## Friday, October 24, 2014

### BC Open Textbook Project: Calculus (guichard), DiffEq (Trench)

Two open source textbook authors that many in this group are familiar with sent me announcements recently (see below).  Looks like the folks at Simon Frasier are seeing if there is a viable business in offering print-on-demand versions of popular open source texts.  They've branded the effort BCCampus.

From David Guichard:

The BC Open Textbook Project is offering print copies of the book (Calculus, Guichard et al) in color cheaply:

http://opentextbook.docsol.sfu.ca/store/?product=OTB003-01

I imagine it's a bit out of date, and probably only single-variable, but the price is amazing if it's any good.

--------------------------------------------------

From Bill Trench:

My "Elementary Differential Equations with Boundary Value Problems" is now available  by print on demand from  BCcampus on

http://opentextbook.docsol.sfu.ca/store/product/otb067-01/,

which is  funded by the British Columbia (Canada) Ministry  of Advanced Education. The price: Approximately $27 for black and white or$83.00 for color. BCcampus derives no profit from this and I receive no royalties.  Unfortunately, this isn't  likely to appeal to US institutions because of the cost of shipping; for example, $52.00 to my New Hampshire address. ## Tuesday, October 14, 2014 ### Open Source Resources at JMM 2015, San Antonio The MAA Committee on Professional Development is organizing a poster session on Open Source Resources at JMM 2015, San Antonio. Posters and short presentations about any aspect of open source resources, such as curricula, technology, modules, and supplemental materials for teaching undergraduate courses are welcome. The "Poster Plus 5" session is (1) a very short talk (5 minutes or less) and (2) a poster session. The short talks will tentatively be scheduled in the morning of 1/13, and the poster session will be during the afternoon on the same day. Short talks should be limited to just a few slides and a brief synopsis of the open source resource(s) you are presenting. The goal of the short talk is to share the gist or main ideas of your poster. Audience members who are interested in your materials will then be able to find you at the poster session. Tuesday January 13, 2015, 8:00 a.m.-10:55 a.m. (short talks will be schedule during a subset of this time) Tuesday January 13, 2015, 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m (the formal poster session will be hosted in the afternoon) Rm 213B, Convention Center If you're interested in presenting the poster plus 5 session, please submit a title and abstract via the online form: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/83TZJQB Timeline: The deadline to submit an abstract is the end of November 2014. In December 2014 the poster plus 5 schedule will be finalized. Questions or comments? Please email the session organizers. Yousuf George, cgeorge0@zimbra.naz.edu Thomas Judson, judsontw@sfasu.edu Stan Yoshinobu, styoshin@calpoly.edu ## Tuesday, October 7, 2014 ### Planet Money: Why Textbook Prices Keep Climbing This economics oriented podcast gives a pretty nuanced explanation of the rapid rise in textbook prices and various responses. Sadly, they do not mention the response that many of us are engaged in--the production of high quality, open-source, free textbooks. After listening to the podcast, I have a much better understanding of the variables that drive textbook prices. I highly recommend a listen. You can hear the 15 minute piece here: http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2014/10/03/353300404/episode-573-why-textbook-prices-keep-climbing Albert ## Friday, June 6, 2014 ### You Got a License for that Thing? Hello everyone! First an introduction and disclaimer: I have no credentials yet as an author of open textbooks of the sort that most people here are writing, nor have I yet even used one of them. But I was one of the principal authors of the homotopy type theory book, which is sort of a cross between a research monograph and a graduate textbook, and was developed as a group project on github and released freely. In this post, I'd like to start a conversation about licensing, beginning with an overview for those who may be new to the options. With good reason, most open textbooks seem to be published under a Creative Commons license. The most permissive CC license is CC BY, which basically allows others to do as they wish with a work as long as they give credit to the original author. The other CC licenses add additional restrictions, which can be chosen from the following: • ShareAlike (SA), which requires anyone who modifies a work to release the modified version under the same license terms. This is roughly comparable to the "copyleft" provisions in open-source licenses such as the GNU GPL. • NoDerivs (ND), which allows redistribution of a work (with credit) but prohibits any modifications. • NonCommercial (NC), which prohibits use of a work or its derivatives for commercial purposes. Of course, it doesn't make sense to combine SA with ND, but other than that, any combination of the above is available. Now when choosing between the available licenses, of course we ought to think about our goals. Here are some that seem relevant to open textbooks: • We want our textbooks to be available for free (as in beer). This can be accomplished with any CC license. • We want to get credit for our work. This can also be accomplished with any CC license, since they all include BY. • We want to avoid the need to reinvent the wheel. E.g. it's ridiculous for every author of a new calculus textbook to have to come up with all new exercises since all exercises in existing books are under copyright. This argues against the ND clause: we should allow future textbook authors to incorporate our work into theirs. I haven't seen any open textbooks that use ND, so there seems to be fairly wide consensus on this point. • We want to break the grip of expensive conventional publishers on the textbook market. Making good textbooks available for free, and avoiding wheel-reinvention, are good starts on this. But an additional worry we might have is that since we're making our work available for free, a commercial publisher might take what we've done, modify and "improve" it a bit, and then sell the result at an exorbitant price. How can we prevent that with a license? We could choose a NC license, preventing anyone from using our work for commercial purposes. Or we could choose a SA license, ensuring that