their willingness to contribute! We’d also like to thank Christina, and our first two part editors Dr. Scott Clifton (Aesthetics) and Dr. George Matthews (Ethics) for their leadership to date, guiding and moderating debates on the Rebus Community Forum, shaping the direction of the content, and helping to work out the process for bringing the project to fruition.

The book is beginning to take shape, with chapters from the Ethics and Aesthetics parts beginning to come in. We are excited to see more content coming together in the upcoming months. Head over to the project volunteer page to sign up for updates or get involved!

A New Era of Student-Created Anthologies: Antología abierta de literatura hispánica!

Are you a professor of Hispanic literature? We need you and your students to help us expand the Antología abierta de literatura hispánica! We’re looking for instructors to run a critical edition assignment in their classrooms (with support) and submit the results to the second edition of the anthology. If you’re interested, head to the project homepage and let us know!


We’re pleased to share that the Antología abierta de literatura hispánica (AALH) is now available for use in classrooms! The AALH is a collection of public-domain texts from the Hispanic world, accessible to students of Hispanic literature as a free, openly licensed resource on the web, in PDF or as an ebook. It proposes an inclusive, broad, and evolving definition of the canon, and in so doing reimagines the ‘Anthology’ for a new era.

This project is spearheaded by Dr. Julie Ward at the University of Oklahoma, who ran an Edición Crítica assignment in her Introduction to Hispanic Literature course to produce the first edition of the anthology. Over the course of the semester, students prepared critical introductions and annotations that came together to become the AALH.

We are now looking for instructors to replicate this assignment (or something similar) in their Fall 2017 course, and contribute their own student-created critical editions to the next edition of the anthology. As these editions are collected and compiled, we see the AALH becoming a robust, accessible, and valuable resource for students, instructors, and researchers in the field of Hispanic literature.

To support faculty who will be conducting the assignment, Dr. Ward has prepared a comprehensive implementation guide, complete with assignment materials, student guides, and instructor resources. She and others running the assignment will also be available to consult on questions or challenges that may arise.

The AALH is unique in its incorporation of student voices and perspectives, drawing inspiration from the highly regarded Open Anthology of Earlier American Literature (first produced by Robin deRosa and now being expanded by new lead editor Tim Robbins & the Rebus Community). These projects redefine conceptions of an Anthology from a static collection put together only by faculty to a dynamic, accessible compilation of both faculty and student work.

If you’re excited by these developments, and want to participate in this project, sign-up on the Rebus Community Forum and leave a comment on the discussion thread!

New Modular Open Textbook on Introductory Human Geography in Development!

Are you a Canadian geographer looking for an alternative to the traditional human geography textbook? Help us build one! We’re looking for contributors to write chapters for an Introductory Human Geography Open Textbook, and you could help! Read more about the project below, then head here to participate.


The latest project to join the Rebus Community is Human Geography: Principles and Applications, an introductory textbook that the authors hope will serve as an alternative to the traditional human geography textbook and ultimately, become a replacement for it. Unlike the traditional textbook, this book will focus on applied human geography and help students build practical skill sets that complement core concepts.

In addition, this book will be a Canada-first textbook, written from the ground up to focus on Canadian human geography and human geographic perspectives, patterns, and conditions, but with a twist: while this edition of the textbook is Canada-focused, the content produced will be modular, so that instructors in different jurisdictions will easily be able to adapt the text to suit their regions. This modularity is exciting as it points to the ease of revision and adoption of this textbook in geography courses all around the world. Instructors can also adopt portions of the text as is useful for their classrooms.

Leading the project is Dr. Paul Hackett, an Assistant Professor at the University of Saskatchewan, whose interests cover historical and geographical patterns of the health of western Canada’s First Nations. Joining him is environmental geographer Dr. Arthur G.Green, an affiliate assistant professor at the University of British Columbia and college professor at Okanagan College, whose interests lie in natural resources, legal geography, GIScience, development and sustainability, and quantitative techniques. Heather Ross and the team at USask’s Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching & Learning have also be instrumental in the development of this project.

