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Chemistry LibreTexts

21: Project FAQs

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  • What is Libretext?

    The LibreTexts mission is to unite students, faculty and scholars in a cooperative effort to develop an easy-to-use online platform for the construction, customization, and dissemination of open educational resources (OER) to reduce the burdens of unreasonable textbook costs to our students and society.

    Who is it aimed at?

    • Anyone that desires to learn. 
    • Then currently post-secondary students.
    • Then K-12

    Both students and faculty.

    • Students: 
    • cheap (free), 
    • easy to access, 
    • easy to use
    • Faculty:

    Easy to modify to fit they needs

    How does it differ from other open source materials offerings?

     The LibreTexts is a community based construction, dissemination and usage platform.

    • All can contribute (with permission), all can edit (with permission) and can use
    • Content from difference sources (internally constructed or harvested) are formatted with the same standard = maximizes the full remixing potential

    How do you get materials? 

    Any way we can! 

    • Existing OER depositories. Guided by “Referatories” like Open Textbook Network
    • Direct Faculty requests. E.g., notes (online or off)
    • Access to student constructors (e.g., extra credit or forced requirements – all with proper release of copyright (opt-in).

    Are they kept up to date? 

    Since we are a living library, changes are easy and “instantaneous”. Existing development team has a subset of “curators” for more libraries. Direct feedback from faculty and users. Each page has a “feedback” option that users can give back to directly to the curators’ team

    What's changing with the new grant you all got?

    Everything! We are scaling up 10-fold. Five independent operating teams: Construction, Harvesting, Dissemination & Recruitment, Technology, Assessment & Evaluations

    Construction teams

    1. General construction of all existing libraries
    2. Construction of the “Trades” library for CTE (Career Technical Education) based education
    3. Building the textbooks for to support a ACS cirtified BS degree. That is an example of a complete ZTC for a 4-year science degree.

    Harvesting Team:

    • Preharvesting – gap analysis
    • Harvesting – 100 student developers that will effectively “borgify” the OER universe

    Dissemination and Recruitment

    • Outreach activity
    • Workshops 

    Advanced features that are enabled by the computer backend 

    1. Interactive figure (molecules, proteins, vector calculus, etc): Javascript
    2. Interactive Simulation and visualizations (PheT, Concord Collective and many other contributors)
    3. Videos, 
    4. Annotation systems (Hypothesis and Note Bene)
    5. Informatics – data driven approaches
    6. Scientific programming – Juptyer (R, python, SageMath, octave)

    The largest effort involves

    • Coupling to LMS (Common Cartridge = existing and LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability)
    • Homework system
    • WeBWork (and others) 
    • Machine learning to individual student adaptive feedback

    Assessment and Evaluations

    • SOTL study
    • Ensure efficacy of project
    • Accessibility (UCD Student disability center)

    If a faculty member wants to use LibreTexts, what do they do? 

    Contact us directly. We will have an online “order” form to facilitate the transferring of relevant information.


    A central theme in the construction of LibreTexts Modules (pages) is to integrate and write new content such that the formatting if shared with the rest of the LibreTexts libraries.

    Below is a list of aspects to address to ensure this:

    1. Equations
      1. All equations are written in MathJax. Hence remove equations as figures if needed and replace with MathJax.
    2. Make the "Article Type" option for Modules that have multiple sections "topics". This makes an automatic TOC in the upper right hand corner and adds arrows at the bottom
    3. Use the table formatting (via cutting and pasting) for designated components (e.g. ,examples, definition etc.).
    4. Figures
      1. It is best that figures be centrally justified (which you may have to put the mouse to the right or left of to select).
      2. Figures should be copied into the attachments section (you can "drag and drop" to do this) and linked in the main part of the Module (you can also "drag and drop" into the Modules to address this).
      3. If there is any concern about copyrighted figures, contact Delmar Larsen. Do not copy them into the STEMWikis.
    5. Text
      1. Do not use personal pronouns (or remove them).
      2. Full justify all text (except for Figure captions, which should be centrally justifiable)
      3. Catch and change all spelling mistakes as found
    6. Attribution
      1. Each Module needs an attribution (Contributors) sections, unless anonymously written.
    7. Hyperlinking
      1. Hyperlink as needed to the other Modules of the Library and other STEMWikis, but only hyperlink outside the Hyperlibrary project in the "Outside Links" section if existing.

