About Equity Press
Equity Press is a completely free, online platform dedicated to publishing texts from diverse authors.
What is Equity Press?
Many educators have the desire to share the knowledge and experiences they have gained in their field, but they usually lack the time and resources to do so. We have sought to solve this problem by trying to make the creation of high-quality open educational resources (OER) possible for everyone. Instead of hoping to publish when you have more time or funding, you can publish for free with us on a timeline that works for you. We are dedicated to equity, quality, and diversity, and our publications are a reflection of that.
Who Can Benefit from Publishing With Us?
At Equity Press, we aim to bring equity to the forefront of both educators’ and students’ minds. We encourage authors from diverse backgrounds to share their experiences and to contribute to the discussion of equity. Publishing with Equity Press not only benefits you, as the author, but it also benefits countless numbers of students.
Our goal is to help your publications have a greater impact and reach, and we believe your voice is invaluable in the discussion of equity and education. We want to make sure your publication reaches as many students as possible.
How Can You Publish With Us?
We are excited to work alongside you during the publication of your text! Reach out to us with what you would like to publish, and we can help you get started. Our team is knowledgeable in graphic design, writing, editing, research, and software development. We are prepared to help you in every step of the publication process!
What About Copyright?
We only include content on this site that is gratis (free as in no cost), but not all content may provide freedoms to users for remixing, etc. (free as in freedom). Each book included in this site is released under its own license, and some include chapters or other content that may be released under yet another license. If you have questions about reuse, remixing, etc., please consult the copyright notice on the individual work.
To learn more about licensing and copyright, check out this introductory chapter on the topic.
Why Don't More Faculty Go with Open Textbooks?
Current and emerging research on faculty perceptions and barriers to open textbook adoption reveals that almost all faculty believe that open textbooks are a good idea, but few actually use them. The reasons for this are three-fold:
- Time: Faculty do not believe they have the time to create or adapt open resources, or another way of interpreting this is that faculty see work in this area as not being valued in terms of how their jobs are structured. For instance, if a faculty member has to decide whether to spend their time writing an open textbook for hundreds of students or publishing a research article for a few dozen scholars to read, they will typically go with the latter, because their job performance is evaluated based on numbers of articles published, not impact on students.
- Availability and Perceived Quality: Many courses do not have good open textbook options, those that exist may be difficult to find, or those that are found may not seem to be of very high quality. Most faculty who create open textbooks do not hire a type-editor to check for grammatical errors or a graphic designer to create a provocative cover; they also do not hire a marketing team to spread the word about the book or to get endorsements. This means that open textbooks are often difficult to find and may not initially seem to be of very high quality when compared to their commercial alternatives.
- Technical Expertise: Once a textbook is found, it is typically provided in a manner that faculty cannot easily edit or remix it (e.g., as a book-sized PDF). Similarly, when faculty want to create an open textbook, they often lack the technical knowledge necessary to create it in the expected formats that are common today (e.g., a mobile-friendly web version).
These barriers are real and prevent most faculty from moving in the direction of open textbooks. But, it is precisely to address these barriers that we created this platform!
Some educators believe that the textbook, like print media, is effectively dead or that it perpetuates poor pedagogical practices. We sympathize with these attitudes but also recognize a few realities.
First, most courses in the U.S. still rely upon a textbook (69% according to Seaman & Seaman, 2018). Second, much of the lack of adoption of open educational resources (OER) can be attributed to their lack of perceived quality and difficulty in finding them. And third, packaging OER into a usable, flexible textbook format makes these resources more appealing and accessible to diverse educators who exhibit a wide array of technical skills and motivations to use OER. In short, open textbooks provide a simple, first step into the world of OER, and though some may criticize open textbooks as not being radical enough, it is precisely their combination of the old and familiar with the new and radical that makes them a trialable, compatible, and relatively advantageous innovation (cf., Rogers, Diffusion of Innovations, 2003) that practically any educator can readily adopt.
What's the Catch?
"Are you going to monetize this thing or something?"
Nope. It's all free. Forever. We're just educators who care about our students and also want to make life easier for other educators.
"How do you pay for this?"
The platform's intentionally hard-funded from faculty allotments of departmental budgets so that we never have to worry about a grant running out. Individual books might be created with grant funding, but the platform itself isn't.
"Why do I have to log in with Google or ORCID?"
For security reasons, we have elected not to collect more information from users than is necessary, meaning that we never store passwords or other sensitive information if we can help it. Instead, we rely upon third parties to authenticate our users and only store a user ID provided by the third party. Currently, Google is the main provider, but we hope to add others in the future.
Note that by using an external service to login we also are not collecting information from that service or allowing them to gain access to your content on our site. So, if you login with Google, we won't have access to your Google documents, and Google won't have access to your Equity Press chapters. Rather, we are only using the login mechanism itself and not other data or resources that the third party might provide.
Who Made This Site and How?