OER’s will damage publishing market

What damages the publishing market is not openness, it is the low adaptability to changes brought by new technologies. Open Educational Resources bring more competitiveness and disruption into educational publishing market but they are not damaging it. Instead OER bring more flexible and connected approach focused on learners’ and teachers’ needs. Upon that new business models for publishers and new services are build.

Educational markets differ in many countries or even states (as we can observe in USA and Germany). What effect OER’s can have on each market depends on many factors. Those effects are very often used as critical argument but without evidence and research.

The fact that a given product or service puts a different business model in jeopardy is not an argument against this product or service. Such reasoning leads to ceasing any progress in any area. New solutions that are more effective are clear signs of need for new business models, but also can upgrade the role of old ones. For example theaters survived even as cinema was expected to kill them.

And open textbooks allow for new business models — textbook publishers could, if they only wanted, build new business models on them. For example, they could offer high quality printing services, or adapt open textbooks to particular needs of particular profiled schools. It is additionally claimed that the destruction of this market will harm the whole economy. This is a broken window fallacy — the fact that parents will now spend less money on school textbooks doesn’t mean that this money will not get spent at all.

Want to know more?

Strategies for Sustainable Business Models for Open Educational Resources,

Open Educational Resources Infokit,  Approaches and models

Fighting Black PR around OER, Michał Woźniak,


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