Friday, February 22, 2008

Knowledge as a public good implies Open-access

In the post "Access and Taxes" to a new interesting blog Knowledge Rules, John Willinski, a Stanford professor of education, discusses open-access policy and its potential impact on the public use of knowledge. Willinski is concerned with both the public service question and current changes in scholarly communication when the universities are in a position to direct endowment earnings toward greatly increasing access to the very body of knowledge they produce:
"Access to this body of knowledge could mean anyone could add high-quality, easily accessible references to such public services as Wikipedia and MIT’s highly celebrated Open Course Ware with its course syllabus and instructional materials. It would alter the balance between sound and questionable information online, and serve, in this way, the larger world of interested scholars and dedicated amateurs, concerned parents and social activists, high school teachers and other professionals, policy-makers and, yes, lobbyists. Does free access to research and scholarship sound too far-fetched, [...] ?"

No comments: