Authors : Lucy Montgomery, Cameron Neylon, Richard Hosking, Karl Huang, Alkim Ozaygen, Katie Wilson
Universities are key sites of knowledge creation. Governments and research funders are increasingly interested in ensuring that their investments in the production of new knowledge deliver a quantifiable return on investment, including in the form of ‘impact’.
Ensuring that research outputs are not locked behind paywalls, and that research data can be interrogated and built upon are increasingly central to efforts to improve the effectiveness of global research landscapes.
We argue that mandating and promoting open access (OA) for published research outputs, as well as the sharing of research data are important elements of building a vibrant open knowledge system, but they are not enough.
Supporting diversity within knowledge-making institutions; enabling collaboration across boundaries between universities and wider communities; and addressing inequalities in access to knowledge resources and in opportunities to contribute to knowledge making processes are also important.
New tools are needed to help universities, funders, and communities to understand the extent to which a university is operating as an effective open knowledge institution; as well as the steps that might be taken to improve open knowledge performance.
This paper discusses our team’s efforts to develop a model of Open Knowledge that is not confined to measures of OA and open data. The Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative is a project of the Centre for Culture and Technology at Curtin University.
With funding from the university, we are exploring the extent to which universities are functioning as effective open knowledge institutions; as well as the types of information that universities, funders, and communities might need to understand an institution’s open knowledge performance and how it might be improved.
The challenges of data collection on open knowledge practices at scale, and across national, cultural and linguistic boundaries are also discussed.