January 26, 2022

Journal Article: “The Five Laws of OER: Observations from Ranganathan”

The following article was recently published by the Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication.


The Five Laws of OER: Observations from Ranganathan


Talea Anderson
Washington State University

Jylisa Doney
University of Idaho

Beth Hendrix
University of Idaho

Jessica Martinez
University of Idaho

Rick Stoddart
Lane Community College

Meggie Wright
Lane Community College


Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication, 7(1)
DOI: 10.7710/2162-3309.2299


Siyali Ramamrita Ranganathan’s Five Laws of Library Science (1931) has long served as a philosophy for the practice of librarianship. The original five laws remain relevant almost ninety years after they were originally proposed (Ranganathan, 1931). As new modes of information and access, as well as resources and technology, have come into existence, these laws have remained flexible and open to adaptation. However, extant library literature has not yet situated Ranganathan’s Laws within the context of open educational resources (OER). As freely accessible teaching and learning resources, OER reflect the core values of Ranganathan’s Laws; further, viewing OER through Ranganathan’s lens offers new opportunities for librarians to situate their OER work within one of the discipline’s most foundational philosophies. The following sections introduce Ranganathan’s Five Laws and their recent adaptations and provide a new interpretation of these laws within the context of OER. The implications for situating OER within Ranganathan’s Five Laws are also shared.

Direct to Full Text Article
19 pages; PDF.

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.