Open Book Platforms Research: Manifold
Manifold is a non-for-profit open-source platform created by the University of Minnesota press to read and publish e-books in multiple formats. This platform is designed not only to publish but also to engage with readers and host discussions about the content published with varied tools such as annotation, sharing, highlighting, bookmarking, and commenting.
In relation to publishing our open e-textbook, Manifold was considered due to the simplicity of the user interface across different devices, ability to include supplementary resources in the main material, unlimited ability to edit, update, and (re)export books, and the choice to host the server independently or use that of the University of Minnesota press. Nevertheless, Manifold does not help with generating new formats, meaning that we also need to create different formats ourselves before uploading them.
In all, Manifold is considered as one of the top choices of platform to be used on this project, although we are concerned about its inability to create multiple versions/formats of our final material. Also, because it is a sharing platform, it seems that the readers may access the version on which we are still editing, nevertheless, it also allows the publishing of the paperback version on the book which can be a useful functionality for future use.
Visit https://manifoldapp.org for more information about Manifold.
This post was written collaboratively by our Open Textbook Interns, Ana Reina Garcia, Ifeanyichukwu Ezinmadu, and Kari Ding.