NextGen Books: A TIB Project Site Launch

NextGen Books — making the future book
Contact: Simon Worthington, 

NextGen Books brings together two existing Open Science Lab R&D threads — book sprints and semantic publishing pipelines.

The goal of the project is to support research and services in new methods and open-source infrastructures for making the future book.

NextGen Books is part of the Open Science Lab’s contribution to the NFDI4Culture Consortium’s work on enhanced publications.

Modern digital infrastructures have neglected the book. The challenge is how to connect these new technologies and renew how the book is made and read. One strength of the book is its age-old function of being a condensing point of complex or fast-moving knowledge domains. NextGen Books looks at the different roles of the book in the research life cycle and how to improve its functionality. Our focus is on how to apply technologies such as: multi-format pipelines, computational publishing, and the application of open standards.

Our bookshelf

The project carries out its work by making book productions and prototypes — you can find a list of past productions on our website bookshelf. If you have a book project that wants to make use of our know-how or services, please get in touch. Here are example multi-format books we’ve supported:

  • Citizen Science Skilling for Library Staff, Researchers, and the Public. #CS4RL
  • The Open Science Training Handbook
  • Crisis Management — Textbook for Public Health

Citizen Science Skilling for Library Staff, Researchers, and the Public. #CS4RL

Crisis Management - Textbook for Public Health Services

The Open Science Training Handbook

What we do

On the project website you will find information cover the following areas:

  • Make Single source pipeline software for multi-format outputs. The ADA Pipeline can now output multi-format publications to GitHub/Lab using automatic typesetting. See the publication: #CS4RL 
  • Run book sprints expanding rapid publishing methods across workflows
  • Apply standards across multi-format and computational publishing

How it started

During the initial stages of the COVID crisis the Open Science Lab was involved in a research cooperation with the Academy of Public Health Dusseldorf producing eleven book sprints with over one hundred health professionals covering topics such as: outbreak management, global public health, to public health law. This important work produced textbooks that went straight into use for students in public health training, where before no open access books were available. The project was a significant step in improving technology for the rapid dissemination of healthcare knowledge.

How it’s going

The NextGen Books project continues the book technology development within the German NFDI4Culture Consortium of the National Digital Research Infrastructure (NFDI) as a project for making data publications and enhanced publications.


We continue to work with open-source community collaborators and other TIB R&D projects. Most notably in open-source publishing are Fidus Writer and Vivliostyle, but also networks such as the SSPC (Single Source Publishing Community), COPIM (Community-led Open Publication Infrastructures for Monographs), and knowledge graph and machine learning research groups such as CEVOpen. Below are details on the two open-source collaboration partners:

  • Fidus Writer has produced a real-time collaborative academic web-based word processor and is one of the few open-source projects to continue working in the space of ‘real-time collaborative WYSIWYG web-editors’.
  • Vivliostyle Foundation is a Japan based community of volunteer developers. Vivliostyle have pioneered heuristic paged media typesetting in the browser, filling the gap that tech giants like Google or Microsoft choose to neglect.

Image: „Toi toi toi“. Adaptation of Blush illustration. The Blush open license, illustrations for commercial and non-commercial purposes.

… is the research in NFDI4Culture - Data Publication - and project lead on #NextGenBooks project at the Open Science Lab, TIB – German National Library of Science and Technology. Board member of FORCE11 and member of the LIBER Citizen Science Working Group.