January 28, 2022

International Publishers Association Releases Position Paper Re: Open Educational Resources

The International Publishers Association (IPA) includes publisher organizations in Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, UK, U.S.A., and a number of other nations.

From Today’s News Release (PDF):

The policy paper notes that open educational resources have worked well as complements to textbooks and commercial content, but the experience of the past  decade — with free content on the Internet aiming to replace publisher-created textbooks— has demonstrated that it is difficult to maintain the quality, efficacy and sustainability necessary for good education.

The position paper calls on policy makers to continue to explore new content procurement models, but to avoid damaging education by replacing effective and efficient  textbook markets with untested content creation mechanisms. Asking simple factual  questions when embarking on OER projects can ensure their success and avoid hurting education.

Says IPA Policy Director José Borghino: “Those advocating OER across the board sorely underestimate the skill and experience required to create and maintain excellent educational content. OER can work well as supplements. But where these resources seek to entirely replace commercial content produced by publishers in a competitive environment, then quality, pedagogy and, ultimately, teachers and students suffer. OER  cannot provide adequate mechanisms to ensure that the content follows the latest curriculum, that it is maintained, updated and enhanced within an active feedback loop which includes teachers all along the way. That’s what publishers do. Replacing  functioning competitive markets with this kind of free content comes at a high price.”

Direct to Full Text of IPA Position Paper (2 Pages; PDF)
The paper is titled, “Publishers and Open Educational Resources can work together”

See Also: International Publishers Association Membership List

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.