The Oxford English Dictionary is held in high esteem by everyone. It has established a name for itself over time. However, the presence of innumerable online alternatives has killed the business based around printed dictionaries.
Seeing this trend, the Oxford University Press has decided not to publish a hard copy of the next version of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). Instead, they are stressing more on the online publication system.
Therefore, the Oxford English Dictionary will now be available only as e-books. The current OED available online receives two million page views per month and is a subscription based service.
Nigel Portwood, the chief executive of OUP, told the Sunday Times,
The print dictionary market is just disappearing; it is falling away by tens of per cent a year.
That is a considerable drop and by that rate, it will take the OED 4 years to drop to a poor 65%. Considering that the next full edition is a decade away and by that time, the figure would have reached around 35% at 10% per year.
Compared to the millions of dollars the OED invests in research of new words and managing lexicographers, its profits from the sale of OED is minimal. The dropping sale figure looks disappointing and moving to an e-book format is the best decision the OUP can take at this time.
Most of the printed media is also trying to maintain a parallel system of digital publications on the Internet. Most newspapers do it nowadays. This system proves beneficial to all and makes the business failsafe.