Both professors are committed to producing a resource that is uniquely and intrinsically Canadian, while still remaining adaptable for non-Canadian use. The long-term goal is to have an open lab manual with exercises related to human geography that accompanies the text and that will be freely distributed with an open license.

We are currently looking for chapter authors to join this project. In particular, we are looking for Canadian geographers who have advanced expertise in and and can author these sections:

You can indicate your interest in these roles by commenting on the forum discussion.

If you’re teaching geography at an institution in Canada or elsewhere and would like to participate in this project or if you would simply like to follow this project’s progress, you can head to the project page in the forum, sign up, and let us know you’re interested!

History of Science & Tech: Updates!

We are very excited to share some of the progress we have made with the first volume of The History of Applied Science and Technology Open Textbook. In the past few months, we have managed to secure contributors from institutions across North America, Europe and Africa for chapters ranging from the Ancient World to the Medieval Period.

Lead editor Danielle Mead Skjelver of the University of Maryland and University of North Dakota is delighted at the impact this textbook will have on students. She says,

“In the open access ecosystem, The History of Applied Science & Technology Textbook Project is well underway in producing a resource to fill a need that is as yet unmet. We are excited to contribute to the growing number of open access Humanities textbooks!”

This first volume should be available for adoption as early as January 2018. We are grateful for the enthusiastic response and support from members of the Rebus Community, and elsewhere.

What’s Next? Volume II!

Moving forward, we are looking for contributors for the second volume of the book. This project was conceived as a wide-ranging survey text that would provide instructors with content structured around a narrative focused on human transformation across time and geographic space. Volume II will encompass the following chapters:

  • The Medieval Period (500 to 1400 CE) — China
  • The Remarkable Fifteenth Century (1400-1500)
  • The Early Modern Period (1500-1600) — Europe Phase I: Breakthroughs in Scientific Thought & Technological Application
  • The Early Modern Period (1500-1750) — Global Technologies
  • The Early Modern Period (1600-1750) — Europe Phase II: The New Science of the Seventeenth Century & the Enlightenment

Interested in contributing to one of these chapters? We’re looking for ~1000 word section contributions on a range of topics. We invite you to sign up via our forum, or claim (or suggest!) your section in the more comprehensive Table of Contents.

If you’d rather contribute time as a proofreader, reviewer, or something else, let us know on the forum! At Rebus, we believe that collaborative publishing is the model for the future, and welcome faculty, students, and other participants to work together to build this new model.

Student Contributors Wanted: Guide to Making Open Textbooks With Students

At Rebus, we think one of the best ways to produce open textbooks is by involving students in the process.

That’s why we’re really excited about the handbook we have in development, A Guide to Making Open Textbooks With Students. The book is designed to help faculty find or create projects involving students in the creation of open textbooks or open resources.

The guide will contain:

  • an overview of open pedagogy – what it is, why it’s valuable, learning objectives and outcomes
  • resources and assignments for faculty wanting to adopt open pedagogy in their classrooms
  • case studies of projects in which faculty and students collaborated  to create open textbooks and similar open educational resources
  • student perspectives on their experiences working on such projects
  • tools you can use for open textbook projects, such as licensing guides, student agreements and more.

Currently our focus is on finding students who have worked on open textbook projects to write 300- to 500-word narratives about their experiences.

If you know of someone who has worked on such a project and might be willing to contribute such a sidebar, please sign up to the forum and reply to this post, or encourage them to do so. 

We also still welcome contributions from faculty, so if you have an idea for a resource that you can contribute, we’re all ears–reply here.

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Five More Chapter Authors Needed for Media Innovation & Entrepreneurship Open Textbook

One of the pilot open textbook projects the Rebus Community is supporting is Media Innovation & Entrepreneurship, designed to be used in media entrepreneurship courses or other journalism, mass communication or media courses in which media entrepreneurship is taught.

