Open Social Scholarship Annotated Bibliography/Section III: Knowledge in Action

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Open Social Scholarship Annotated Bibliography
← Groups, Initiatives, and Organizations Discussing Open Social Scholarship Section III: Knowledge in Action (Overview) Knowledge Mobilization →

Section Overview[edit]

Resources in this category investigate how knowledge is mobilized and implemented in real-world settings. Instead of defining knowledge as static—something that sits on shelves and in machines—authors in this category trace the dynamism of knowledge and how it is made useful to others. This focus can also be seen as a shift away from overly specialized niches of knowledge to a more practical approach that investigates to what end knowledge is created and to what extent it is utilized. This section also addresses and assesses the impact of technology on society at large, including the public voice in political movements and decisions. It explores how technology facilitates communication and mobilizes crowds—both virtually and in real life—to partake in various actions and activist movements. The role of technology and open knowledge in facilitating social justice in various scenarios is also addressed.

The 75 entries in this section are divided into five distinct categories with between 9 and 23 annotations each. Categories include:

  1. Knowledge Mobilization
  2. Data Management
  3. Prototyping
  4. Social Justice and Open Knowledge Facilitated by Technology
  5. Action and Activism

The “Knowledge Mobilization” category includes works that reference the dissemination of research output, as well as knowledge engagement by groups outside of the pertaining research team. Notably, Colin R. Anderson and Stéphane M. McLachlan advocate for knowledge mobilization as a practice that opposes the models of knowledge transfer that often reign in academic environments and manifest a hierarchical transmission of knowledge (2015). This top-down structure is challenged by giving voice to typically marginalized groups—mostly those outside of academia—by establishing productive channels of communication (Anderson and McLachlan 2015). Authors in this category acknowledge the value of implementing knowledge mobilization strategies and delve into possibilities, problems, and solutions, using concrete examples that employ a variety of theoretical frameworks. The “Data Management” category hones in on effective methods for organizing data and documents through the application of systematic mechanisms. The resources collected address metadata and database management, as well as data visualization. Overall, the core foci of this section are data lifecycles, infrastructural mechanisms, and effective governance of digital information. The “Prototyping” category addresses scholarly prototyping, which has proliferated over the last two decades. By experimenting with conventional forms of scholarly communication, the research prototypes in this category offer alternative modes of production, presentation, and dissemination that are supported by the digital medium. Although they have different end goals, all the prototypes in this category are experimental and innovative in their respective fields. The “Social Justice and Open Knowledge Facilitated by Technology” category engages with the effects that the digital medium has on social justice operations. Authors argue that open knowledge is a tool for social justice and demonstrate how it can advance diverse, scholarly fields, as well as society more generally. Overall, this category explores the various technologies and approaches that enable the development of open knowledge and social justice. Finally, the “Action and Activism” category describes how digital media impact the scope, outreach, and visibility of activist groups and movements.


  • Anderson, Colin R., and Stéphane M. McLachlan. 2015. “Transformative Research as Knowledge Mobilization: Transmedia, Bridges, and Layers.” Action Research, 14 (3): 295–317.
Open Social Scholarship Annotated Bibliography
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