Web on the Verge of Claiming another Print Victim: The Oxford English Dictionary

Paul Lilly

For those of you who own the latest version of The Oxford English Dictionary, you might want to consider tucking it away in a safe place. Generations from now, it could become quite the collection piece as the last print version publisher Oxford University Press ever put out.

While nothing has yet been set in stone, Oxford University Press has to decide whether it makes sense to continuing putting out a print version when the digital version is doing so well.

"At present we are experiencing increasing demand for the online product," a statement from the publisher said. "However, a print version will certainly be considered if there is sufficient demand at the time of publication."

Weighing heavily on the publisher's mind is that the digital version, which runs $295 a year in the U.S., currently rakes in two million hits a month from subscribers. By comparison, the 20-volume print edition set published in 1989 has sold only 30,000 sets total.

Around the web