Pop! Foundations for the Canadian Humanities and Social Sciences Commons

“One of these metaphors with close ties to geographical space is that of the research commons: a shared knowledge resource that may comprise physical, digital, theoretical, and intellectual space (see Hess and Ostrom 2006, 3). The research commons has historical roots in the medieval English tradition of designating certain lands for common use, which became enclosed for private use over time. Political philosophers and critics have since struggled with the concept of a commons: historically, in terms of land, labour, and materials, and at other times in terms of public access to knowledge. Drawing on this intellectual and material history, this paper introduces the Canadian Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) Commons, an open online space where Canadian HSS researchers and stakeholders can gather to share information and resources, make connections, and build community. Situated at the intersection of the fields of digital scholarship, open access, digital humanities, and social knowledge creation (see El Khatib et al. 2019), the Canadian HSS Commons is being developed as part of a research program investigating how a not-for-profit, community-run research commons could benefit the HSS community in Canada. This paper is the first on this topic to date, providing a foundation for conceptualizing the commons, its potential benefits, and its role in the Canadian scholarly publishing ecosystem. By situating the Canadian HSS Commons within the intellectual history of the commons and within the Canadian research ecosystem, this paper explores how this open, community-based platform complements existing research infrastructure serving the Canadian HSS research community. First, it introduces the Canadian HSS Commons and the community it is designed to serve. Next, it discusses its historical and intellectual context, discussing the transition from “grassy commons” (Boyle 2003, 41) to digital commons. After outlining types of digital knowledge commons and how they are being enclosed, it concludes by looking to the future of the Canadian HSS Commons within the digital research landscape….”

Pop! The Open Scholarship Commons

“Higher education in the United States is in crisis. We see this in the reduction of state funding to public universities totalling US $9 billion over the past decade.1 We see this in the continuation of proposed funding cuts to the government agencies that are key to making new discoveries possible.23 Broadly, we see a continuing decline of the public’s confidence in higher education.4 It is clear that steps must be taken to restore the public’s faith in the academy and to demonstrate the value of research and education for the public good. But where do we start and what role can the library play? This paper will outline how we believe the design of a new physical and virtual space, an Open Scholarship Commons (OSC), can help advance research and education for the public good. In what follows, we will outline why we need an OSC in the library, walk through our visioning (or ideation) process for this space, share the vision and values for the space, and discuss our implementation process….”

Policy Commons

“Policy Commons is a one-stop community platform for objective, fact-based research from the world’s leading policy experts, nonpartisan think tanks, IGOs and NGOs

We treat think-tank publications as a formal body of literature in its own right, with tools to systematically search it, cite it, understand its impact, catalog it, and preserve it for the long term….”

Policy Commons

“Policy Commons is a one-stop community platform for objective, fact-based research from the world’s leading policy experts, nonpartisan think tanks, IGOs and NGOs

We treat think-tank publications as a formal body of literature in its own right, with tools to systematically search it, cite it, understand its impact, catalog it, and preserve it for the long term….”

IASC 2021 Knowledge Commons Virtual Conference, June 9-11, 2021

“The virtual conference, a 3-day meeting with pre-recorded and live events, will address problems defined by knowledge systems, including innovation spaces, digital resources like Wikipedia and Stack exchange, open-source software development, the future of science and education, the archival of existing knowledge, cultural commons and citizen science.

What are the opportunities (low costs of sharing and reproduction, collaboration, access) and challenges (privacy, security, freeriding, inequality, incentives, manipulation, artificial intelligence biases, exclusion, trust)? …”

The Library Commons: An Imagination and an Invocation – Jennie Rose Halperin on Vimeo

“Commons can take many forms, like gardens and cooperatives, but also neighborhood associations, consensus based community organizations, and more. In libraries, they may take the form of community cataloging projects, civic engagement projects in conversation with artists, community archives, or open and direct dialogue on topics that concern the community. Commons can be ephemeral or permanent, a long term project or a moment of transcendence.

As professionals concerned with the free and open dissemination of knowledge, librarians could represent the commons in their communities, but more often than not fall into the neoliberal paradigm of the managerial business class and free-market values. This talk will introduce librarians to modern commons theory and present alternatives, from Undercommons to worker power to decolonization, and outline alternative paths of resistance for knowledge workers striving to envision the world as it could be, not as it is.”

Where Does Open Science Lead Us During a Pandemic? A Public Good Argument to Prioritise Rights in The Open Commons | Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics | Cambridge Core

Abstract:  During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, open science has become central to experimental, public health and clinical responses across the globe. Open science is described as an open commons, in which a right to science avails all possible scientific data for everyone to access and use. In this common space, capitalist platforms now provide many essential services and are taking the lead in public health activities. These neoliberal businesses, however, have a central role in the capture of public goods. This paper argues that the open commons is a community of rights, consisting of people and institutions whose interests mutually support the public good. If OS is a cornerstone of public health, then reaffirming the public good is its overriding purpose, and unethical platforms ought to be excluded from the commons and its benefits.

Where Does Open Science Lead Us During a Pandemic? A Public Good Argument to Prioritise Rights in The Open Commons | Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics | Cambridge Core

Abstract:  During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, open science has become central to experimental, public health and clinical responses across the globe. Open science is described as an open commons, in which a right to science all possible scientific data for everyone to access and use. In this common space, capitalist platforms now provide many essential services and are taking the lead in public health activities. These neoliberal businesses, however, have a central role in the capture of public goods. This paper argues that the open commons is a community of rights, consisting of people and institutions whose interests mutually support the public good. If OS is a cornerstone of public health, then reaffirming the public good is its overriding purpose, and unethical platforms ought to be excluded from the commons and its benefits.

Who Benefits from the Public Good? How OER Is Contributing to the Private Appropriation of the Educational Commons | SpringerLink

Abstract:  The idea of Open Educational Resources (OER) has a history and is embedded in social contexts that influence its practice. To get a handle on tensions between different conceptualizations of “open” we discuss some of the battles surrounding the usage of the term. We note the origin of the concept of OER and how the emergence of the OER movement fits into the discourse of educational improvements through technologies and techniques. We argue that there is a relation between an uncritical stance toward technology and the appropriation of education activities by private oligopolies, a phenomenon that could be mitigated by a larger awareness of recent history and current sociotechnical analysis. We point out how these dilemmas play out in the Brazilian context of the implementation of OER in public policies and conclude by mentioning some programs and projects that point to the way forward.