    General Formating

    Please observe these following suggestions as we want to try to make these chapters as consistent as possible.  

    • First notice the "Edit Page" button at the very top left corner of the page. Pressing this will put you into edit mode where you can actually make changes to the page you are on.
    • When you are in edit mode, look for the Article Type indicator (on the right side of the page) and set that to Topic.
    • Use the Heading formats. Combined with the Topic article type, this will generate a lovely little table of contents in the upper right corner of the page. Note that the highest level of organization headers (e.g. General Information and Equations) should all be H1. Sub-section headers (e.g. Help Sessions, that falls within General Information) should all be H2 and so on.
    • When copy/pasting text from the Blinder page please take care to read carefully through everything after you have pasted into Library. You will need to remove extra carriage returns and there will undoubtedly be some characters that don't transfer well.
    • Equations and Figures will take extra care (see below).
    • Save the page regularly while working.
    • We will need to be sure there is some credit given at the bottom of each page to Professor Blinder and also to YOU! We'll figure out exactly how we want to format that later.

    Adding MathJax Equations

    Some information regarding equation formatting. First, the equation formatting is done using the same syntax as a typesetting tool called LaTeX. This is widely used so you can easily find lots of helpful equation editing information via Google. Around the equation you need special characters to tell the wiki that it needs to properly format the equation. There are two ways to do this, one that causes a standalone equation that is set off on its own and a second that puts the equation 'inline'.

    The following standalone equation is formatted by placing \ [ (with no space between them) before the equation and \ ] after:

    \[G=H-T \Delta S \label{1}\]

    Using the following \ ( and \ ) notation (again without spaces) creates an inline equation.

    This is the famous Gibbs energy equation \(G=H-T \Delta S\) that is extremely important in chemistry.

    Note that Greek letters (and other special symbols) are produced by using a backslash, \, and then typing the name of the letter. Capitalizing the name gives a capital Greek letter and keeping the name lowercase gives the lowercase greek letter. If you click the Edit Page button at the top of the screen you will be able to see the raw characters that I used to generate the equations above.

    Autonumbering Equations, Figures and Tables

    We switched over all content to the automatic number (using the pageindex text). Moreover, we often implement it after the integration of a resource, rather than at the time of integration). Our autonumbering system works automatically for Equations and requires some complexity for Figures and Tables captions.

    Each figure, equation and title number will be a three digit number (e.g., Figure 4.5.2, where the first two are the chapter and section numbers and the last number is the iteration number (e.g., Figure 4.5.2 is the second figure on section 5 in chapter 4). This allows for easy reshuffling of pages for easy remixing.

    The first two numbers come from the title of the page (AS LONG AS IT HAS THE FORMAT "chapter.section: title") for example, "4.5: The power of cats to heal".  The code for the caption is  \PageIndex{1} separated by mathjax code delimiters \( \) and will look like this for this when pasted (Figure \(\PageIndex{2}\)). It does not have a three number sequence since this page title does not follow the format above. You can copy and paste this matjax code or just add it via the "template" toolbar under "element" that are used for adding boxes.

    So, we want to use the "pageindex" in every figure and title to facilitates easy remixing. This is irrespective of the original number of harvested pages.

    It is recommend to look at a functioning page to see it in action.

    Referencing Autonumber Equations

    Referencing equations should go via a \label and \ref system. That is, to reference an equation you have to add a \label to the equations and a \ref to the citation. Then any number given to that equation via the autonumber (E.g., by chanigng the page title) will be... well automatic. Edit this page to see how it is done.

    \[E =mc^2 \label{Einstein}\]

    I really love Equation \ref{Einstein} over a fine wine and cheese. However I really hate Equation \ref{Eq1}; it reminds me of pain and destruction.

    \[\oint \vec{B} \cdot d\vec{s} = \mu_0 I. \label{Eq1}\]

    Skip over numbering an equation

    Add \nonumber to the equation and it will fall out of the autonumber. Use this when needed, but especially in Examples and Exercises. No need to clutter up the pages.

    \[G=H-T \Delta S \nonumber \]