Peer Review

In accordance with MacEwan Open Books’ Memorandum of Understanding, MacEwan University members are required to have two subject matter experts provide a peer-review of new works created and hosted on MacEwan University Library’s Pressbooks platform. At least one of these two reviewers must be external to the MacEwan University. (Exceptions may apply concerning minor adaptations of existing works.)

We recommend having works peer-reviewed prior to any copy-editing of the work.

While following a more traditional blind peer-review process is an option, authors are encouraged to use an open peer-review process whereby the author and reviewers can directly discuss changes and adjustments to benefit student learning, and the reviewers can receive recognition for their contributions in the book metadata (instructions below).

Authors may choose to provide reviewers with a financial honourarium for their service if available funding for their book project permits. Contact if requiring assistance with creating a contract for such services.

The Peer Review Process

NOTE: The following provides guidance on how to solicit open peer review feedback for your work. If opting for a blind peer-review process, contact and we can assist you with determining the best way to recruit reviewers and share your work while maintaining all contributors’ anonymity.

Sharing Unpublished Works with Reviewers

When recruiting reviewers, be sure to give them at least 3 weeks to review your work, and send them a reminder a few days prior to the deadline if you have not heard back yet.

Once someone has agreed to complete a peer-review, give them access to your unpublished work using one of the following methods:

  • Option 1: Email with the reviewer’s name and email to request that they be added as a “Contributor” to the work. Once this is complete, they should receive an email giving them access to view the work.
  • Option 2: Go to Export and export a PDF copy of your work in its entirety to email to them for them to review.

Review Criteria

Email to request a copy of an editable TEMPLATE detailing the review criteria below and instructions to send to reviewers (see PDF version).

Send reviewers the following open textbook review criteria to help guide their feedback. Feel free to modify this criteria as needed to ensure useful feedback on your specific work. Remember to include a review deadline and brief overview of the work and its intended audience.

  1. Comprehensiveness: Does the text adequately cover the topic(s) addressed?
  2. Content Accuracy: Is content error-free and unbiased?
  3. Relevance: Is content up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time? Is the text written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement?
  4. Clarity:  Given the primary audience (see above), is the text written in lucid, accessible prose, and does it provide adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used?
  5. Organization/Structure/Flow: Are the topics in the text presented in a logical, clear, and consistent fashion?
  6. Additional feedback (optional):

Additional Feedback

You may also wish to invite reviewers added to your Pressbooks account as a Contributor (see Option 1 above) to add web annotations directly to the work, either in a private group or publicly, using
New to Visit Get Started and How to Create a Private Group.
Those reviewing a PDF version (see Option 2 above) can use the commenting tool available in PDFs.

Crediting Reviewers in Book Metadata

To give credit to your reviews, log into Pressbooks and go to Book Info in the left-hand menu. Add reviewers to the section under Reviewer(s).

This section contains review criteria from original guides by Saylor & College Open Textbooks, and from derivative works by BC Campus in the BC Open Textbooks Review Criteria, the Rebus Community Review Guide Template, and¬†Ryerson University in the “Peer Review” chapter of the Ryerson Open Textbook Authoring Guide, each licensed under CC BY 4.0.


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MacEwan Open Textbook Authoring Guide by MacEwan University Library is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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