Each “chapter” of the book will be a module that can accompany a week’s lesson in a 15-week course. The work will be designed to be used as a whole, or as standalone modules.

We’ve been reaching out to chapter contributors for the past month or so, and are now only five chapters away from having every chapter in this open textbook project spoken for. Can you fill, or help us find someone to fill, the last major holes?  

The final topics in need of a chapter author are:

  • Ideation
  • Project Management Skills & Technologies
  • Human-centered Design
  • Competitive Analysis
  • UX/UI Testing and Iterating

If you can contribute (or have someone to suggest we reach out to), please sign up to the Rebus Community Forum and reply to this post.

After these chapters are claimed, we’ll be looking for professionals to contribute sidebars with firsthand experience and faculty to contribute classroom activities. A future edition will also include companion resources for instructors.

You can view the table of contents in development here and learn more about the project here.

Dr. Michelle Ferrier of Ohio University is the lead author on the project, with assistance from Rebus’ own Liz Mays, who is also a faculty associate at Arizona State University.

The project is planned for beta release and student use and testing in August 2017.

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Open Pedagogy in Action: Antología Abierta de Literatura Hispánica

Are you a Spanish language literature professor looking for an open pedagogy project for your classroom? We’re looking for contributors to expand the Antología Abierta de Literatura Hispánica and you and your students could help! Read more about the project below, then head here to participate.


Here at the Rebus Community, we’ve found working with students to be one of the most interesting approaches to creating open textbooks out there.

This approach was the driving force behind the first iteration of our Open Anthology of Earlier American Literature project, which is now being expanded by lead editor Tim Robbins. Our January Office Hours session also discussed the issue, and from that session we began work on a guide to working with students on open textbooks.

We’re pleased to now add another great example of open pedagogy to our stable of projects, with the Antología Abierta de Literatura Hispánica (Open Anthology of Hispanic Literature, AALH) led by Julie Ward of the University of Oklahoma.

The AALH is a collection of public-domain texts from the Hispanic world, with critical introductions and annotations by undergraduate students in Julie’s Introduction to Hispanic Literature and Culture course at the University of Oklahoma. The AALH is intended as a freely accessible digital resource for students of Hispanic literature, and proposes an inclusive, broad, and evolving definition of the canon.

To continue Julie and her students’ work, we are looking for collaborators who will implement the critical edition assignment in their own courses and share the student-created critical editions for inclusion in future editions.

Resources will be offered to support the implementation, including:

  • Assignment brief
  • Marking rubric
  • Suggested assignment timeline
  • List of possible texts in public domain
  • Sample MOU for students
  • Guide to Creative Commons licensing for students
  • Community support from others running similar assignments

These resources are offered as a starting point only, and can be adapted to meet your course’s requirements.

If you are teaching a Hispanic literature course at any level and want to work with your students to expand the anthology, head to the project page in the forum, sign up, and let us know you’re interested!

Call for Reviewers: The Science of Human Nutrition

We are looking for chapter reviewers for The Science of Human Nutrition, a new open nutrition textbook from the University of Hawaii.

Guided by OER technologist Billy Meinke, three UoH authors are working on adapting several existing open resources to create a textbook is aimed at high-enrollment undergraduate (100 level) courses in FSHN (Food Science and Human Nutrition). It will cover elementary aspects of several biological sciences, including information on what nutrients are and what nutrients and foods do for humans; how healthy people can best get the amounts of nutrients and foods they need throughout their lifetime; how people and the environment change foods and their nutrient content; and nutrition issues of current interest.

The first six chapters have been drafted and are ready for review. We are seeking volunteers with some experience in nutrition, biology, nursing or other biological sciences to read, review and comment on at least one chapter, in line with some simple review guidelines. Reviewers will be given access to a shared drive with the content and guidelines.

If you’d like to be involved, please head over to the project page on the forum, sign up and let us know!

Here’s a preview of a few of the chapters up for grabs: