7 Contributor MOU Template

This template may be used as you’re expanding your team and bringing new contributors onto your project. Find an editable version here.

Memorandum of Understanding [Project Title]

[Project Name] is a collaborative project, aimed at creating a quality open textbook/open resource for [audience]. [Optional: add a few more sentences about the project and its mission].

This memorandum of understanding (MOU) lays out the contributor expectations, licensing information, and other conditions of participation. All members of the team are asked to read through and agree to the terms. Any questions or concerns can be addressed to the project manager: [Project Manager name + contact details].

1. Role expectations

In this section, write out any expectations for specific kinds of contributors, e.g. authors, reviewers, lead editors, etc.

2. Licensing

All content (writing, images, charts, videos, etc.) created for inclusion in this textbook, as well as ancillary materials (slide decks, assignments, in-class exercises etc. with the exception of question banks), are to be licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0). In accordance, all authors and other creators retain the copyright to their contributions, and by signing below, grant a CC-BY 4.0 license to all content created for this project.

3. Edits, updates, and revisions

All team members understand and accept that the content they produce in the context of this project may be edited, updated, reviewed, and otherwise altered over the course of the publishing process. Authors/creators will have the opportunity to address significant recommended changes or additions following peer review and/or developmental editing, and retain the right to remove their name from the published version at any time.

4. Team participation

All participants are expected to be engaged, respectful team members. This includes:

  • Participating in project discussions, decision making processes, team calls/webinars, and other activities as requested
  • Ensuring you meet agreed all upon deadlines, or offer as much notice as possible if you require an extension. If, for any reason, you need to pull out of the project, this should also be indicated to the admin team promptly
  • Participating in promotional activities and actively leveraging your own network wherever possible to attract contributors and adopters
  • Treating all members of the team with respect, in words and actions
  • Engaging with and furthering the project goals

5. Recognition for contributors

This section should state what recognition is offered to contributors, e.g.: “All contributors will be named in the acknowledgements section of the final publication unless they request to be removed. This attribution will include their name and institutional affiliation, and link to a profile or other professional site of their choosing.”

6. Termination

The project admin team reserves the right to terminate participation in the project at any time if a contributor is:

  • Not fulfilling their agreed upon obligations in a timely manner
  • Failing to treat other members of the team with respect
  • Otherwise disrupting or negatively impacting the success of the project and team

If a team member is asked to leave the project, any submitted work may be retained and completed/expanded by another contributor in accordance with the conditions of the CC-BY 4.0 license. In this instance, the original creator will still be credited in the final text unless they request to have their name removed.

7. Contributor agreement

I, _________________, agree to the terms of participation stated above.

Signed: ______________________________________ Date: __________________


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The Rebus Guide to Publishing Open Textbooks (So Far) Copyright © 2019 by Apurva Ashok and Zoe Wake Hyde is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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