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Open Educational Resources (OER)

Awards for Open Textbook Reviews

The UC Davis Library’s AggieOpen program invites faculty and instructors to apply for our Open Textbook Review awards to evaluate and submit a written review of an existing open textbook.

Due to their low-cost nature and ease of creation/publication, Open Textbooks are often mistakenly perceived as low-quality.

Peer review of Open Textbooks helps to:

  • provide a public indicator of quality to potential adopters
  • provide a mechanism to ensure that the content developed is in keeping with the expertise within the field of study
  • ensure that the content is appropriate, accurate, and adequately covers the material

These awards intend to introduce instructors to Open Education Resources (OER) and to encourage them to adopt or adapt the open textbook they choose to review. If you would like to review OER content other than a textbook, please get in touch with us first.

Take the first step towards OER adoption by reviewing a textbook in your field!

Explore possible open textbook solutions by scheduling a consultation with our AggieOpen team and writing a short textbook review. Participants who write and submit an Open Textbook review will receive a $250 award.


To qualify for the Open Textbook Review Program, instructors must meet the following criteria:

  • Schedule an OER consultation with the AggieOpen team.
    • This consultation will cover potential textbooks for review and strategies for the adoption/adaptation of open educational materials. After your consultation appointment, we will send you a link to complete the review. 
  • Current UC Davis faculty, instructor, or Teaching Assistant.
  • Publish the review on one of the following open textbook repositories:


  • Textbook awards are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. 
  • Funds will be distributed upon submission of the Open Textbook Review form that includes a link to the published review.

Open Textbooks Review Criteria

The following criteria are used by both the Open Textbook Library (OTN) and LibreText based on a rubric created by BC Open Campus. For more information about this program, you can email

See this example of an open textbook from the OTN Library with accompanying reviews.


The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary.

Content Accuracy

Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased.


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.


The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used.


The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework.


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.


The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion.


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.

This rubric was developed by BCcampus. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.