Open Social Scholarship Annotated Bibliography/Section I: Forms of Open Knowledge

From Wikibooks, open books for an open world
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Open Social Scholarship Annotated Bibliography
Section I: Forms of Open Knowledge (Overview) Forms of Open Knowledge and their History →

Section Overview[edit]

The “Forms of Open Knowledge” section addresses the circulation of open knowledge in digital and non-digital environments. The entries in this section are divided into categories that showcase different forms of knowledge creation and dissemination, including historical instances of open knowledge, major shifts in knowledge production in the Western world, and contemporary manifestations of knowledge creation in the digital medium. Included authors share the conviction that knowledge is a universal human right, and that it should be accessible to all. Resources in this category tie some of the early instances of open knowledge to the development of public libraries. Other, more contemporary forms of open knowledge are explored in the context of scholarly communication, as well as open access and open source movements beyond academia. The infrastructure of these movements has been built through the commitment of organizations, such as the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN, responsible for the open protocols of the Internet) and the Free Software Movement (defense for the stability of open structures). A general increase in access to knowledge on a global scale is one of the defining characteristics that distinguishes the contemporary world from that of previous generations (Kelty 2008).

The majority of the 157 entries in this section were published after 2000; each of the five categories showcase between 12 to 47 annotations:

  1. Forms of Open Knowledge and their History
  2. New Modes of Scholarly Communication
  3. Open Access
  4. Open Source
  5. Open Data

Some of the key historical moments in the formation and cementing of open knowledge are addressed in the “Forms of Open Knowledge and their History” category, including the development of the public library system in the Western world; the switch to journals from private letters as a means of sharing knowledge, marked by Philosophical Transactions; and the rise of the philosophy of public access in seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century institutions. The second category, “New Modes of Scholarly Communication,” traces the evolution of scholarly communication with the advent of the digital age, focusing on the means by which knowledge is produced and disseminated as a result of open access culture. “Open Access” is the movement and practice addressed in the third category, which aligns itself with the ideology that knowledge is a human right and should be accessible to anyone with Internet access. This position is justified by authors who offer practical paths for successfully implementing open access in a capitalist society. By collating resources related to the umbrella term “Open Source,” the fourth category generally refers to the practice of openly sharing, modifying, and reusing software code. Initiatives such as the Free Software Movement and the Open Source Movement have played an important role in the current structure of the Internet and continue to be prominent voices defending the interest of users in contemporary debates about the accessibility of the web (Kelty 2008). This category also includes the development of Open Source programming, from its origins in Linux and Apache, to its potential for collaborative software development (Godfrey and Tu 2000; Hars and Ou 2001; Lerner and Triole 2002). Resources range from the theoretical to the technical to the political. The fifth and final category, “Open Data,” includes resources that debate making research data publicly available and usable. This category also explores the motivations for institutions and researchers to openly publish, or refrain from publishing, their data (Murray-Rust 2008; Piwowar and Vision 2013).


  • Godfrey, Michael W., and Qiang Tu. 2000. “Evolution in Open Source Software: A Case Study.” In ICSM '00 Proceedings of the International Conference on Software Maintenance (ICSM '00). Washington, DC: IEEE Computer Society.
  • Hars, Alexander, and Shaosong Ou. 2001. “Working for Free? - Motivations of Participating in Open Source Projects.” In Proceedings of the 34th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (2001). Washington, DC: IEEE.
  • Kelty, Christopher M. 2008. Two Bits: The Cultural Significance of Free Software. Durham: Duke University Press.
  • Lerner, Josh, and Jean Tirole. 2002. “Some Simple Economics of Open Source.” The Journal of Industrial Economics 50 (2): 197–234.
Open Social Scholarship Annotated Bibliography
Section I: Forms of Open Knowledge Traditional Forms of Open Knowledge and their History →