Creativity and the Promise of Openness
Chapter Ten: Openness and the Global Knowledge Commons: An Emerging Mode of Social Production for Education and Science
This chapter documents the potential for the open access (OA) of knowledge, information and debate to create a new public space and culture that could underpin education, democracy and the economy. The implication of this discussion of OA is that it could release the knowledge, creativity and research to develop highly skilled productive economies to the benefit of the many rather than the few. However, the developments in OA, which are documented below need to be balanced against the possibilities that the same technologies that enable OA can be used to generate economic crises, arbitrage the cost of skilled labour and de-skill knowledge based jobs across the globe. We are at point in history where the liberating potential of OA is finely balanced against a set of opposing forces.
On February 14, 2008, Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences adopted a policy that required faculty members to allow the university to make their scholarly articles available free online.1 The new policy made Harvard the first university in the United States to mandate open access to its faculty members’ research publications and marked the beginning of a new era that will encourage other U.S. universities and universities around the world to do the same. Open access means putting peer-reviewed scientific and scholarly literature on the internet, making it available free of charge and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions, and removing the barriers to serious research. Open access has already transformed the world...
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