anyone who modifies our work must also make their modified version freely available. Or we could combine the two. • We want to spread the philosophy of openness. This argues for SA: we should ask anyone who modifies our work to also join the "open" community. These goals seem to argue for using either BY-SA or BY-SA-NC. Now, perhaps surprisingly, these two licenses are completely incompatible with each other. If Alice licenses her book under BY-SA, then any derived work must also be licensed under BY-SA; and in particular, it cannot be licensed under BY-SA-NC. This makes sense: Alice doesn't want derived works to add more restrictions on the use of the material than she did, and a prohibition on commercial use is an additional restriction. Similarly, if Bob licenses his book under BY-SA-NC, then any derived work must also be licensed under BY-SA-NC; and in particular, it cannot be licensed under BY-SA. This also makes sense: Bob doesn't want his work to be used for commercial purposes, so he doesn't want any derived work to be used for commercial purposes either, whereas BY-SA would permit that. However, this means that if Eve wants to create a derived work incorporating elements from both Alice's book and Bob's book, she is stuck: there is no license that she can give to it. Therefore, in the interests of interoperability and avoiding reinvention of the wheel, it might be in the interests of the open math book community to establish conventions about which of these licenses is preferable. In other words, should commercial use of open math books be allowed? I've noticed that a number of prominent open textbooks use BY-SA-NC. However, there are good arguments to be made in favor of BY-SA instead. The web site Freedom Defined has a very detailed writeup, which I recommend reading. I'll just mention briefly a few of their points: • The basic free software licenses, such as the GPL, permit commercial use, and for good reasons. • Because BY-SA-NC is incompatible with BY-SA, it makes your work incompatible with anything that uses the latter license. For instance, you can't incorporate content from Wikipedia. • SA alone is sufficient to prevent exploitation of our work by evil publishers, since anyone who makes a derived version and sells it must also make it freely available under BY-SA. • NC prevents beneficial commercial uses. For instance, if someone in the developing world wants to print copies of our textbook and sell them at a small profit to people without Internet access, NC prevents it. I do recommend reading the whole thing. Then let's discuss in the comments. Is there a good reason for choosing NC? Michael Shulman Department of Mathematics and Computer Science University of San Diego ## Thursday, May 29, 2014 ### An Informal Directory of Open-Source Text Developers, Reviewers, Promoters etc. As a first step towards the creation of a more formal directory of open-source text developers, reviewers, promoters etc, I'm asking everyone to attach a brief comment to this post of the form: NAME: AFFILIATION: OPEN-SOURCE ACTIVITIES: The value of this informal directory is to see who's doing what and how others might contribute. Links to existing projects would be great. Don't put explicit contact information (since there are bots out there that scrape blogs for that kind of information). If someone wants to contact you, I suspect it won't be too difficult to find you via other means. If this turns out to be successful in getting a lot of information, I'll see about creating a more formal directory (perhaps a wiki) of members of the open-source text community and their activites. ## Saturday, May 10, 2014 ### Results of the Open Courseware SIGMAA Interest Survey There were 13 responses to the survey and they break down as follows: I think it is reasonable to assume that for each response the survey received there is at least one person who would have responded similarly but didn’t, for whatever reason. In that case, it seems to me that there is sufficient interest to take this effort one or two steps further. I will contact the chair of the Committee on SIGMAAs, inquire as to the MAA’s current stance on new SIGMAAs, and report back. That is, I’ll ask whether or not they are encouraging the creation of new SIGMAAs. Also, I'll ask if there are any unwritten expectations, e.g., about the number of charter members. I expect there is a minimum or recommended threshold. To proceed beyond that point we will need to have some discussion of the specific goals and purpose of the SIGMAA. These would then need to be encoded in a charter. If most of us who are interested in pursuing this are planning to be in Portland for MathFest this August we could possibly get together there/then for an hour or so. If not then possibly at the Joint Meetings in January. I am biased in favor of meeting in a face-to-face context if consequential decisions are being made, but I recognize that this may just be my own foible. Possibly this could all be done online. In any case, however we hold discussions, there will no doubt be some need for preliminary conversations that can take place by email. So, I would like to ask each of you who said on the survey that you’d be interested in either helping to create an Open Courseware SIGMAA or in joining once it is created (or if you didn’t respond to the survey but are interested) to send me your contact information at: ecb5@psu.edu and identify yourselves. I promise not to hound you with emails. I’d just like to have a mechanism whereby those of us who are interested in this can communicate without taking up everyone else’s time. Email seems the simplest way to begin. Finally, it is still far from clear to me that this is the best way for this community to organize itself, or that there is enough interest at this point for a SIGMAA to be viable. But there is enough interest that I’m willing to go a few more steps in that direction and see how it goes. We shall see. Eugene Boman Assoc. Prof. of Mathematics Penn State, Harrisburg campus ## Wednesday, April 30, 2014 ### Open-access Publication and open-source texts. Bill Trench pointed out this web site (Digital Commons Network) committed to organizing open-access publications and this sub site dedicated to mathematics. If you are not familiar with it, the open-access movement is a recent development that is a response to the barrier presented by commercial publishers (particularly commercial journals) to easy access to scholarly work. You can read more about this movement at the Open Access Pledge