Open Textbook Network Launches The Publishing Cooperative

Supporting expansion of open education at higher education institutions

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (12/10/2017) — Nine higher education institutions are piloting a program to publish new, openly licensed textbooks. The program, called The Publishing Cooperative, was launched by the Open Textbook Network (OTN) to grow open textbook publishing expertise in higher education institutions, and increase the availability of free, open textbooks for use by instructors and students across the world.

Founding members of the OTN Publishing Cooperative include, Miami University, Penn State University, Portland State University, Southern Utah University, University of Cincinnati, University of Connecticut, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Virginia Tech, and West Hills Community College District (CA).

“This is a critically important time for the transformation of scholarly communication, and new models for the production of openly accessible educational resources are central to successfully establishing a sustainable new ecology of higher education learning,” said Martin Halbert, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, Dean of Libraries. “UNCG is proud to join the OTN Publishing Co-Op and be a part of this catalytic new approach to OER creation.”

The cooperative will establish publishing infrastructure, processes, and community to expand the development of open textbook publishing in higher education.

“We’re developing flexible, scalable, and affordable publishing solutions to support the growing interest in publishing open textbooks,” said the University of Minnesota’s David Ernst, executive director of the Open Textbook Network.

“We at Virginia Tech are excited to join the Co-Op because of the opportunity for learning and professional development within a cohort of other institutions,” said Anita Walz, Open Education, Copyright and Scholarly Communications Librarian at Virginia Tech. “We will have access to additional technical expertise, workflows, and tools, so that we can create and share more open textbooks with the world.”

The Publishing Cooperative will publish two dozen new textbooks with a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license by 2020.

“Higher education faculty are increasingly interested in open education as a means to increase student success, and we want to make it easy and affordable for institutions to support their faculty open textbook authors,” Ernst said. “So, with the help and leadership of these nine founding members of the Publishing Cooperative, the OTN is developing infrastructure, professional development, and community that will ultimately benefit all students and faculty.”

About the Open Textbook Network – The Open Textbook Network (OTN) is a community working to improve education through open education, with members representing over 600 higher education institutions. OTN institutions have saved students more than $8.5 million by implementing open education programs, and empowered faculty with the flexibility to customize course content to meet students’ learning needs.

Press contact:
Karen Lauritsen
Open Textbook Network
(805) 776-3092
klaurits@umn.edu