In the follow up on the Force11/Helmsley Scholarly Commons Working Group workshops in Madrid and San Diego, participants (and steering committee members) have been asked to write a brief description of what we think is the “best direction to develop the principles.” Here’s my two cents.1
I think that the lessons we’ve learned over the last year are the following:
- There is (or perhaps could be) such a thing as a “Commons” in scholarly communication;
- This approach to scholarly communication could have an immensely disruptive potential, as it could provide a way of completing the always-threatening development of research communication into a Common Pool Resource;
- The disruption (and the commons) will not happen without leadership; somebody needs to propose a definition of the boundaries of the commons; explain how this defintion can be used; and create the mechanisms by which it is.
Given this, I think the next step is to work on (3): providing the le Read the rest of this entry »
The “Scholarly Commons Working Group”
I am part of the Scholarly Commons Working Group at Force11. The goal of this working group is to “define and incubate” a “Scholarly Commons”—something we define as being a set of “principles, best practices, interfaces and standards that should govern the multidirectional flow of scholarly objects through all phases of the research process from conception to dissemination” in any discipline.
As part of this work, we have been working on developing the actual principles that can be said to… well, this is a bit of an issue, actually—govern?, describe (?), organise (?), define (?). Let’s just say, right now, “develop a set of principles that will help in some way identify and establish the Scholarly Commons in some useful, non-trivial fashion.”Read the rest of this entry »
…It is said that a learned professor of Heidelberg forbade his students the repetition of a certain experiment.
“But,” they protested, “it has always been successful.”
“Nevertheless,” he said, “its position among experiments is absolutely untenable from an intellectual point of view.”
The boys stared.
“The thing may answer very well in practise,” said the professor, “but it is not sound in theory.”Read the rest of this entry »