site (I haven't made the pledge yet, but I'm busy right now typing this post.) While the focus here is on scholarly research papers and assuring that they reach the public in a timely fashion, until Bill pointed it out, it didn't occur to me that open-source texts would be candidates for open-access archives. Bill's recently open-sourced texts can be found on the Digital Commons site. If your open-source text is not there, I encourage you to get it placed there. ## Sunday, April 27, 2014 ### Open Courseware SIGMAA Interest Survey I thought I'd elevate this comment from the previous post (by Bud Boman) to a posting of its own: OK, well I can't say I'm too surprised there hasn't been much response to this post. This late in the year everyone is busy of course. But I expect a larger reason is that while there might be interest in joining a SIGMAA if it is in place, there is less enthusiasm for volunteering to start one. A couple of people have told me privately that they'd join but have no interest in creating a new SIGMAA, or in serving as an officer if one is created. So let's do this: As a way of measuring the interest without asking anyone to commit I have created a one-question survey on SurveyMonkey. You can find it here. Everyone reading this please open the survey and click on the appropriate choice. It will literally take 5 seconds. In a week or so I will read the results and report back on this thread. It looks like there is sufficient interest we can discuss how to proceed from there. If not then I'll drop it. --Bud Boman ## Thursday, April 17, 2014 ### On Forming an MAA Special Interest Group on Open Coursware Last January in Baltimore, the question of how best to organize the open textbook community for our mutual benefit was raised. I suggested forming a special interest group through the Mathematics Association of America (MAA). At the time this was just an off-the-cuff remark. Since then I have discussed the idea with a couple of people and I believe there is sufficient potential in the idea to at least address how that might be done and to ask for comments. I have looked into the mechanics of forming what I will, for the moment, call the Open CourseWare SIGMAA (OCWSIG). If there is interest in taking this further we can discuss what the name should actually be. ## The Application Procedure To apply to form a new SIGMAA is very easy. The precise details can be found at http://www.maa.org/community/sigmaas/forming-a-sigmaa, but in a nutshell they are as follows. We would need: 1. A charter. The MAA provides a model charter at http://www.maa.org/community/sigmaas/model-charter, and the charters of existing SIGMAAs are also available for review. The charter would detail ". . . the common mathematical interest shared by the group of MAA members that founded the SIGMAA and also describe the goals, objectives, and activities of the organization." 2. A list of "charter members." Basically, this is a list of MAA members who would be the founding members of OCWSIG. 3. A list of initial officers for the OCWSIG. That is, people who have expressed a willingness to commit to a first term as one of the officers. If we were to go forward, the first step is to contact the MAAs Committee on SIGMAAs to indicate our "intent, discuss the procedure, and address any preliminary questions." Once we have all three of the above items we would apply to that committee which would then "formally submit applications to the MAA Executive Committee for consideration and final approval." ## Is a SIGMAA the right structure for us? I think there is definite potential here. One possible objection is that to be a full member you must be a member of the MAA and I don't know how many of us are. This is mitigated a bit by the provision for unofficial members of the SIGMAA, who needn't be members of the MAA. However, it is not entirely clear to me that the SIGMAA structure under the auspices of the MAA is necessarily the right venue. There might already be a better mechanism for organizing a community with common interests within the AMS, SIAM, AIM or possibly other organizations. I've let my membership in all three lapse so I don't know. I know that AIM is a bit ahead of the curve on this since they have already begun organizing reviews of openly published textbooks. Could someone else, more knowledgeable than me, comment on the possibility of organizing the open courseware community under the auspices of one or more of these? Also, it might just be too early to be thinking of any kind of formal organization. I invite discussion. ## My Comments and Opinion Everything that follows is predicated on the assumption that an MAA SIGMAA is the right structure under which to organize ourselves. If that is not true there is no need to read further. I believe many of us would be willing to be part of an existing open courseware organization, but I'm not so sure that very many would be interested in taking on the task of starting one up from nothing. This is a pretty large undertaking, not to be taken on lightly. The officer structure of a SIGMAA would consist -- at a minimum, I think -- of a Chair, a Director of Programs, and a Secretary/Treasurer. So just to get started we would need at least 3 people willing to fill those offices. Since this is my idea I feel compelled to volunteer to serve either as the initial Chair or Director of Programs, even though I don't feel particularly well qualified for either position and would be happy to step back in favor of anyone more qualified. (I won't serve as Secretary/Treasurer because putting me in charge of keeping records is a very bad idea.) There are at least three questions that need to be addressed: (1) What would OCWSIG do for us?, (2) What would the MAA require of the OCWSIG? (3) Is it worth the effort? The easiest question to answer is (2): OCWSIG would be required to hold regular meetings, report our activities and expenses to the MAA, hold elections for officers and conduct the activities we define for ourselves in our charter. The first question is harder to answer, but a few things come to mind immediately. We would have funding for programs and activates. These would come primarily from dues (most SIGMAAs charge$10 per year, per member), but also we could apply for additional funding through the MAA, and we would have a platform from which to apply for other grant funding. Membership in the OCWSIG would also qualify as a credible professional service activity with our respective local administrations, something we don't get now.

