Contribute to the

Soils Laboratory Manual

The Soils Laboratory Manual is open-source, meaning it is a product of a community of contributors. The best way you can contribute to the Soils Laboratory Manual is to develop your own edition of the manual, and then share your edition with the community via the Soils Laboratory Manual Library.

Developing your own edition of the Soils Laboratory Manual

The intent of the Soils Laboratory Manual is to provide the foundation for instructors to develop own laboratory instruction materials catered to specific teaching styles and courses, as well as to the needs of students. As an instructor, you can use the manual in its current form, make minor changes, or make significant changes to suit your needs.

The Creative Commons License

The Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License allows anyone to share the Soils Laboratory Manual in any medium or format. Users can also modify or build upon the Soils Laboratory Manual. However, the manual must never be sold for profit (charges for nominal printing fees, such as those from a university bookstore are acceptable). Also, when shared, the Soils Laboratory Manual must be attributed to the primary authors, Colby J. Moorberg and David A. Crouse, plus anyone who has made significant contributions (see below for more details).


If you plan to make changes of any kind to the Soils Laboratory Manual, we ask that you strive to maintain the existing format of the manual. The Word document for the founding version of the lab manual has been set up with customized "styles" to use for headings, captions, answer keys, etc. Please use those styles when remixing, modifying, or building upon the manual. Citation management is performed in the original version using Zotero. The citation style (and all other style guidelines) should follow that of Natural Sciences Education. The If you have any questions about how to format the manual, please contact us.

Authorship and Attributions

Contributors to the Soils Laboratory Manual are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the extent of the contributions. In addition to the method of acknowledgement described for each category below, all contributors must be listed in a PDF document associated with each edition of the Soils Laboratory Manual. When shared in the Soils Laboratory Manual Library, this document should be stored in the same folder as each institution-specific Soils Laboratory Manual edition.


Co-authors are listed on the front of each edition of the Soils Laboratory Manual. For all editions the co-authors shall include Colby J. Moorberg as first author and David A. Crouse as second author. The names of these two authors may be followed by names (in the same typeface and font size as the first and second author) of additional persons whose contributions have significantly modified or built upon the original version of the Soils Laboratory Manual. Contributions that warrant Co-authorship include:

  • Developing an institution-specific edition involving:
    • Significant changes to four or more chapters, or
    • Development of two or more completely new chapters

Secondary Authors

Secondary authors may be listed on the cover in a noticeably smaller font size than the names of co-authors. Alternatively the names of all secondary authors who have contributed to that specific edition of the Soils Laboratory Manual can be listed in alphabetical order by last name in the "About This Manual" section of the manual inside the front cover. In cases where secondary authors are listed on the cover, their name(s) shall be preceded with the text "With contributions from...". Contributions that warrant secondary authorship include:

  • Contribution to the development of the original Soils Laboratory Manual (Those who meet this criteria are listed in the "About This Manual" of the Soils Laboratory Manual - K-State Edition), or
  • Development of an institution specific edition, including:
    • Minor changes to multiple chapters, or
    • Significant changes to less than three chapters, or
    • Development of one completely new chapter


Contributors are acknowledged in the text of the manual, commonly in captions or as footnotes. Contributions that warrant this acknowledgement include:

  • Editorial support
  • Creation of new figures, tables, or activities

Minor Contributors

Minor contributors are valuable to the continued improvement of the manual. Contributions that warrant this acknowledgement include:

  • Identification of errors
  • Highlighting of needs for clarification

Note: when a persons contributions do not fit within the guidelines described above, present the contribution to the Google+ community (see below) to determine the appropriate level of recognition.

Sharing New Editions

This section is under development.

Google+ Community

If you would like to contribute to the project, discuss the development of an edition for your institution with other instructors, or just connect with other instructors using the Soils Laboratory Manual, we encourage you to join our Google+ community: Soils Laboratory Manual Contributors Google+ Community.

The heading collage is from the cover of the Soils Laboratory Manual, which lists individual photo information on page ii