See the appropriate section below.

Your work may be eligible for some funding from the Harold Pinches and Glenn Schwab Teaching Materials Fund which supports projects which facilitate development or effective distribution of ASABE teaching materials, including textbooks.


Manuscript Format

Several features of the book manuscript format are of the utmost importance in the preparation of your manuscript to ensure consistency and quality throughout the textbook or monograph and, therefore, a professional appearance. For more general information on correct usage and ASABE preferences, refer to the Guide for Authors. For specific information on page format for manuscripts, refer to the Manuscript Templates.


Guidelines for Textbooks

  • cover generally accepted concepts,
    The subject matter in most textbooks is material accepted without debate by a particular technical discipline. Most textbooks contain a limited number of key references, and most of the references relate to additional reading material or note the origin of data and certain figures. Most textbooks do not include many specific references within the text itself. For example, a textbook on thermodynamics would not directly reference the works of Fourier, whose law of heat flow is an accepted fact.
  • provide for a logical development of the material,
    Textbooks begin by stating, deriving, or referencing basic material and then develop the theory as it moves toward a specific goal. A complete textbook may be built from two or three basic concepts, or several of the individual chapters may introduce new concepts. The latter chapters will necessarily depend on the earlier chapters.
  • contain examples and problem assignments, and
    The reader of a textbook is trying to learn a new subject. This learning experience is enhanced by numerical examples that show how the basic concepts are related and applied. The textbook also contains problem assignments of varying degrees of difficulty and, ideally, with answers for selected questions. The examples and problems should be realistic. That is, the numerical values should reflect magnitudes encountered in real-world situations. This learning experience is important for mastering the design process.
  • are not written by committees and should have a limited number of authors.
    The authors' names appear on the cover but not on the individual chapters. Some authors give credit to an individual non-author who has written a specific chapter or a significant section. This is usually done in the foreword or as a footnote.

    Several publishers retain the original-edition authors' names for one or two further editions, even when the original authors do not participate in the revisions. This is why some textbooks list four, five, or six authors. An example is Mechanics of Materials by Higdon, Olsen, Stiles, Weese, and Riley (Wiley & Sons, 1976). The revision of this book was done by Riley. The other authors of the original edition chose not to participate.

Procedure for Developing a Textbook

The initial responsibility of a prospective author is to submit to the ASABE Publications Director

  • an outline of the proposed book,
  • sample chapters, including examples and problems, and
  • author and co-author names, titles, and affiliations.

The text should be prepared using the ASABE Guide for Authors and the book template which contains additional instructions.

For the preliminary review, the P-515 Teaching and Learning Resources committee will select several reviewers, including experts in the subject area proposed and in the area of textbook publishing to examine the chapters, examples, and problems. The reviewers will offer comments, pose questions, and provide constructive criticism to the authors for consideration in the further development of the manuscript. Reviewers use the preliminary review form to answer these three questions and provide comments:

  • Does the sample chapter meets acceptable standards for technical accuracy?
  • Does the manuscript conform to the published guidelines? Textbooks need to address the four requirements above.
  • Does the textbook merit endorsement by the P-515 Textbook Committee? The full manuscript will be reviewed after completion and before publication.

See this example preliminary review.

While the selected reviewers examine the manuscript, the ASABE editorial staff will work with the committee to determine the feasibility of the project. This includes a study of the need for the textbook, the number and quality of similar textbooks in use, the size of the potential market, and the ability to provide the textbook at a reasonable cost.

If the committee, the selected reviewers, and ASABE editorial staff agree that the proposed manuscript has potential as a textbook, then the authors will be offered a publishing agreement.

A final review of the completed manuscript will be conducted by reviewers selected by the committee. The manuscript will be checked for technical accuracy and to ensure conformation with published textbook guidelines. Reviewers will complete the final review form.

Authors must obtain copyright permissions for any content used. We suggest using a spreadsheet to list each figure or other potentially copyrighted item and track if permissions have been obtained.

If you wish to make your textbook open access under the CC BY-NC-ND license, you need to secure funding for it. Examples include Introduction to Biosystems Engineering and upcoming Irrigation Systems Management textbooks.


ASABE offers many organizational and administrative advantages for monograph publication. Major advantages of publishing a monograph through ASABE are the Society's production capabilities, which facilitate low-run book production, a marketing program to ensure the widest distribution of your work, and our online Technical Library, which provides full text to ASABE members and site-licensed institutions and searches and abstracts to all users.

