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Open Textbooks

This guide was developed by the CAUL Scholarly Communications Committee

Please note:

Content on this page is adapted from the BC Open Textbooks Review Criteria, which is adapted from the Peer Review criteria at, which is a derivative of the review rubric used by College Open Textbooks.  
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Review Criteria for Open Textbooks

  • Comprehensiveness – The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary.
  • Content Accuracy – Content, including diagrams and other supplementary material, is accurate, error-free and unbiased.
  • Relevance/Longevity – Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement.
  • Clarity – The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used.
  • Consistency – The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework.
  • Modularity – The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.
  • Organization/Structure/Flow – The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion.
    Interface – The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader.
  • Grammatical Errors – The text contains no grammatical errors.
  • Cultural Relevance – The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds.

Other Considerations

  • Are there any other comments you would like to make about this book, for example, its appropriateness in a Canadian context or specific updates you think need to be made?
  • For what level would this text be appropriate? (i.e. First Year, Second Year, etc)