Toward Open Knowledge Environments

Speaker: Paul Uhlir


Technological progress always outstrips the ability of social systems to adapt and manage it effectively. That is certainly true of digital networks, which were developed globally in the early 1990s. Many of the legacy institutions and practices were transferred from the print medium to the network and new approaches have not yet been fully formed. What is needed is to step back to deconstruct the print paradigm and reconstruct it in a way that is optimal in the digitally networked environment.

This presentation focuses on scholarly communication processes in that context. It presents the case for a default rule of openness; discusses the principles and benefits of open communication; explores the limits of such openness, both legitimate and spurious; identifies the models that have arisen; and argues in favor of an integrated, academic approach that I refer to as an open knowledge environment.