Manifold Mini #5
Publishing Your OER on CUNY Manifold
This Manifold Mini, held May 12 and 13, 2020, demonstrates Publishing Your OER on Manifold.
Our documentation provides more detailed accounts of the different publishing capacities of Manifold. We highly recommend you consult these pages, which include helpful screenshots and descriptions. Read Working with Projects in Manifold documentation for detailed accounts of:
For the purposes of this mini session, I reviewed types of OER and the steps you need to complete before you publish with Manifold (10 minutes), then I walked through a single Google Doc ingestion and a manifest ingestion with multiple Google Docs (10 minutes), for the last five minutes, I opened the floor for questions.
Recaps and discussion are available for all on the CUNY Manifold Users group on the Academic Commons.
Publish Your OER
- OER models: What are you making
- Editing tools: Where are you editing
- Publishing workflow: How do I publish?
Manifold, a publishing platform
When people come to Manifold, they often wonder where to begin. They may have some documents -- a handful of articles or a collection of essays -- they’ve been thinking of publishing. They may want to create a textbook geared toward their teaching objectives using openly licensed materials they found on the web. Maybe they have seen the lovely annotation feature on Manifold and want their class to be able to annotate an excerpt from a longer work.
Where does Manifold come in?
I gave a brief rundown of the basic steps for creating your own Open Educational Resource. For more information about creating OER, check out the OER Starter Kit Workbook by Abbey Elder and Stacy Katz.
Here’s the gist of what happens *before* you come to Manifold. The time required for each varies depending on the author and the project.
- Collect Materials (this step takes a lot of time!)
- Assess and identify licenses (this step may also take a lot of time! It depends how flexible you are with substitutions)
- Choose title (this step may take a lot of time, but it can also change over time)
- Choose cover (this step doesn’t have to happen, but it does help solidify the project)
- Determine layout (many texts or one text with many chapters)
- Format your text (Preparing Texts)
Here’s where Manifold comes in.
☞ Create an account on Manifold and log in!
- Request Project Creator permissions
- Create the project on Manifold - title, author, publication date
- Ingest the text (see below!)
Chances are you will want to start customizing things pretty quickly. Luckily, there are many helpful Quick Guides on the CUNY Manifold Learn page that will walk you through the steps to add buttons at the top of your project home page (Customizing Your Project’s Hero Block) and adding a table of contents to your project home page (The Layout Tab).
But before getting carried away, I walked everyone through some major examples of projects and discussed their relative editing processes.
What is your OER?
Because Manifold offers so many options for ingestion (there’s that word again -- it’s the process by which Manifold takes some structured files and makes them annotatable and dynamic), it can be confusing to understand what process you need to make the Manifold project of your dreams.
I reviewed several types and described what sort of editing they required for publication.
Public Domain text with existing EPUB
EPUBs from places like Standard Ebooks or Project Gutenberg or some OER repositories may be good enough for your needs. These can be “ingested” within a few seconds. If you discover that the structure isn’t 100%, you may want to edit. To do so, you would have to edit somewhere that allows EPUB editing. Many use Calibre e-book management, open source software that has EPUB editing capabilities. Because I generally stick to flexible formatting and don’t mind letting Manifold manage my styles, I tend to stick to lightweight Markdown files instead of editing EPUBs.
When I talk about “Enriched Editions” I typically mean any text that includes a main text with added resources. In the case of Julie von Peteghem’s Selections from Petrarch’s Canzoniere, she created a single text with chapters for each of the selected poems. She then added the resources in Manifold (see Manifold Mini #4: Resources).
Another way Manifold can support audio and interactive media is through iframes. EPUB, HTML, and Markdown support inline multimedia. I mocked up a dummy project, Some Experiments in Form, to demonstrate how you can add an html embed code from Soundcloud or from Knightlab’s StoryMaps in a Markdown file to have resources visible in the text. These codes can also be added in EPUBs or HTML. (See the Preparing Texts section of our Manifold Documentation for guidance about which media types work and how best to prepare them in the different file types).
Course Reader of compiled excerpts, many texts
These course readers are perhaps the quickest way to go from documents in your possession to a student shareable textbook. The different readings are ingested individually. They can be Google Docs (which I demonstrate below). They can also be individual Word docs.
