Identifying Your Project Team

Creating an open text is about more than just writing the content. There is a lot that goes into making a book, including planning, writing, editing, formatting, and marketing.

While open textbook projects come in all sizes, understanding the needs of your project and the talent and skills you will need to meet those needs will set-up your project for success. This section outlines identifying the types of roles you may need for your open text project team.

When starting an open text project it’s important to know all the roles involved in the process. A team that includes not just subject matter experts can make certain that the resource has a practical value in classrooms and to students. Additionally, a team around your text ensures that you have:

  • people to help share the workload
  • different perspectives, experiences, and varying areas of subject expertise and knowledge that feed into the creation of the book
  • the option to draw on others’ time, skills, and expertise as the need arises
  • built-in networking and marketing for the book
  • a pool of potential adopters

Define What You Need

The first step to engage in developing an effective team is to think about and write out the details of what you need to be successful. You might be looking for chapter authors, peer reviewers, or editors. A role or job description can help you clearly lay out their specific duties. List out the various tasks, expectations, and/or responsibilities of the new contributor.

Decide Who You Need

Once you have a sense of the various tasks that a contributor would need to complete, you can decide on any critical requirements or criteria potential contributors should fulfill. This is a way of ensuring that you find the right person (or people) for the job, and you can be as broad or specific as needed.

To better understand the roles you may need to develop your resource it may be helpful to break down these roles by their duties and the types of activities that they will need to complete for the project. Rather than focusing on specific job titles, focus on sharing out the types of tasks that are needed. You will most likely find that people are doing a mix of activities from all areas.

The following are areas with specific activities  that you may need for your open text project:

Project Memorandum of Understanding

If you are working on a project that has a large team, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) may be a helpful tool. An MOU helps team members understand their role and involvement in the project at the outset. The MOU clarifies team roles and responsibilities and supports members in setting the same expectations and standards that apply equally to all members.

Project MOU Downloadable Template

Use the following MOU Template to outline roles and responsibilities in  the publishing team: Project MOUTemplate [WRD]




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UBC Open Text Publishing Guide Copyright © 2022 by Erin Fields; Amanda Grey; Donna Langille; and Clair Swanson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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