2 Considerations

Manuscript readiness

How far along are you in the development of your resource?

If you only have an idea or concept, this is a great time to get advice from the RMIT Open Publishing Team about your project. Also, use this Part I to understand what is involved in creating an open educational resource.

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

If your work is a fully developed manuscript, Part III explains 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?

Identify your resource and all the supplementary materials that go with it. Is your work a textbook with a course curriculum, slides and lecture notes? Do you have study resources for your audience, such as banks of questions or quizzes, or sets of images?

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

Is your work original? Ensure to check that you have not infringed other owners’ copyright. See the OER Capability Toolkit for more information regarding who owns 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 RMIT Open Publishing Team early to determine whether this is likely. See the OER Capability Toolkit for more information on copyright and licensing.


Open resources can be created in a range of formats. These include text and multimedia such as videos, sound files, images, datasets, filesets, 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.

RMIT is using Pressbooks to create open educational resources. In Pressbooks you can create, adapt, and share open educational material.

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, undergraduate students at the University of Regina co-authored the text Decolonization and Justice: An Introductory Overview as their final assignment.  At University of Wisconsin Tacoma, students created a  book of video reflections in Telling Our Stories. To read more student-authored projects, explore the Student-led OER collection at Pressbooks.

Who is the audience?

Openly published resources 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 an RMIT course, the course learning outcomes will be a key consideration in the structure and content of chapters. As an example, RMIT authors created Mechanical Design: Design of a Compressed Air Supply System for a Factory as an open textbook to support third-year students studying mechanical design at RMIT University. 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 educational resource can be used, and it’s important to take this into consideration at the beginning of your project.

The resource 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 of self-directed learning modules such as Learning to Learn Online, created by KPU Learning Centre. Or an online exhibition like Inclusive Spectrums, created by students studying at the Ontario College of Art & Design University.

What Creative Commons licence will you use?

How you intend to share your work will impact on the type of open licence you assign to it. This will dictate third-party resources and the types of licences you can accommodate. Works intended to be openly shared are most commonly licensed under a Creative Commons Licence.

RMIT University supports the use of Creative Commons licensing. We specifically recommend the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Licence (CC BY NC) when releasing RMIT learning and teaching materials as open educational resources. The attribution of your work will look like this:

[Author Name], RMIT Year CC BY NC

For more information about Creative Commons licensing visit the OER Capability Toolkit.

As an RMIT author, you may own copyright of scholarly works such as books and journal articles, or copyright may be owned by the publisher. Copyright ownership determines who has rights to release your work for publication.

Copyright of learning and teaching materials produced by RMIT staff in the course of their employment generally belongs to the University.

You should also be aware of RMIT University Intellectual Property Policy and how it governs rights to ideas and information that you have developed as a researcher.

When you publish an open educational resource with RMIT, the RMIT Open Publishing Team will provide you with a licence agreement to publish the work on your behalf. The licence agreement does not transfer ownership rights in the work, or the copyright subsisting in it. The agreement is only a licence to publish your work. It is a non-exclusive, worldwide, and royalty-free licence.

Do you require any support to create your resource?

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

The RMIT Open Publishing Team will provide support and guidance with Pressbooks, Creative Commons licences, and copyright.

If you plan to use Pressbooks to create a resource, there are a few ways you can do this. This includes creating content directly in Pressbooks, or importing from a Word document. If you plan to import your content from a Word document or another source, you will need to visit the Pressbooks User Guide to ensure you understand how this works.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

RMIT Open Publishing Toolkit for Authors Copyright © 2022 by RMIT University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book