New User FAQ: How to use this discussion space

A Video Guide of the Rebus Community Platform

How do I use the different categories?

Each category focuses on a different discussion or theme, which should be clear from the category description and the first posts in each one. If you want to post something but none of the categories seem to fit, let us know in Site Feedback & Technical Questions and we can point you in the right direction, or consider adding a new one.

How do I create a new topic or discussion thread?

Once you’re in a subcategory, click on the “New Topic” button at the top. Give your topic a clear title, and then write, upload images, add links, and format the post. You can also add tags, which help people find your topic when they’re looking for info on a particular subject. Once you’re done, be sure to click “Create Topic”!

How do I follow a topic or discussion thread so I can see new replies?

You will automatically be notified of any replies to a topic you create or reply to. You will also receive a notice if anyone mentions your @name, but you can also “watch” a topic to see all updates. To watch a topic, look for the “Normal” button and click on it. From the list of options that appears, select “Watching” and you’ll then be notified of any new activity on the thread. Other options include “Tracking” and “Muted.”

Can I get email notifications for topics I’m following?

Yes. But note that emails will only be sent if you are not active on the website at the time of the notification. And make sure you are “Watching” the topic, as described above.

How do I get started on a project?

Everything you need to start is explained in our instructions for starting a new project.

What’s the difference between and

As we develop our product, a simple platform for open textbook creation, we have gone through several iterations of that project. (hereafter referred to as Projects) is an older version of, which will in turn be updated to an even better iteration of the platform. Projects is comprised of beta projects who began using our tools, resources, and practices in their earliest stage. We have left Projects operational so that the work there is still accessible while we migrate the content and integrate the best features of open textbook project management, collaboration, and communication in one well-connected platform. Eventually, everything—content, communication tools, tracking tools, templates, anything else we come up with—will be seamlessly integrated into the same platform.

I still need help!

No problem. That’s what the Site Feedback and Technical Questions section is for. Post your questions there, including the specifics of what you need help with, and we’ll get back to you as quickly as we can.

Transcript for “A Video Guide of the Rebus Community Platform”

@Apurva Ashok: Welcome to this guided tour of the Rebus Community platform. On the platform, you can give and receive publishing guidance, post and respond to calls for contributors, and connect with a global community of people who are changing the world through open education. I’m Apurva Ashok, publishing liaison at the Rebus Community. In this video, I will show you how to navigate the platform, sign up and create a profile, introduce yourself to the community, ask for help and offer help on open textbook projects, ask and answer questions on publishing OER, and find out about events in the OER community.

Let’s begin on the main page of the platform. Below the top banner, you’ll find a list of categories indicating different ways you can get involved. Further down, you’ll see the latest posts and updates from community members. Scroll further and you’ll find a form to sign-up for our fortnightly newsletter, where we share news, calls for participation, event notices, and more. To return to this page, click on the Rebus Community logo in the top-left corner.

Now that we’re oriented with the main page, we can get going.

Click on the button in the top-right corner to log in or sign-up to the platform. Once I am logged in, I return to the main page of the platform.

From here, I’d like to introduce myself, meet other members, read the community guidelines, and learn about the platform. In the “Get Started” category, I click on “First Steps.” Here I see a pinned post which has a list of steps to be completed by users. I’ll begin by creating my profile. To do so, I click on the avatar in the top-right corner, and Preferences. I enter my full name and upload my profile picture, and then click on “Profile” to enter some details about myself, where I work, and links to any applicable websites. Once this is complete, I’ll click on “Save Changes.” I can click on the avatar in the top-right corner to see notifications, direct messages, and bookmarked topics.

Returning to the main page, by clicking on the the Rebus Community icon, I go back to the Get Started Category. This time, I click on the “Find Out Who’s Here” subcategory to complete my Introduction. I click on New Topic, where I am prompted to share some details about my background and objectives, expertise and interests. I’ll enter this information, along with some tags so that others can easily find my introduction: literature, publishing, translation, and design, and click on the button “Create Topic.” From the topic, I can follow the navigation bar below the title to return to the “Find Out Who’s Here” subcategory. I click on Leigh KP’s introduction, like it, and submit a short response saying hello.

Next, I’d like to post a call for reviewers on my Introduction to World Literature open textbook project. Back on the main page, I click on Contributor Marketplace, where I can post or respond to calls for participation, and brainstorm about new open textbook projects. I create a new topic here with the details of my call, tagging it as relevant. While in this category, I see that Zoe Wake Hyde is looking for authors for a book on OER publishing. There are some details in the topic, and I might be a good fit, so I will respond to indicate my interest.

Next, I’d like to ask a question I have about accessibility when making open textbooks. Using the navigation bar, I click on the “Help and Questions” category. There’s an “Accessibility and Inclusivity” subcategory here, so I click through and post my question. I also see that David Szanto has posted a question about formatting content that hasn’t been answered, so I will click on the topic and post a short reply with what I know about this issue.

Now that I’ve asked my question and answered David’s, I’d like to explore other ways to keep up with the community and interact with members. The “News, Discussion, Events” category is a good place to see announcements, news, upcoming events, or join a discussion on different OER themes. On clicking through, I see options to RSVP to webinars like Office Hours, or chat with members about “Up and Comers in OER.” These topics and other discussions stay on the forum, so I can return to them at any point and reference them as needed.

With this, we’ve reached the end of our tour. Thanks so much for watching, and we hope that you have learned more about how to use this platform. We believe in making books to build communities, and building communities to make books. We hope you will join us!