In different conversations this past months with two colleagues who authored or help support publishing open textbooks at their institution, an issue came up that I have no answer for (that is the norm).
This is, what I truly hope OEG Connect is used for.
Both of these colleagues mentioned they typically know of an adoption of an open textbook when:
- An adopter emails with a question
- A web search on the title of the book lands links at other organizations/institutions
I would hope that gathers some reuse, but always, always, in terms of open content, the elusive question is being able to track where a digital item is reused.
My question is: Is tracking reuses possible with open textbooks? Who is doing this? How?
My guess is possibly the ways people might do it (and confirmed from the Council of Australian University Libraries) it might be done via Digital Object Identifiers and/or ISBN numbers.
I do know that Pressbooks allows entry of these metadata into a published content item,. I am unsure if other publishing platforms support this (I am counting on experts here hello @delmar) to let me know.
What I do not know is how easy it is (and what are fees) to get such a thing? Is this a way to track adoptions? It might get a bit trickier of an open textbook is remixed and modified, and woah now it gets slippery. How much change merits a new identifier? Does a new version include the source identifier as credit?
I have no idea what is possible, and I would wager a dog biscuit that someone thinks this is something that should be Put on The Blockchain.
I would not necessarily recommend this, but it’s something I have found interesting from a collection of custom WordPress themes I have built-- I have gotten in the habit of putting a unique phase in the footer – for example the SPLOTbox theme in every version has the same text in the footer (initially to give credit)
which in turn offers a web searchable phrase I can use to find where else my theme has been used.
Again, this is by no means a solution, but a hack that works for me.