Hacking a textbook in a weekend
In 2013 a group of academics and librarians spread across Australia and New Zealand hacked a Media Studies textbook together in a weekend, inspired by a group of Finnish mathematicians who had done something similar. The result has been described as ‘collaboratively curated’ as opposed to an authored text. From an academic standpoint, the team wanted to fill the void in a discipline that lacked a core text focused on our own cultural context. A further goal was to remove technical barriers and copyright limits, ensuring all students in the course had access on an equal footing. This snapshot will briefly present the method used to hack the book together, the successes and lessons learned along the way. The aim is to inspire attendees to think creatively about how resources can be developed and maintained over time. The text itself is available here: https://mediatexthack.wordpress.com/ And a ‘cookbook’ describing the process of its development and a ‘Hackpack’ of useful resources are here: https://blogs.otago.ac.nz/texthack/.
Richard White is the Manager Copyright and Open Access at the University of Otago. He has
been an open access advocate since he fell into the copyright space by accident. Current
research interests focus on establishing concrete evidence of the citation/reach advantage
conferred by making research outputs open. Outside work he is a musician who openly
licenses his work at mermaidguitar.bandcamp.com.
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