OER Commons will begin receiving regular updates of resources that are available in the Pressbooks Directory thanks to an agreement with the team at Pressbooks! In addition to the approximately 2,000 Pressbooks on OER Commons already, we recently added nearly 1,500 more Pressbooks to OER Commons’ collection which can be found here. Our library staff are formalizing how best to translate and expand the metadata available from the Pressbooks Directory to match what you find on OER Commons, but in the meantime you may notice that their descriptions look a little different.

Our goal in the short term is to make the resources available as quickly as possible; in the long term we’re looking at using the updates received from Pressbooks to also keep resource descriptions up to date. We appreciate your patience while we pin down the exact process to do that! Here’s some questions and answers we expect might come up:

Q: What if my institution has published resources on the Pressbooks Directory but then removes it from public view?

A: Since Pressbooks is the authoritative source on whether or not a given Pressbook is available, we’ll be using the data that Pressbooks shares with us to determine which resources are published, then adjust records on OER Commons as necessary. 

Q: What will happen to the Pressbooks records that my institution has already added to OER Commons?

A: Any changes we make to OER Commons records because of this new agreement will be to enhance record quality, while trying to avoid removing existing information that’s accurate and helpful. If your Pressbooks contain H5P activities for example, we’ll be able to add that information to a record’s description, along with its ISBN and word count since those are all automatically tracked in Pressbooks. 

Q: What kinds of issues can we expect to see as this process gets formalized and rolled out? 

A: The biggest challenges are all about lining up different metadata standards. For example: Pressbooks has about 3,200 subject headings compared to OER Commons’ 100, so we have to find equivalent subject headings before a record goes live. OER Commons records also require some metadata that Pressbooks resources doesn’t. When an author of a Pressbook hasn’t provided that metadata (e.g. an abstract) we create that metadata from scratch. We’re exploring ways to automate this, but it’ll take time (and a bit of polish) before we get the records just right. 

Q: How often will Pressbooks records be updated?

A: We’re aiming for quarterly to start with, while always keeping an eye out for ways to make it more frequent – ideally, about once a month.

Q: I have questions, comments, or thoughts! Who do I ask?

A: For now, the best place to give us feedback is through this form so that we can spot common questions and get answers out smartly! Getting it just right will take a lot of work, and we’re excited to do it.