Jonathan Wants to Know: How Many OER Are There?

This is at the same time a simple and complex question posed by @poritzj in his Mathematikoi site (if you are curious like me, read the story behind the name)

image on Jonathan’s site licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license

Here is the question…

I was writing something recently and wanted to use a sentence along the lines of “The OER world is growing by leaps and bounds.” I would have preferred to say it was “growing exponentially” … but I am unwilling to use that word unless it is at least approximately correct in the technical mathematical sense. So I thought I should look around and find the actual graph which showed “the size of the OER world” over time. Surely this is something widely known which was just slipping my mind at the moment.

I couldn’t find that graph.

So I’m trying to make one.

Can you help?

Read more to see the framing of Jonathan’s question (it really is about how many open textbooks there are, but with a generous range of what might fall into that category) as well to see his approach to trying to graph these trends using a combination of the Internet Archive, some data scraping, and python visualizations.

Jonathan seeks suggestions on how to answer his question.

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