Peer review of open textbooks and other learning content
provides the quality assurance necessary for making knowledge
sharing viable. Experts contribute to Peer Reviews by 1) selecting
appropriate content for review, 2) evaluating the content based on
standard criteria, and 3) sharing their feedback.
- Readership Level: The subject matter is presented
primarily at a reading level appropriate for undergraduate use,
including community and two year colleges.
- Content: The content of the work complements the
undergraduate curriculum and is suitable for use in college
- Quality: The authors or producers display command of the
subject matter, and the material is presented in a comprehensive,
well-organized, and understandable manner.
- Authorship: The author(s) is a recognized expert in the
open textbook subject matter. Some evidence of recognized expert
status includes employment at an educational institution as a
faculty member, or authorship of a published textbook that has
previously been adopted for college-level course use, among
- Technical Considerations: The content is available in
accessible, electronic formats.
- Availability: The open textbook content is available for
fair use under an open license without cost or site
General Publication Criteria
- Language: Only English-language publications are
reviewed at this time.
- Review Copy: Reviewsonly the finished version of a work,
not a prepublication form such as page proofs, or beta test
versions for electronic products.
Criteria Specific to Electronic Resources
- Comparative Formats: The CCOT Project reviews resources
available only in electronic format as well as electronic resources
that have print counterparts.
- Currency and Updates: The open textbook should show
evidence that, when necessary and appropriate, the author(s) plans
to update regularly.
- Hardware and Software: Technical requirements of an open
textbook should be compatible with standard and commonly available
hardware/software in college campus student computer labs.
- Stability of Content: There should be evidence that an
electronic open textbook is available from an Internet site is
stable in content and format.
Recommended Review Criteria
For each chapter of the textbook, provide feedback and ratings
of the textbook's:
- Clarity and comprehensibility - content, including the
instructions and exercises
- Readability - in terms of logic, sequencing, and
- Consistency of course materials - consistency in the
content language and use of key terms as is necessary to facilitate
understanding by novice users
- Appropriateness of content - appropriateness of the
material for community college level courses
- Interface - technological issues such as broken links,
improperly displayed graphics, and ease of navigation
- Content usefulness - the ways in which the content could
be useful for teachers, students, and those with a general interest
in the subject area
- Modularity - the ability to adapt, rearrange, add,
delete and modify the content by sections
- Content errors - the presence or absence of factual
errors, grammatical errors, and typographical errors in the
- Reading level - appropriate for community college level
- Cultural relevance - use of examples that are inclusive
of diverse races and ethnicities
In addition, the review should include narrative explanations
or justifications, with examples, for each of the ratings.
If the Peer Reviewer adopts the textbook that is under
review for a course, then the Peer Reviewer is
- Invite students to provide feedback (via an online survey)
about the textbook, and
- Provide feedback from the faculty perspective about actual use
of the textbook in the course.
Share Reviews of Open
Peer reviews of open textbooks can be shared in many
Send your open textbook review to firstname.lastname@example.org