More tenuously, the organization would exist to serve the needs and desires of this community, so we could conceivably organize the repository Jim Hefferon and others have discussed on other threads in this blog. In Baltimore someone mentioned that by publishing without a commercial publisher we lose some of the valuable services that commercial publishers provide, like editing and promotion. The OCWSIG might be able to fill that gap, at least in part. I confess this is only an idea and that I have no specific plan for how this might be accomplished. I mention it only as a possibility for further discussion at the appropriate time.

Finally, I can not answer the third question: Is it worth the effort? That will have to be answered by all of us as a community. Again, I invite discussion.
Any comments including but not limited to criticisms, suggestions, or even ridicule, are welcome. (Well ok, ridicule would not be welcome. But if this is an entirely ridiculous idea I hope someone can find a polite way to tell me, so I can stop wasting my time on it.)

Eugene Boman
Penn State, Harrisburg campus

## Saturday, April 12, 2014

In the mathbook-xml-support Google group, Duane Nykamp, Rob Beezer, and I had an interesting exchange which touches on the themes of some previous OpenMathBook blogs. The main issues are described below.

## References across books

Problem 1: Author A has previously written Document A, and Author B is in the midst of writing Document B. Author B wants to refer to an equation in Document A.

Since Author A supports our vision of open textbooks, the source of the latest version of Document A is publicly available, as is a human-readable manifestation of the work. Furthermore, Document A has an "identifier" associated to it, which allows people to refer to it unambiguously. Suppose that identifier is:
beezerXfcla .

Also suppose the equation of interest in Document A has label
eqn:FE_real_case .

### The solution

All Author B needs to do is to put this in the LaTeX source of Document B:
\eqref{beezerXfcla::eqn:FE_real_case}
That is it.  Everything else is technical issues.

## Supplementary material for a book

Problem 2: Someone has developed an applet which is relevant to Section 3.2 of Document A. The online version of Document A would like to include a link to the applet, provided that the applet has been judged to be of high quality.

