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Open Textbook Initiative

Measuring Impact of OER

There are several ways to measure the impact of textbooks. Authors and publishers of traditional textbooks track specific metrics like books sales, royalties, course adoptions, and e-book downloads. However, creators of open educational resources often have different goals than commercial publishers and may want to consider alternative types of metrics. For example, the author of an open textbook might be more concerned with student savings than book sales. Deciding which metrics are essential to track should not be a last-minute decision. Instead, consider metrics closer to the beginning of a project as authors and publishers might not be interested in the same metrics, e.g. an author may be more concerned with the success and adoption of their textbook. In contrast, a publisher may be more concerned with the overall sustainability and success of their program. Also, authors are better positioned to collect specific metrics, while publishers and libraries are better positioned to collect others.

Metrics Resources

36 Indicators of OER Impact

     Metrics to consider for OER

  • Downloads36 Indicators of OER Impact
  • Page visits
  • User engagement (e.g. web page visit duration)
  • Sales of physical copies
  • Course adoptions
  • Adaptations and remixes of the resource
  • Reviews
  • Peer review
  • Student surveys and testimonials
  • Overall cost savings for students
  • Effect on the textbook market



36 Indicators of OER Impact by Janet Swatscheno, licensed CC BY 4.0. This graphic is adapted from 56 Indicators of Impact by Holbrook, J Britt, Kelli R. Barr, and Keith Wayne Brown. 2013. Figshare. Licensed under CC BY 4.0

© Western Sydney University, unless otherwise attributed.
Library guide created by Western Sydney University Library staff is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY)