H2O helps law faculty make digital casebooks that are free, simple to update and easy to access and print.
All of the content on H2O is free to access and covered by a CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 license.
To make casebooks you'll need an account. Sign up for free here.
Once you login, your account menu will appear in the upper right corner, and from there you can access your profile and dashboard or you can sign out.
Complete your profile by adding your display name and your school.
From your profile, request verified professor status to get a green check mark and ensure that your casebooks appear in search results.
Your dashboard is where you'll find all the casebooks you've authored.
Once you've logged in, access your dashboard from the account menu in the upper right corner of the screen.
Creating a Casebook
Click the "Create Casebook" button at the top of the page to get started.
There are two ways to create a casebook on H2O. You can build a new casebook from scratch or you can adapt an existing casebook.
Building from Scratch
Building a new casebook from scratch is easy. There are many different ways to do it, but here's a method we like and recommend:
- 1. Add a title.
- 2. Add the sections and sub-sections that form the basic structure of your casebook.
- 3. Add the resources (cases, texts, links) you want to each section.
- 4. Annotate individual resources using elisions, highlights, links and notes.
- 5. Publish your casebook
Read on below to learn more about each of these steps.
Adapting Existing Casebooks
To adapt an existing casebook, search our database of casebooks for the one you want to use as a starting point. You can search by keyword (like "Torts" or by author (like "Zittrain").
Select the casebook you want to adapt, then click the "Clone" button to create your own draft version of the casebook.
Once you've cloned the casebook to create your own draft version, you can make changes by adding or deleting sections or resources, and by making your own annotations.
You can edit the title of your casebook and add a subtitle and headnotes by clicking on "Casebook" tab. Hit the Save button after making any changes to these fields.
Sections form the structure of your casebook. To add a section, click the "Add Section" action button, and then fill in the section title, as well as any section subtitle or headnotes. Click "Save" when you're finished updating the title, subtitle and headnotes. The Section will initially appear at the bottom of your casebook contents, but you can move a section by clicking and holding your mouse button, then dragging and dropping it into the desired location.
Check out our video on adding resources here.
Resources form the content of your casebook. To add a resource to your casebook, click the "Add Resource" action button.
Then select the type of resource you want to add. H2O currently supports three resource types: (1) Cases; (2) Texts; and (3) Links.
Cases are opinions issued by courts. H2O supplies them. You can search our database for the citation of the one you want. When you click the case within the search results, H2O will add it to your casebook. If the case you want is not appearing in search results, let us know and we'll add it to the database.
Texts are resources created by users. Often these are introductory or explanatory notes prepared by the author to offer context about a case. They also can include questions, problem sets, statutory references or any other content the author adds. To add a text, simple use the text editor form to include and style your content.
Links are resources that point to materials hosted elsewhere on the web. These can be websites, government reports, articles, blogposts, etc.
>Watch our how-to video on making annotations here.
Once you've added a case or text resource to your casebook, you can make several different types of annotations, including eliding text, replacing text, higlighting text, adding comments to selected text and adding links to selected text. Annotations can only be added to a casebook that you have permission to edit, and is in draft mode. This part of the guide walks you through each type of annotation.
Authors often want to hide text that is not essential to the casebook, such as portions of cases that discuss unrelated issues or factual or procedural background. With H2O, authors can use elisions to hide any unnecessary text. Here is an example of an elision:
H2O hides the text but readers can view the hidden text by simply clicking on the ellipsis.To make an elision, select the desired text, then use the annotation menu that pops up in the right margin to choose the "Elide."
H2O then will hide that text, marking the elision with an ellipsis.
To remove the elision, click the edit icon in the right margin and select "Remove elision."
To maintain readability, authors often want to replace elided text with their replacement text that paraphrases the hidden content or supplies needed transition words. H2O supports this through annotations that allow authors to supply replacement text for elided passages.
To use this type of annotation, simply select the text you want to hide and then choose "Replace" from the annotation menu.
You'll then be prompted to type your replacement text into a form. When you're finished, press enter:
To remove or edit the replacement text, click the edit icon in the right margin and use the menu.
Highlights work just as you would expect. Select the desired text, pick "Highlight" from the annotation menu, and H2O will apply a yellow background color to the selected text.
To remove highlighting, click the edit icon in the right margin and select "Remove highlighting."
H2O allows authors to attach notes to selected passages in any case or text resource. To add a comment, as with other annotations, select the desired text, then pick "Add note" from the annotation menu.
H2O allows authors to attach external links to selected passages in any case or text resource. To add a link, select the desired text, then pick "Add link" from the annotation menu and enter the URL, then press enter.
Publishing a Casebook
Watch a short video on publishing your casebook here.
While you're working on your casebook, it remains in "Draft" mode, indicated by the yellow banner at the top of the page and by the draft label on your dashboard.
When you're ready to share the book publicly, click the "Publish" button visible to the right of the contents.
Once a casebook is published, it's freely accessible to everyone online, and it can be copied, modified and adapted by any accountholders. In addition, if you're a verified author, your published casebook will appear in search results on H2O.
Revising a Casebook
H2O enables authors to revise published casebooks at any time. While you're working on a revised draft, your original published casebook remains publicly available. When you're done making changes, you can publish your revised casebook, and it will replace the prior version.
To revise a casebook, click the "Revise" button to the right of the casebook contents:
H2O will create a draft version of the published casebook, which you can modify however you like. Until you publish the revised version of your casebook, your working draft will appear in your dashboard as a yellow banner over the blue, published casebook. Click the yellow banner to access the draft, and click anywhere else on the casebook image to access the published version.
When you're done making changes, click the "Publish" button, and H2O will substitute the new, revised version of your casebook for the prior version.
Please note that H2O currently does not maintain copies of prior versions of casebooks. If you want to ensure that an existing version is not replaced, then you should clone the published casebook and create a new casebook rather than revise the existing casebook.
If you're ready to export/print your casebook, visit the Printing Casebookss section of this help guide.