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Chemistry LibreTexts

3.6: "Harvesting" Existing Content into the LibreTexts

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  • Development of content in the LibreTexts platform proceeds via five mechanisms operating in parallel:

    • Mechanism 1: Student contribution from scratch (e.g., via extra credit)
    • Mechanism 2: Student integration of existing content outside the LibreTexts platform from faculty and experts
    • Mechanism 3: Faculty construction of raw content from scratch
    • Mechanism 4: Faculty integration of existing content outside the LibreTexts platform from faculty and experts
    • Mechanism 5: Faculty and student re-editing of content already existing on the LibreTexts (with permission)

    Modules from all five mechanisms are processed through a sophisticated vetting structure, involving students and faculty (see below), to eventually guarantee reliable, fully-vetted content that is capable of substituting for that found in current paper-based textbooks. Content from higher ranked mechanisms typically supersedes content from lower ranked mechanism, resulting in continual evolution of the LibreTexts content.

    This section is an overview for people who are tasked with copying a whole structure from a website into the Libretexts format. It is short and does not contain everything to not overwhelm developers. It assumes that the content is copied into an empty skeleton textbook map with pre-made chapters and sections which we will set up for you if necessary.

    Step 1: Build the infrastructure

    • Rename the chapter titles to the desired titles (hover over title to get pencil icon to do this and then edit and save): use the format "1: I love LibreTexts" and "2: I really love Libretexts" as the general format with a colon and no "chapter" word
    • Rename the existing sections within each chapter to the desired section. Use the format "1.X: Ways that I love Libretexts" and "1.2: Ways that you should love Libretexts" as the general format with a colon after the second number. Avoid using a three number title, e.g., "1.2.3: Ways that Titles Can Be Poor"
    • As a general rule, copy everything over even if it is not entirely clear that it will be useful. We can always delete or move things around later.
    • If you need to make new sections, then do so (via the "New" button on the black bar after you are logged in)
    • If your original sections do not have numbers in them, then ignore the numbers (for now).
    • We can address thumbnails (the images on the chapter boxes) later on.

    Step 2: Copy and Paste

    • For each section of original material, do a simple cut and paste from the website into each LibreTexts section (after clicking "Edit" on black bar after you are logged in)
    • When you do this, all text is copied over (often with undesired formatting) and the images from the original content is NOT transferred over (only a link back to them to give you that image). If the formatting is screwy (e.g., small font, bad font etc), then it is best to just erase the formatting (the "removed format" button on the edit toolbar that looks like a T with a little x next to it. That is your best friend.

    Step 3: Upload Figures Onto Libretexts Page

    • The simplest way to do this is to drag the figures from the original page onto your desktop, the drag them from your desktop into the appropiate spot on the Libretext page. You can find more details on how to do this here.

    Step 4: Format the Page

    Typically, the original content will not be in a format that “fits” into the existing format of the LibreTexts that it is to be integrated. This includes: font size, colors, organization, etc. This is often best addressed at the initial steps if integrate by a straightforward “erasing” of formatting via the CKE editor (the eraser button). This then requires the reformatting of the content into the LibreTexts format.

    • General Formatting plan:
    • All section headings should use h2, h3, h4 …
    • All text should be full justified.
    • All number lists should use the CKE list options, this also includes bullets
      • erase all indentations
      • try to avoid underlines (use bold or italic instead)
      • full justify all text
      • center justify all image captions
      • center justify all images (after copying them in properly, discussed below)

    Step 5: Format Equations

    • It is best to just look at mathjax code on the LibreText to get the idea. This helps to make nice equations (
      • DO NOT copy links to codecogs to make a latex image on our site; use the internal mathjax system via the \( and \[ (and \) and \]) delimiters.

    Step 6: Typesetting and Advanced Editing

    • This is a more advanced stage that requires review by an advanced developer and includes fine tuning of things, such as table and figure captions, acknowledgements, table formatting, videos, hyperlinks to other pages etc.
    • Typically, a page goes through many revisions to get things "just right"