Monographs printed under the auspices of ASABE must:

  • Be a complete treatise on a single, specific subject.
  • Be limited to compilation of subject matter not presently available in normal publication channels or in a single publication and include original data and up-to-date research.
  • Be a scholarly publication to serve the needs of the intended reading audience.

Procedure for Developing a Monograph

Monographs may be developed by a single author, up to four authors, or by one or more volunteer editors who oversee the work of individual chapter authors. The lead author for the monograph (referred to as the editor) should, with the cooperation of any coeditors or coauthors, develop and submit a proposal to the ASABE Publications Director. Your initial proposal must include:

  • The proposed monograph title.
  • A brief outline of the monograph including the table of contents and the author(s) for each chapter.
  • A sample chapter.
  • A clearly defined reader level and audience to which the monograph is primarily directed, including professions other than agricultural and biological engineering, such as agronomists, civil engineers, etc.
  • The unit system you plan to use. The ASABE Board of Directors requires the use of SI (metric) units as the primary units in all ASABE refereed publications as well as in ASABE Standards, Engineering Practices, and Data. SI units are recommended for all other ASABE publications.

Preliminary Review

The P-515 Teaching and Learning Resources committee will evaluate the monograph proposal by selecting three or four competent specialists in the field to serve as reviewers to determine the advisability of producing such a monograph. The reviewers will report to the committee indicating the credibility of the proposal. After considering the report of the reviewers, the committee will either accept or reject the monograph proposal, taking into consideration the financial feasibility study provided by ASABE editorial staff.

If the committee, the selected reviewers, and ASABE editorial staff agree that the proposed manuscript has potential as a monograph, then the authors will be offered a contract.

After approval of the proposal, the editor provides the authors with instructions to ensure uniformity in citing literature, cross-referencing, writing style, preparation of graphs, charts, tables, etc. The editor sets deadlines for first drafts, final proofs, and other necessary stages of development. In addition, the editor may inform the author that replacements will be made if deadlines are not met.

The editor will submit a written progress report to the chairman of the Teaching and Learning Resources committee at least 30 days in advance of each ASABE Annual Meeting. The report should include the status of the project and a schedule for completion of the monograph. More frequent communication will occur between the editor and ASABE editorial staff.

The editor completes the technical editing, assembles the manuscript (including a preface, table of contents, title page, list of authors and their professional titles, and acknowledgments), and forwards it to the ASABE Publications Director.

Final Review

The completed manuscript will be thoroughly reviewed by the same specialists who evaluated the monograph proposal. The Teaching and Learning Resources committee bases its final vote on the reviewers' comments and recommendations.

The ASABE technical editor edits the manuscript for style. Before final pages are printed, the editor and authors are given an opportunity to review each chapter to ensure that the technical meaning has not been changed. The monograph editor is responsible for submitting final proof copy and for preparing the index. Once the review is complete and the ASABE technical editor has approved the corrections, the manuscript is forwarded to the printer.

Duties of the Teaching and Learning Resources committee

  • Encourage and stimulate interest in developing monographs.
  • Receive proposals for monographs as described under the preceding procedure section.
  • Appoint reviewers to evaluate the feasibility of proposed monographs.
  • Receive and review recommendations from reviewers.
  • Accept or reject monograph proposals, taking into consideration the reports of the reviewers and the financial feasibility study provided by ASABE staff.
  • Maintain contact with the monograph editor.
  • Report the progress of each monograph to the Publications Steering Council at each ASABE Annual Meeting.

Duties of the Editor

  • Prepare a proposal for the monograph.
  • Select authors and alternates for each chapter.
  • Contact and secure consent of the authors to prepare the manuscript.
  • Provide authors with specific instructions for preparing the manuscript.
  • Ensure a timely schedule and set deadlines for various stages of manuscript development.
  • Prepare the preface, table of contents, title page, list of authors, acknowledgments, list of reviewers, and index.
  • Complete the technical editing, assemble the manuscript, and forward the final manuscript to ASABE headquarters.
  • Coordinate the proofing with assistance of the authors.
  • Replace chapter authors as necessary.
  • Submit a written report to the chairman of the Teaching and Learning Resources committee 30 days in advance of each ASABE Annual Meeting.

Duties of the Chapter Authors

  • Prepare a detailed outline of the chapter consistent with the objectives of the monograph.
  • Prepare the manuscript of the chapter and submit it to the editor before the deadline date. The preparation of graphs, tables, and other details must follow the style prescribed by the editor.
  • Correct proofs.
  • Prepare an index of the chapter.