Universities and knowledge sharing: Evaluating progress to openness at the institutional level

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.

URL : https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02141887

Open Data, Grey Data, and Stewardship: Universities at the Privacy Frontier

Author : Christine L. Borgman

As universities recognize the inherent value in the data they collect and hold, they encounter unforeseen challenges in stewarding those data in ways that balance accountability, transparency, and protection of privacy, academic freedom, and intellectual property.

Two parallel developments in academic data collection are converging: (1) open access requirements, whereby researchers must provide access to their data as a condition of obtaining grant funding or publishing results in journals; and (2) the vast accumulation of ‘grey data’ about individuals in their daily activities of research, teaching, learning, services, and administration.

The boundaries between research and grey data are blurring, making it more difficult to assess the risks and responsibilities associated with any data collection. Many sets of data, both research and grey, fall outside privacy regulations such as HIPAA, FERPA, and PII.

Universities are exploiting these data for research, learning analytics, faculty evaluation, strategic decisions, and other sensitive matters. Commercial entities are besieging universities with requests for access to data or for partnerships to mine them.

The privacy frontier facing research universities spans open access practices, uses and misuses of data, public records requests, cyber risk, and curating data for privacy protection.

This paper explores the competing values inherent in data stewardship and makes recommendations for practice, drawing on the pioneering work of the University of California in privacy and information security, data governance, and cyber risk.

URL : https://arxiv.org/abs/1802.02953

Open access to scientific knowledge and feudalism knowledge: Is there a connection?

The role of universities and transnational corporations in the circulation of scientific knowledge is considered. If institutions generate, mostly scientific knowledge, trying to facilitate its free circulation, then transnational companies, contrarily, try to remove most significant and cutting-edge scientific knowledge from free circulation and its commercialization and reintroduction into an open, but now commercial, circulation in the TRIPS.

However, paradoxical, the open access movement to scientific knowledge, eventually, facilitates feudalism of knowledge. We call this phenomenon the ‘open access – paradox’. Based on the experiments done with Google Scholar and Google Patents, it is shown that universities generates, mostly scientific knowledge (scientific articles), and transnational companies generates, mostly technological knowledge (patents).

URL : http://www.webology.org/2011/v8n1/a83.html

Cross-Disciplinary Writers’ Group Stimu…

Cross-Disciplinary Writers’ Group Stimulates Fresh Approaches to Scholarly Communication: A Reflective Case Study Within a Higher Education Institution in the North West of England :

“For the inexperienced writer it can be difficult to know how to start writing, while for those with some writing experience, it is often seen as a luxury for which there is precious little time to indulge. This reflective case study describes the role of a cross-disciplinary writers’ group, as a writing intervention, within a higher education institution in the North West of England. Established in 2006, the group has always had a librarian as part of its membership and has been informed by the literature on successful writers’ groups. Monthly meetings facilitate ongoing scholarly activity; we share group roles and seek to extend our knowledge of writing practice including writing conference abstracts, constructing an argument, collaborative writing projects, and negotiating authorship. At the inception of the writers’ group, members were seeking to develop their writing portfolio. We are now at various stages of our scholarly development, ranging from early career writers to well published authors and editors. The model of a collaborative writers’ group has provided a winning formula for those wishing to develop scholarly communications as part of their daily activities and has valuable lessons from which academic librarians might learn.”

URL : http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a928309394~frm=titlelink