by Guy Spriggs
For almost 3 years, the Open Syllabus Project (OSP) has collected and analyzed syllabi to shed light on what texts are assigned in college courses. The Project boasts a catalog of 1.1 million syllabi, and its insights were chronicled in a January 2016 feature in the New York Times titled, “What a Million Syllabuses Can Teach Us.”
As the OSP continued the enormous task of looking through syllabi for resources and assignments, it also released the Syllabus Explorer, a search function which enables visitors to see what texts are most commonly assigned by location and field of study. It was around this time that UK sociology professor Edward Morris received a phone call from his mentor from graduate school.
“She sent me a link and said I had to check it out,” he explained. “I had no idea, because you don’t know when your work is being taught. I was