Metrics reporting tools are an invaluable part of a publisher’s day-to-day processes and a tremendous forecasting tool for editors. Given this concept, Andrew Rikard reports that the Stanford Literary Lab has developed a new way for publishers to gain insight into their market that expands beyond traditional reporting tools such as Bowker, Nielson PubTrack, or even a quick look on Amazon.

The article outlines information from the Stanford Literary Lab regarding the creation of the Open Source Project, which aims to gather data generated from syllabuses from across the globe. Rikard notes in the article that by crawling the millions of syllabuses electronically recorded, the OSP provides data regarding the most used (whether required or not, or even formally adopted) texts in a given field, and assigns a “teaching score;” the higher the score, the more mentions a text has received.

“…the Open Syllabus Project (OSP), a research project organizing data gathered from over a million syllabuses. By identifying the reading list on each document, the team can number and rank the most-taught books since the dawn of storing syllabuses online.” (Rikard, 2016)

Although the project is slated to be released open-source to the public, the public launch date is yet to be determined, according to the article.

To learn more about the project, please read the original article: More Than a Million Syllabuses at Your Fingertips

Work Cited

Rikard, Andrew. “More Than a Million Syllabuses at Your Fingertips.” EdSurge. Aug. 4, 2016. Accessed Sept. 7, 2016.

Image By Jonathan Joseph Bondhus (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Michelle Piehl, Cohort 12