Frequently Asked Questions
What is this book about?
Australian Politics and Public Policy is an open textbook that is free and customisable for Australian university instructors and students. The textbook contains chapters on Australian political history and philosophy, key political institutions, Australian political sociology, public policy-making in Australia, and specialised chapters on a range of key policy domains. From the database of chapters, instructors can produce bespoke editions suited to their teaching needs.
The book is free to use, and its creative commons licence permits the content to be redistributed, redeveloped, adapted and shared – all completely free. See ‘What is a creative commons licence?’ for more details.
What’s a ‘bespoke’ textbook?
Using the online form provided, instructors and unit of study co-ordinators can order a customised version of the textbook that includes only those chapters they wish to include. Once the form is submitted, Sydney University Press (SUP) will send a custom link to to access this customised version of the textbook or share with students within a few days.
See this video for more information about how this process works.
What’s the difference between junior and senior chapter versions?
Most chapters are provided in two forms:
- Junior versions are aimed at first-year and second-year undergraduate students
- Senior versions are aimed at later year undergraduate students, and Master’s coursework students.
The versions cover the same content, but some parts of the text have been expanded or simplified as appropriate for the student audience.
What’s the cost to students?
Electronic versions of the textbook are free.
What’s the cost to instructors to adopt the textbook?
There is no cost for adopting the electronic versions of the textbook. However, SUP will not provide instructors with physical ‘desk copies’ as the initiative is not run on a commercial basis.
Can I use individual chapters rather than a whole textbook?
Yes, individual chapters can be used freely in any quantity. The creative commons licence permits considerable freedom of use (for example, you can include as many chapters as you like in a non-commercial course reader).Please fill the customise form and indicate in the ‘Textbook subtitle’ field that you need them for a reading brick. SUP will email you individual chapters.
Is this a quality textbook?
A rigorous process was adopted to ensure that all chapters in the book are of a high standard. The authors of each chapter were selected for their expertise in that field and each chapter of the book was subject to anonymous peer-review, administered by the editorial team of nine academics. The scope of the chapters in the database is larger than that of any other Australian policy and politics textbook in print.
Are there teaching resources that accompany this book?
Yes. A list of revision questions and basic PowerPoint slides are available to instructors for each chapter. The link to download these will be emailed to you once your customised book is created. If you would like to access these and are not using a customised volume, contact the editorial committee via this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
I’d like to suggest a change or a new chapter!
Wonderful! The nature of the open textbook allows for continual improvement. Please see ‘How can I participate in improving the book?’.
How can I participate in improving the book?
There are a number of ways you can contribute:
- the creative commons licence permits you to adapt and redistribute the material in this database of chapters freely and without need to ask permission, provided you abide by the non-onerous licence conditions (see ‘What is a creative commons licence?’ below)
- you can approach the editorial committee and suggest changes or propose a new chapter
- you can request to join the editorial committee and help to govern the project, including maintaining and updating chapters and commissioning new ones.
You can contact the editorial committee via this email address: email@example.com
What’s a creative commons licence?
The work is covered by a creative commons licence. This licence facilitates the free distribution and adaptation of the work, under certain conditions.
The specific licence governing this work is the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) licence. Under the conditions of the licence, you can:
- freely redistribute the content in this open textbook database at no cost
- and rewrite, update, transform, and build upon the material,
- give proper attribution to the original authors and publisher
- do not use the original or revised material for commercial purposes, and
- ensure that if you adapt or redistribute any material from this textbook, you make it available to others under the same creative commons licence.
A full copy of this licence and its conditions is available here: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/
Who funded this textbook’s creation?
The project was funded by the University of Sydney Library and published as part of the Sydney University Press innovative textbook initiative. This textbook was selected from a number of proposals following a call for expressions of interest.
What if I have a proposal for an open textbook in another subject area?
Please get in touch with Sydney University Press via this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org