11 Project Summary Template

This template may be used as you’re starting to define your project. Find an editable version here.


Project Summary: [Project Title]

Lead editor/author(s): [Name]

Introduction & About the Project

Welcome participants and potential volunteers. Explain how the project came about and why it is important/valuable to your discipline.


Identify both the primary student audience (academic level, discipline etc.) and any secondary audiences (instructors, researchers, professionals, other interested parties).

About the Text/Content

How will the text be structured? (e.g. 3 parts to every chapter, student-facing text plus instructor handbook etc.). What (if any) accompanying elements (e.g. instructor resources, presentations, quizzes, maps, data sets) will be produced or collected?


Explain that the book will carry a CC-BY license and why. You may want to link to external resources where readers can go for more information on the CC BY license, such as the Creative Commons website, or the Rebus Community Licensing Policy.

Here is some optional copy that you can use to explain the nuances of including differently licensed materials within the same book: “While the global license for the book is CC-BY, some differently licensed materials may be included so long as they are clearly demarcated in the text and any changes are made in accordance with the conditions of the other license. This might apply in the cases of images, videos, or sections of non-CC-BY text that are essential to the book. However, we strongly discourage relying on this exception in order to protect and promote downstream uses. For more, see the [author guide].”


Who is leading the project? Who else is involved? Provide contact details (not necessarily personal) and guidance on where to direct different kinds of queries.

Support (if applicable)

Note any grants, institutional support or other external support the project has received or will receive over the course of the project.


Provide an approximate timeline for the project. This doesn’t have to be comprehensive, or rigid, but an indicator of dates for major milestones (e.g. chapters submitted, peer review complete, beta testing, initial release, etc.)

How to Get Involved

Offer clear guidance on how people can participate in the project, and where they should start (contact the project admin, comment on the forum, email someone, etc.). Consider making this general enough that you don’t have to update it for different phases of the project. You may also want to link to other relevant resources you have, like author or review guides.

Measures of Success

How will you know if you’ve met your goal? What constitutes success, and how will you measure it? Consider things like number of participants, diversity of perspectives (geographic, cultural, social, etc.), completed peer review process, number of adoptions etc. These don’t have to be comprehensive, but help to clarify what success means to your project, beyond just writing a text.

Find an editable version of this template here.


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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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