VCU LibrariesResearch Guides

Affordable Course Content

Author Tools

  • Pressbooks is book writing software that lets you create a book in multiple formats, including web, EPUB, MOBI, and PDF. This tool is free to create watermarked versions and $99 for the PDF+EBOOK Pro version, which removes watermarks from all versions.
  • Open Author from OER Commons is an authoring platform where instructors can create courses, units, lessons, activities and presentations. On the platform, authors design and write the resource, tag it to aid in discoverability, select a use license, and publish the resource.
  • REBUS Community is an online community and platform for collaborative authoring, copy editing, proofreading, and reviewing of open textbooks.

Author Guides

  • Modifying an Open Textbook: What You Need to Know is a five-step guide for faculty, and those who support faculty, who want to modify an open textbook. Includes step-by-step instructions for importing and editing common open textbook file and platform types,
  • Authoring Open Textbooks is a guide is for faculty authors, librarians, project managers and others who are involved in the production of open textbooks in higher education and K-12. Includes a checklist for getting started, publishing program case studies, textbook organization and elements, writing resources and an overview of useful tools.
  • BCcampus Open Education Self-Publishing Guide is a practical reference for writing and publishing an open textbook. This guide provides details on the preparation, planning, writing, and publishing of an open textbook as well as the importance of copy editing and proofreading. Copyright, open copyright licenses, and the differences between citation and attribution are discussed.
  • Guide to Making Open Textbooks with Students is a handbook for faculty interested in practicing open pedagogy by involving students in the making of open textbooks, ancillary materials, or other open educational resources.
  • BC Open Textbook Accessibility Toolkit is a guide for faculty authors, instructional designers, librarians, and others involved in open textbook projects that helps ensure accessibility for all students. Includes key concepts and best practices in accessibility.

Create Print Versions of OER

Barnes and Noble @ VCU partners with XanEdu to help faculty create customized print course materials, including custom textbooks, lab manuals, and course packs, that are made available for purchase through the bookstore. There is no cost for faculty to use XanEdu. 

  • Visit XanEdu's faculty page for more information.
  • Get started with your printing by requesting customized support or by using the DIY customization platform.
  • Contact VCU's XanEdu representative, Barbara Robinson, at or (706) 540-4593 with questions and printing requests.

VCU Resources

  • Scholars Compass is a publishing platform for the intellectual output of VCU’s academic, research, and administrative communities. Scholars Compass can provide wide and stable access to VCU instructors’ open educational resources along with statistics on their use.
  • The Workshop (on the lower level of Cabell Library) offers a comprehensive suite of resources, services and workspaces that can be used to create open educational resources. Use of equipment and space is free and open to all members of the VCU academic community.
  • VCU Technology Services provides faculty with tools they can use to create videos, audio recordings, quizzes, tests, and other interactive teaching resources.
  • Ram Pages is a connected learning community for VCU. Using WordPress, faculty and students can publish academic websites, including course websites.