The Open Syllabus Project has three main strategies for collecting syllabi:
- Scraping publicly-available (e.g., university) websites.
- Securing agreements with universities for access to syllabus archives.
- Receiving ‘donated’ syllabi from individuals.
If you are a university administrator who would like to help us with #2, please contact us directly. We’d love to talk.
If you are a faculty member or instructor willing to share old syllabi, we’d love to have them. Please attach your syllabi to an email (individually or wrapped in a .zip or .rar file) and send them from a college or university email address to:
In addition to building the core collection, we are trying to build a ‘full permission’ collection that we can publish in connection with the works on the syllabi. If you’re willing to let us republish your syllabi, please include the word “Public” in the subject line of the email.
If you do not give explicit permission to make your syllabi public, we will never publish them.
If your attached syllabi cover multiple fields, years, or institutions, don’t worry. Our algorithms do a decent job of figuring this out per document.
More about sending us syllabi:
- The OSP works with syllabi from colleges and universities, but not high schools or non-accredited programs.
- We accept syllabi in all major document formats–PDF, DOC, DOCX, HTML, TXT and so on.
- We would be especially happy to receive older syllabi. Our collection is very thin prior to the early 2000s.
- The same class taught in two different semesters counts as two classes for the purposes of the OSP. As long as the documents are differentiated by date, we can handle them.
- We accept syllabi from non-US institutions. Currently, we map syllabi systematically back to institutions in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and less systematically to many other countries.
- We can handle syllabi (and citations) in languages other than English.
- Syllabi are ‘private’ by default, meaning that we will not display the documents–only the metadata (citations, dates, locations, etc.) that we can extract from them. We want to eventually provide access to source documents when we have either permission to do so or confidence in the public domain status of the works.
- Because fully incorporating new syllabi into the Explorer is a fairly laborious process, we can do so only in large batches. If you send us your syllabi, please have some patience with this process. We’re grateful for your support and make sure they are incorporated into the collection.