2 Considerations

Manuscript Readiness

No manuscript: If you only have an idea or concept, this is a great time to get advice from the UniSQ OEP team about your project. Also, use this Part I to understand what is involved in preparing an open educational resource.

Manuscript in progress: If your work is a draft in progress, Part II explains how to prepare your work to submit to the team for publication.

Completed manuscript: If your work is a fully developed manuscript, Part II and Part III explain what the team needs from you before the publication process begins and what you can expect from us during and after the publication process.

What Resource Do You Want to Publish?

Open texts are only one kind of OER. Like their commercial counterparts, open texts can include ancillary resources such as instructor notes, lecture slides, quizzes, case studies, and other learning resources. Consider whether your text would benefit from the inclusion of other resources. You’re very likely to create this content for your course, and including ancillary materials with your open text increases the usability, and makes it more attractive for adoption by other educators.

Has the resource been previously published? If so, check the copyright carefully, as the commercial publisher will hold the copyright.

Is your work original? Ensure to check that you have not infringed other owners’ copyright. See the copyright section for more information regarding who owns the copyright.

Will You be Using Works Created by Others?

Sharing your work as an open resource will impact on whether you can use content created by others.

If you are looking for content such as images or videos to add to your open educational resource, it’s best to use content that has either a Creative Commons or open licence or is considered public domain.

If you want to use content that does not have a Creative Commons or open licence and is not in the public domain, it may be possible in some cases to obtain written permission. Speak to the UniSQ OEP team early to determine whether this is likely. See the sections on copyright and licensing for more information.


Open resources can be created in a range of formats. These include text and multimedia such as videos, sound files, images, datasets, file sets, slides and other content that supports teaching. Consider what format would best engage your audience in your work. If it’s a book, it can be made available in a range of accessible digital formats such as pdf, HTML, and epub files as well as being printable.

Pressbooks is currently the only supported platform at UniSQ for the creation of open textbooks. In Pressbooks you can create, adapt, and share OER.

Who is the Author/Creator?

Can you identify all the people who have contributed to the work? You might be the only person to work on a resource, or it might be the collaborative effort of a team of teachers.

Students can also play a valuable role in creating content. For example, students in Dr Eseta Tualaulelei’s course created a culturally specific open text, Gems and Nuggets: Multicultural Education for Young Children (2020) as part of their assessment. To read more student-authored projects, explore the Student-led OER collection at Pressbooks.

Who is the Audience?

Open texts are available to a worldwide audience. It is therefore important to consider the audience of your work. For example, do you want to share your teaching resources with other teachers? Or would a specific group of your audience benefit from the resource? Knowing your audience will help you structure your resource.

If the resource is intended to support a UniSQ course, the course learning outcomes will be a key consideration in the structure and content of chapters. As an example, UniSQ biomedical academics created Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology to support first-year students studying biomedical and health courses. Understanding your audience will also assist you in using an appropriate style and language to engage those who will be interested in your resource.

How Will the Resource be Used?

There are many ways an open text can be used, and it’s important to consider this right at the beginning.

The open text could be used as the key textbook for your course to replace a commercial textbook, or as extra content to support students’ deeper understanding of a subject. Other possibilities include a workbook or a guide, such as Visuals for Influence: In Project Management and Beyond, which is a practical guide that teaches readers to create influential visuals.

What Creative Commons Licence will you use?

Sharing and reusing is the heart of open texts, and a specific licence exists to enable these activities. A Creative Commons licence allows others to reuse your work, provided they attribute you as the creator. Essentially, assigning a Creative Commons licence to a work signals to others that you (as the author) are granting permission to (re)use the content. Different Creative Commons licences provide a range of permissions and obligations for users, and as the author, you need to select a licence that best meets your needs.

UniSQ supports the use of Creative Commons licensing. We recommend the most open Creative Commons licences such as Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY), Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (CC BY SA) and Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Licence (CC BY-NC). We do not support licences with the no-derivates (ND) element. For more information, visit the section on open licences.

You should also be aware of the UniSQ Intellectual Property Policy and Procedure and how it governs rights to ideas and information that you have developed as a UniSQ employee. See the section on copyright for more information.

Do You Require Any Support to Create Your Resource?

Think about any support you might need before you start creating your resource. Some ideas could include:

  • using Pressbooks to publish your work
  • creating accessible and inclusive content
  • understanding of open education and open educational resources
  • creating interactive content with H5P
  • The UniSQ OEP team will provide support and guidance with Pressbooks, Creative Commons licences, and copyright. Your Liaison Librarian can also assist in finding OER relevant to your discipline.

Chapter Attribution

This chapter has been adapted in parts from:


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Open Publishing Guide for Authors Copyright © 2023 by University of Southern Queensland is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book