Last week I was at the RepoFringe conference along with Peter Murray-Rust. I gave a presentation about open scholarship – briefly outlining what it is or could be, and looking to engage with people on enabling it.
The presentation was well received, although subsequent discussion stalled somewhat on issues of the differences between different types of community – for example, humanities vs sciences. Whilst there are undoubtedly differences, I think we would all be served better by focussing on the similarities. Although it is not beneficial to attempt to make different people communicate in a uniform fashion, there are undoubtedly shared values between these sorts of community.
Therefore, the scope of open scholarship should cover any community that can share in common goals over and above their particularities. So the definition of open scholarship must be vague – not even a definition, but a list of demands; and as scholarship is an activity in which we and our communities partake, these cannot be demands that we make of others; these should be demands of ourselves – what we demand of each other and of anyone that wishes to be part of a community named open scholarship.
As the purpose of scholarship is to discover and disseminate new ideas (at least, that is what I am currently claiming it to be), the demands of open scholarship should form a code of practice for a scholar of any sort.
Scholars are not limited to a particular discipline; they are not limited to a particular institution; they are not limited to a particular activity. In fact, every person, to some extent, is a scholar.
Anyway, this week I will be continuing to develop these concepts of open scholarship, and hoping to author a list suitable for dissemination similar to the open definition and the panton principles. This will be ongoing at http://okfnpad.org/openscholarship, then moved to a more permanent home once stabilised.
I will also be continuing work on the Open Biblio / BibServer projects, doing some coding on the prototype (should have an alpha up soon for the brave), and writing various funding proposals to expand on this work.
I am available this week any day except Wednesday.