### The solution

If there were an authoritative source, X, of good applets, then the author could just indicate (in the source or metadata of their book) that "I trust X." Then their book will automatically contain links in the appropriate locations to the appropriate resources.

There are technical issues of course, but no more than the solution to Problem 1. But without a central resource of documents and metadata, none of this can happen.

## Some questions:

1. Will Jim Hefferon's suggestion of an Archive for Open Math support a database of metadata for open texts (at a minimum providing identifiers for documents)?
2. Will the Archive contain both source and human-readable versions of documents? Or will it just point to the "official" versions?
3. Will the Archive, or some other source, provide a means of labeling supplementary material as "approved"?
4. How will approved supplementary material indicate which documents it supports?

David Farmer
American Institute of Mathematics

## Thursday, April 10, 2014

David Farmer asked me to investigate ways of alerting regular readers of this blog to new posts and new comments on existing posts.

One solution is RSS feeds (though still somewhat passive).  I added a "Subscribe to" widget to the main page (upper right-ish) that allows people to subscribe to RSS feeds for new posts and new comments.  All of the popular web browsers support RSS feeds, though in different ways.

I'd be interested in ideas from people on alternative solutions to the notification problem.  Tools that integrate with the blogger/blogspot platform would be best, but I suppose I'm open to moving the blog to an entirely different blogging platform if it's warranted.

## Friday, April 4, 2014

### Can a wiki be used to construct an open text?

I teach an (very) introductory linear algebra course, primarily for first-year university students. For such students there has never been a world without Wikipedia, and having many libraries of information in their bedrooms 24/7 is as natural as watching TV. After many years of internet exposure, these students have acquired an ability to navigate and absorb information from varied sources easily. Can these skills be exploited advantageously while teaching an introductory mathematics course?

For the last couple of years I have been slowly building a wiki for this linear algebra course. By design, the wiki looks very much like Wikipedia; the usual navigation, search and toolbox frames are in the same place. It "works" the same way. Along the way I have observed several assets and liabilities to this approach.

Here are some assets:
1. Cooperation is easy. This is the most obvious one, but one which I haven't really taken advantage of. In fact, since I am the only author, this is really an anti-wiki (that will change).
2. All browsers include the ability to read wikis, so no special software is needed (however, see below). Any operating system with any modern browser will almost always do the right thing.
3. No special student instruction is necessary. You don't have to tell them to click on links; they do it automatically. You don't have to tell them how to print pages; they've been doing it for years.
4. MathJax allows mathematical expressions to be typeset (beautifully) using LaTeX. This includes the extensions from the amsmath package. This means that mathematical symbols are not bitmapped but, rather, have quality matching that of the browser text. It also means that any familiarity with LaTeX can be used immediately with the wiki, and a consistency of mathematical presentation is possible.
5. The MediaWiki software allows for macros, so that, at least in principle, markup and presentation can be separated. It also allows transclusion (this is where the contents of a defined link is automatically included when the page is opened) so that created material may be recombined in different ways.
6. The language for MediaWiki, both for creating pages and for running the wiki, is well documented.
7. Tools are available when necessary for
1. colour
2. folding text (extra text that is opened by clicking on a button)
3. graphics
4. animations

Here are some liabilities:
1. Controling presentation with CSS is another layer of abstraction to be mastered.
2. The syntax for nonmathematical page markup is awkward.
3. The default editing environment is pretty awful.
4. Structures like tables, numbered and bulleted lists can be done in various ways (html or mediawiki syntax). All of them are awkward.
5. Using math within tables causes unexpected results.
6. A wiki needs a GD (gentil dictateur gentille dictatrice) to ensure consistency and quality.
Here is a sample page that illustrates a different approach for introducing the cross product of two vectors. The animated gif drives the whole presentation.
http://linearalgebra.cs.umanitoba.ca/linearalgebra/index.php/Cross_product_of_vectors

Incidently, feel free to look at any of the pages on the site and use anything you find useful. Just be warned that many pages are pretty stark and some links just dangle. You can also note that it is possible to click on a 2d or 3d graphic and a hidden PostScript version will pop up showing full detail (the initial graphic is bit mapped). With a newer version of the Adobe Reader, it is possible (in theory, at least) to grab a 3d image and rotate it, scale it and carry out other transformations. If you want to give it a try, look at the figure in
http://linearalgebra.cs.umanitoba.ca/linearalgebra/index.php/The_equation_of_a_plane_through_three_given_points#Finding_the_plane_containing_three_points:_method_3

Matt Boelkins has commented in this blog that writing a textbook requires writing "2 pages a day, 5 days a week, 50 weeks a year." That's quite a burden. So here is the question: can this burden be shared by using a wiki? Is this any more feasible for a cooperative approach to the writing of open texts than any other software? Comments are welcome.

