Academia As Commons

I received this in one of the edu-factory email updates (full text and downloadalbe pdf here).  Now, I don’t really know if say, philosophical blogging, is going to amount to a sea-change within the discipline that many insist upon, but this article about open access technology and higher ed is interesting.

Academia as a Commons: How open technologies can help higher education expand collaboration, innovation and public access to knowledge.

By David Bollier

(David Bollier has been the Croxton Lecturer at Amherst College for the past semester, teaching a course, “The Rise of the Commons.” Below are remarks that he delivered at the Robert Frost Library on April 26, 2010).

I realize that any mention of digital technologies and copyright law can induce a certain mental stupor among many people. The topic is rife with many complicated legal and technical issues. But I believe that we commoners have too much at stake to leave copyright law to the lawyers and the Internet to the techies.

The very mission and identity of academia is implicated in the future of digital technologies, the Internet and copyright law. At stake is the ability of colleges and universities to act as inter-generational stewards of knowledge? to assure that their own scholarly output is freely accessible and usable?. to curate knowledge in better ways and to disseminate it as broadly as possible and to foster innovative research and learning.

Unfortunately, we find ourselves in a messy interregnum between the age of centralized mass media dinosaurs and the distributed, open, participatory platforms of the Internet. We are caught in a political and cultural morass filled with constant disruption, confusion, angst and uncertainty. There is one thing that I am certain of, however: This is the time to seize the initiative. Rarely have the forces for progressive change in education had such wide, inviting openings. Continue reading

Open Access Publishing

Here‘s an interesting exchange about Open Access (with a variety of resources linked):

Freiheit oder Enteignung der Wissenschaft?
Ein Gespräch über die Open-Access-Bewegung und ihre Kritiker
Von Thomas Anz und Gerhard Lauer

Gerhard Lauer ist Professor für Neuere deutsche Literatur an der Universität Göttingen, Mitglied der Göttinger Akademie der Wissenschaften, gewählter DFG-Fachgutachter für das Fachkollegium Literaturwissenschaft, Mitglied des DFG-Unterausschusses Elektronische Publikationen, des Wissenschaftlichen Beirats der deutschen Informationsplattform Open Access ( und der europäischen Plattform Open Access Publishing in European Networks (OAPEN). Bis 2007 war er Mitglied des Lenkungsausschusses im Aktionsbündnis “Urheberrecht für Bildung und Wissenschaft”, das am 25. März 2009 dem von Roland Reuß initiierten, von vielen Schriftstellern, Wissenschaftlern und Verlagen unterzeichneten Aufruf “Für Publikationsfreiheit und die Wahrung der Urheberrechte”mit einer Presseerklärungentgegentrat.