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6 Future Use

While the topic of open education is still fairly new and practices vary from one institution to the next, authors need to consider the value of sustainability where it comes to the resources they are developing. Sustainability goals can be written into grant submissions to demonstrate author’s intent to keep a new resource current. Decisions will need to be made with regard to version control and archiving, as well as ongoing resources such as access to experts and original collaborators who have provided assistance with copyright decisions, graphic design and layout as well as instructional design input.

How often do I need to revise my open textbook to keep it current?

This decision rests with the author, although a versioning system in a form of a spreadsheet where author tracks changes they have made to their materials, might be helpful and allow each author to capture this process. Some disciplines require more robust revisioning.

How do I make sure links cited in my textbook work in the future?

External websites you link to may disappear or move. You can use free services like perma.cc to preserve the online sources you cite. Create a permanent link to your resource and cite it together with the original URL as explained in this Harvard Perma.cc Guide.

When I create a new edition, could I archive my older edition?

Older versions of your open textbooks can be archived in your institutional repository.

What should I do if I change my curriculum and my open textbook is no longer suitable for classroom use?

If an instructor changes their curriculum, they might need to consider revising their materials more significantly or adopting another existing resource which might align more with new goals of a course. Before revising an existing open textbook it might be a good idea to evaluate time commitment dedicated to revisions vs. creating a new resource from scratch.