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How to be a Reviewer

Reviewer Instructions

Important Note:  These instructions are a guide of the review requirements and are subject to change.

Thank you for planning to review an open textbook.  We appreciate your support of the open textbook collaborative, an important breakthrough in education provisioning. 

Qualifications: A minimum of one year of recent teaching experience, preferably at a community college.

Reviewers evaluate each chapter on 11 education-based criteria* on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 0 meaning N/A), and are asked to comment on both strengths and weaknesses.  Reviewers are required to write an overall summary, and commit as to whether they would recommend the textbook for a college class, either as a primary or supplemental text. Summaries of recommended open textbook reviews are posted on this website.  See Open Textbook Reviews for examples.

The prime directive: Determine if the textbook is useful and appropriate for community college-level courses.

If you wish to conduct a review then:

1.  Select three textbooks in your area of expertise from Open Textbooks by Subject.

2. Send the names and links of your preferred textbook selection, along with the number of chapters and pages, and a brief list of your academic qualifications (such as a resume or CV) to us at info@cot.education.

3.  The Reviews Manager will review your selections and CV information, and get back to you with the voluntary agreement instructions and the "Reviewer's Spreadsheet." Upon receipt of the signed agreement you may begin the review.

Reviews are normally completed in 30 to 60 days.  Upon completion, send the review via email to the Reviews Manager, who will review it for thoroughness and content.  If accepted, the review is posted on the website. We also post your academic information on The Reviewers.

Still interested? Questions? Please contact us at info@cot.education


Download the Reviewers Excel Spreadsheet.

Also see the Professional Textbook Evaluator's Group on the open textbook collaborative's networking website.  

* Open Textbooks are reviewed on the following criteria:

  1. Clarity and comprehensibility - content, including the instructions and exercises                                                   
  2. Accuracy  - this requires subject matter expertise.                                                  
  3. Readability - in terms of logic, sequencing, and flow                                                    
  4. Consistency of course materials - consistency in the content language and use of key terms as is necessary to facilitate understanding by novice users                                                    
  5. Appropriateness of content - appropriateness of the material for community college level courses                                                   
  6. Interface - technological issues such as broken links, improperly displayed graphics, and ease of navigation                             
  7. Content usefulness - the ways in which the content could be useful for teachers, students, and those with a general interest in the subject area                                                    
  8. Modularity - the ability to adapt, rearrange, add, delete and modify the content by sections                                                   
  9. Content errors - the presence or absence of factual errors, grammatical errors, and typographical errors in the content                           
  10. Reading level - appropriate for community college level students                                                    
  11. Cultural relevance - use of examples that are inclusive of diverse races and ethnicities