Michael Doob
Department of Mathematics
University of Manitoba

## Tuesday, April 1, 2014

### Announcement: A live, on-line discussion of open source math texts.

The MathJax group will host a live, on-line panel discussion on open source math texts with guests Kathi Fletcher (OERpub), David Farmer (AIM), Rob Beezer (University of Puget Sounds), Kent Morrison (Cal Poly), David Lipmman (Pierce College), and Phil Schatz (conneXions).

They will be using the Google+ Hangout OnAir technology.  I wasn't familiar with this so I read a bit about it.  For the uninitiated, let me build up in steps.  If you have a Google account, then you are automatically part of Google+ (Google's social networking attempt to usurp Facebook).  One nice feature of Google+ is free video calling (I use it regularly to chat with my daughters in college).  It's like Skype, but seems to perform better.

A video call on Google+ is called a "Hangout" and can involve multiple people.  Normally a Hangout is a private conversation between parties that have been invited to the conversation.  A Hangout OnAir is a public version of this.  There are principals that control the discussion, and observers that may ask questions of the principals in some kind of moderated way.

This particular Hangout OnAir will occur April 7, 2014, 12pm PDT / 3pm EDT / 9pm CEST / 7pm UTC.  At the appointed hour, login to your Google account (necessary?) and then direct your web browser to https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/cb5ecsm3f9689l9s3df6l5rbmuk.  If you visit this link now, you can express your intent to participate.  I encourage all of you to join this discussion, let's recapture the spirit of Baltimore. ;)

## Saturday, March 29, 2014

### Set It Free

When I was a Project NExT Fellow back in 1999, one of the hottest discussion topics was calculus reform. In a session on the topic at one of our conference gatherings, I listened to a talk by Len Van Wyk titled something like “To Reform or Not To Reform: and why it doesn’t matter.” His thesis was that when we teach a course, each of us brings to bear resources far beyond the text. If I pick a traditional text whose primary focus is rigor and detail, I’m almost certain to supplement it with intuition and perspective; if I pick a reform text whose emphasis is on intuition, I’ll likely complement the text’s exposition with some additional discussion of rigor or formality.

## Monday, January 20, 2014

### Baltimore Bullet Points: Themes that emerged from the session.

The sessions (I and II) on open source math texts in Baltimore were a lot of fun. I heard a lot of people exclaiming how great it was to finally put names to faces. As I watched the talks I started to see a number of themes that I thought we might discuss in this forum in the coming months:
• Licensing. What are the pros and cons of different permissive licensing schemes?
• Collaborative work. How do we develop communities of authors around a specific project?
• Credit. How do we acknowledge the contributions to a particular project? How do we convince our academic bosses that contributing to an open source text project should count towards tenure and promotion?
• Technology. How do we harness existing technologies in our projects? What kinds of new technologies are needed?
• Assessment. How do we develop a review process so that textbook adopters (and others) can judge the relative merits of open-source texts?  How do we know who is using our texts?  How do we manage feedback from our users?
• Media. What issues surround the medium of distribution (e.g. on demand printing, web-based, ebook etc)?
• Publicity. How do we promote our texts?
• Public Policy.  How do we shape public policy to create space for open source texts in public education?  How do we secure external funding to support the creation of open source texts?  What are some existing resources in this sphere?
• OER Resources.  How do we merge/supplement open source texts with other open educational resources (OER)?
• Best Practices.  What are some common standards that can be adopted/promoted as best practices for authors to improve their work?
These are a few of the topics that I noted during the talks.  I'm sure there are others that I've missed.  If I have missed something, make a note of it in the comments section below.  It may be that these topics and others can form a framework for the development of a best practices document over the coming months.

I will be contacting some of the people that presented in Baltimore to solicit articles for the site.  In addition, if you would like to write a post or direct me to something that might be of interest to the community, use the contact form on the right side of the page. We'll try to average a posting a week plus some discussion in the comments section.

Hopefully everyone made it back from Baltimore without too much difficulty.  Perhaps we'll meet again at the Joint Meetings in San Antonio.

 Camden Yards across from the Convention Center, JMM 2014