People often ask which file type is the best. This question usually comes up when I mention Word. Because Microsoft Word has been around for a long time, many writers are comfortable with its little tricks. Because the What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) word processors can hide processes the computer is doing to make the screen resemble the actions you want to take, Word and Google Doc ingestion may prove frustrating for first time Manifold publishers. Manifold is not like a blog where you move back and forth between the front and back end a lot.
- many individual texts with categories (Gender & Society)
- single text with chapters (Structuring Equality)
Manifold is a wonderful place to showcase student work. Public facing writing can give students a sense that their writing belongs to the scholarly conversation. For more about the advantages of student-centered learning, check out Open Pedagogy and or the Editor’s Preface of Structuring Equality. With student publications, the work includes not only gathering the material and editing, but making sure that students understand the licenses and their. Different creative commons licenses or copyrights and levels of anonymity must be discussed. Manifold provides space for whatever license you choose, but you must incorporate permissions as you determine with your class. You may want to check with your department and consult with your OER librarian to see if they have recommendations.
Here is a table outlining some types of OER on CUNY Manifold and the means of editing.
Edited in Calibre
Manifest ingestion, zipped Markdown files
Edited in plaintext editor (Sublime Text, Visual Studio Code, Notepad++... Here is an article about best text editors describing many different free editors if you are worried about which one to choose)
Resources added in Manifold
Google Doc ingestion, text by text
Edited in Google Docs, organized in Manifold
Google Doc ingestion, text by text
Edited in Google Docs and Word, ingested one by one
Manifest ingestion of many Google docs
Edited in Google Docs, compiled with a manifest
Publishing Workflow: HOW do I publish my materials?
I then went on to demo two basic workflows:
- single Google Doc (see the Course Readers and Gender & Society above)
- many Google Docs compiled with a manifest (this process is very near to Microsoft Word or Markdown ingestion)
The following two images (which are not, to my knowledge, screen-readable) are slides with flowcharts moving through the two workflows. For Single Google Doc it goes from Prep Google Doc to Set Up Project to Add Text. For Manifest Ingestion the chart moves from Prep Google Docs to Prep Manifest to Set Up Project to Add Text. Adding texts for each method is slightly different.
The single Google Doc requires the “Share” link url. The link must be unrestricted for the ingestion to work. The manifest ingestion for Google Docs requires a manifest.yml on your computer that you can locate and add in the “select file” part of the “Add a text” shelf.
Or if you prefer side by side flow charts for comparison:
Prep Google Docs
I briefly showed how to add Headers using the Style tool in Google Docs. I recommend you check out Preparing Texts in Manifold Documentation for a basic rundown of best practices. Some things to keep in mind.
- Have one H1 (and only one)
- Don’t skip levels (H2 should be under H1, H3 under H2, etc)
- Add descriptive alt text for all images (check out the University of Leicester’s Writing Effective Alt Text if you’re not sure what I mean)
- Keep your files consistent
Structuring your documents well isn’t just a way to make your publication look good in Manifold. Clear structure improves accessibility. It’s worth the time to structure the document. If you’re not sure how to add H1 and title, review Google’s help for adding title and heading.
Prep your Manifest
I walked everyone through Manifest ingestion.
For each chapter, I created Google Docs. I made sure every Google Doc had a H1 (the title of the article) and H2 headings for subsections.
Then I copied the manifest.yml template from the Manifold Documentation. I used Visual Studio Code to edit the yaml file, but any text editor would work. Save the manifest where you can find it. For
Sample manifest.yml (This text can be copied and pasted into a blank document and saved as manifest.yml).
title: 'Publishing with Manifold: An Introduction to Manifest Ingestion'
rights: 'This text is licensed under a CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 license.'
description: "This text was created from a Manifold manifest ingestion. Manifest ingestions bring together documents from a variety of sources."
- name: Jojo Karlin
- name: Workshop participants
- label: Title Page
- label: 'Introduction'
- label: 'Chapter 1'
Questions inevitably come up when people are first using a new platform. Often, the answers to these questions are in the Manifold documentation, but for people unaccustomed to looking at instructions this way, we offer several quick guides that walk you through some standard tasks. The Manifold Slack channel is an excellent way to reach out to other users and the development team. There are special channels dedicated to accessibility and teaching. CUNY creators may also join the CUNY Academic Commons CUNY Manifold Users group.
Jojo Karlin firstname.lastname@example.org