Project Plan

TextHack 2013

This project, supported by a grant from Creative Commons International, plans to bring together a number of institutions with a strong communications/media studies undergraduate program to hack together an introductory textbook that will be made available under a CC-BY license in a digital repository. The goal is to produce the core of a rigorous, regionally-appropriate and useful text and, as it is a pilot, to document and evaluate the process, and create a framework for replication or development in later texthack projects. It is expected to be a living, collaborative, commonwealth of knowledge. It will have the added benefit of raising the profile of participating institutions, staff and post-graduate students, and has the potential for individual and group publication, both in terms of the textbook and in writing about the process.

The primary project will converge around the weekend of the 16-17th November and be completed by mid-December, 2013. However, there will be some editorial work towards the final product release (January 2014) and report writing (February 2014), though this will mostly be the responsibility of the steering group.

Collaborating Teams

Each collaborating team will pull together their academic team (staff and postgraduates);

  • To produce their sections of the text.
  • Liaise with their local IT and library support to help them participate in the online planning and progress sessions, as well as the hackathon weekend itself.
  • Each collaborating institution will nominate a facilitator to act as a point of contact for other collaborators, co-ordinate on-site activities as well as co-ordinate copyright advice.

The text will be the equal responsibility of the collaborating teams, with equal ownership of the final text, under a CC-BY license.

Each collaborating team will also document their progress and experience (i.e. with a camera roving the session, filming and interviewing participants, as appropriate) as part of the documentation project.

Otago will include an academic unit participating in the texthack

Facilitators (The personnel and groups that make it happen)

Central coordination and administration of the project will be based at the University of Otago including;

  • Central infrastructure to help facilitate communication and collate and store the outputs in an accessible format.
  • An educational technologist.
  • Liaison librarians to help with research.
  • Together these will;
    • Manage connectivity between teams (in concert with local support staff and services).
    • Provide information resources and copyright advice.
    • Make the final text available through its digital repository in an accessible format.

Each centre/team will have its own technical input.

Other services as required?


This project will be governed by

The collective nature of its process and

The MOU and this Plan will outline each stakeholder’s responsibilities to the collective.

Steering Group

  • Erika Pearson, Project Coordinator.
  • Simon Hart.
  • Richard White.
  • Bernard Madill, Manager/Administrator;


Creative Commons International

Managing the project

Phase 1 late September –November
Setting up the framework of collaboration Steering Ctte
Negotiating the common core of the communications programs that will provide the foundation structure of the text through course outlines or similar all teams
Assigning sections and development of first draft pieces by individual teams. all teams
Create and maintain documents that will contribute to the final report all teams
Create the infrastructure that will minimize risk and ensure the hack weekend a success infrastructure – technical teams; roles – all teams
MOU and formal commitment from participating teams all teams
Finalize and implement technology plan and infrastructure technical team leads
Individual teams begin drafting for assigned area all teams
Phase 2 The texthack weekend.  November 14-16
Collaborating institutional teams will come together online to ‘hack together the text’ from the pre-prepared pieces as outlined in the framework, including editing, rewriting, clarification and research All participants
Document experiences as individuals and participating teams. All participants
Phase 3 November – December
Collate and document the process (into a ‘cookbook’ that others may follow for future texthack projects) all teams
Circulation of hacked manuscript for editing and refinement Steering ctte to all teams
Edit and refine the hacked draft ready for electronic publication.  It is expected that phase three (the primary project) will be completed by mid-December, 2013. Official commitment from teams will end with completion of assigned edits and submission of report on process to Steering Committee. all teams


The project will result in two books

1) The Textbook

The textbook is an introductory level communications/media studies textbook, aimed at first year students in the Australasian context.  The textbook will be available online, under a CC-BY license. There is potential for future projects to develop this and other texts as part of a suite of open educational resources.  Early iterations of the text hack itself may focus mainly on the ‘common core’, with potential for the book to grow (a ‘living text’) as it is used and developed beyond the end of the funded project.

2) The ‘Cookbook’

Of equal importance is the procedure that develops out of creating the textbook.  It is a key goal of the project to document the process in such a way so that future teams can replicate/improve on it to produce a variety of open textbook to a high standard. Participating teams will be expected to document their experiences (both successes and failures) in a way that can be folded into this ‘cookbook’ or guide (also under a CC-BY license) for subsequent projects.  Contributing teams will be named authors on this report.

With potential for Future Publications after the completion of the project

It is encouraged that individual teams may wish to report on their own experiences and ideas produced as part of their involvement in the texthack project, whether it be through documentation notes or through refereed publications. Any related scholarship participants undertake after completion of this project will be that participants intellectual property.


It is a condition of the grant that the resulting book will be released under a CC-BY license. Attribution CC-BY “This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.” The CC Website accessed 30/09/13) The full text is contained in The License Deed  the Legal codes (The full license)

Each team is encouraged to be familiar with the conditions and spirit of the CC-BY license as outlined in the links provided. It is anticipated that if successful this textbook may form the core of future versions or iterations as other institutions contribute new material or return to the repository their amendments or developments on the content.

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