Open Knowledge Definition på norsk: vil du bidra?

Det snakkes mye om åpen kunnskap, åpen tilgang til forskning, åpne data, men hva ligger egentlig i “åpen”? Britiske Open Knowledge Foundation arbeider som navnet sier for å gjøre kunnskap mer åpen, blant annet ved å lage gode verktøy for produksjon og deling (se en oversikt over prosjektene deres). De har tatt initiativet til en Open Knowledge Definition, som allerede finnes på en rekke språk. Nå har de bedt meg om å oversette den til norsk. Vil du bidra?

Jeg har begynt på en oversettelse til bokmål på dette Google-dokumentet. Send meg en melding hvis du ønsker å hjelpe til, så gir jeg deg redigeringstilgang ( eller via Twitter). Selvsagt er det veldig fint om noen også er interessert i å oversette til nynorsk.

Definisjonen på åpen kunnskap er nært beslektet med andre initiativer for mer åpenhet, som Creative Commons og Open Access, og supplerer disse.

OPPDATERING: Med rask og god hjelp fra Svein-Magnus og Harald er oversettelsen allerede fiks ferdig og publisert. (Det er bare å si fra hvis du finner noe som bør rettes på — korrektur selvsagt fortsatt mulig).

Invisible logic

Scientific publishing is a side-topic on this blog. It’s fun to harass scientists who insist on keeping their knowledge invisible and block access wherever they can. Now some more proof: In a project at Sweden’s Lund University the librarians sent emails to 377 scientists about self-archiving of their articles. 269 did not even respond! Dry comment from librarian Jörgen Eriksson:

Since the authors only had to reply to an e-mail to get an article self-archived this only emphasises the general lack of awareness of and incentives to self-archiving at Lund University and, it seems, most other universities.

Related: A new report from the OECD concludes:

Governments should increase access to findings from publicly funded research to maximise social returns on public investments.

Let’s see how long it takes for the first scientist/researcher to label this another “neoliberal” OECD initiative.

The Block Access Movement

Here’s John Willinsky’s conclusion in a recent First Monday essay:

Open access to research and scholarship would foster a global exchange of public goods. It would extend and sustain an open, alternative economy for intellectual properties. It would strengthen the links between open source software – which is vital to providing open access to research – and the university’ls long– standing tradition of open science. Given the encroachments, not to mention the temptations, of the knowledge business, this is no time to take the commonwealth of learning for granted. It falls to the members of that commonwealth to recognize and support the current convergence of open initiatives that represent dedicated efforts to ensure the future of that learning.

This month, employees and students at the University of Oslo will elect a new chancellor. It is regarded as an important election, with five different candidates. Norwegian universities are experiencing a period of reform and rapid change. Many are concerned about academic freedom, and complain about commercialization. So you would expect at least one candidate to embrace ideas such as those Willinsky presents in that essay? You would be wrong. Not one of the five candidates even mentions the words open access or scientific publishing in their manifests (available in Norwegian).

You are surprised? You shouldn’t be. University people often prefer to be invisible and unlinked. They will defend “academic freedom”, but not by making their texts available to the public (who essentially is their employer, as these universities are state funded). So they become The Block Access Movement [I also think some of them are confusing open access to scientific articles with the general book market, which is something else altogether. The Open Access movement isn’t about killing off book publishing]. There was an interesting example of this when Lawrence Lessig visited Oslo in June. Check Lessig’s shocked remarks afterwards:

[A] professor (…) was celebrating the system where he was compensated every time someone copied one of his articles. I had criticized this. That criticism led to my being called “naive.” I said that while I had no problem at all with people paying to listen to music, or novels, we had to be extremely sensitive to the way price might block the spread of knowledge. And that for academic and scientific work, the best model for producing and spreading knowledge might not be one that meters each use. Professors should be paid. But let that be their compensation, and let the knowledge they produce spread widely. Yet there was a general view at the conference that this was wrong. That we hurt developing nations, for example, if we give them knowledge for free.

Last point: There are institutional open archives both at the University of Oslo and Bergen now. Most of the material you’ll find there are master theses and doctoral dissertations – because they now force students to publish there. I fear the professors will have to be forced, too. Unless they discover what the rest of the world is starting to find out: That publishing in open access journals gives greater research impact (link via jill/txt).

Invisible knowledge

A few years ago the University of Oslo used to print its own telephone book. Some professors didn’t like that everyone could find them so easily, so they demanded to not be listed in the book. The campus is a pretty big place, and without a telephone number and address it could be really hard to find these people. Hence, they could go on with their research undisturbed. Nice!

The anecdote comes to mind as I’m searching for relevant literature for Project Undercurrent, which is now going into a more active phase. So how do you find the most interesting and relevant texts – articles, books, blog posts, texts of any type that might be of interest – about blogging/personal publishing and its relationship with journalism? I know the old, hard way – try to identify the seminal works in the field, check the authors’ sources, find new must-reads there (a process described by University of Chicago sociologist Andrew Abbott as an ape swinging through the trees. Via Daniel Drezner). There’s also the requirement to locate and read what your local scholars have been doing on the subject (even if you end up not being overimpressed by them, you should at least know their work). I am dutifully doing these things, and have indeed found interesting recent writings on journalism, for example work done for the Norwegian Power and Democracy research project.

There is however a structural problem with this established system of knowledge distribution. The web has something to do with it, and with the web, Google. With Google Scholar you suddenly have a very tempting possibility to bypass the old system, or swing through the trees at supersonic speed, if you like. The results you’ll get aren’t good enough yet, or should I say complete enough, but I still believe many people searching for thoughts and inspiration on a subject, at least those not about to write doctoral theses, will start with Google Scholar, or even the regular Google. Being visible there will then tremendously increase a scholar’s real impact factor, if not her academia-sanctioned impact, especially if the article/paper is immediately available in full text.

Cue the ongoing debates about the availability of research literature. The Open Access movement is gaining momentum worldwide, and the visibility effect of Google Scholar will only accelerate the process. It won’t be fun not to be found – hiding from the telephone book may have worked for some, the punishment for hiding from Google will be more severe. It took me much less time to find the fine Into the Blogosphere collection of articles than I had to spend to locate the University of Oslo’s Media Department project Participation and Play in Converging Media (where a blog was created in 2003, but has never been updated). The University of Minnesota is on another continent, the University of Oslo next door, but invisible.

A media studies classic from the 80’s is called “No Sense of Place”. The title was even better than the author could have imagined.


Michigan-universitetets OAIster-tjeneste viser potensialet i Open Access-bevegelsen: Fordi Universitetet i Oslo publiserer digitale forskningsarbeider (doktorgrader, hovedoppgaver foreløpig) med metadata i henhold til Open Archives Initiatives standarder, kan Michigan-universitetet lage en tjeneste der UiO-dokumentene er direkte søkbare. UiO og andre universiteter må få opp farten på sine digitale publiseringsplaner.


Lunds universitets bibliotek har flere interessante prosjekter, ikke bare ressurssenteret for vitenskapelig kommunikasjon som jeg har skrevet om tidligere. Lund skal nå også bygge opp en Directory of Open Access Journals, noe enhver som har forsøkt å navigere i mengden av vitenskapelige tidsskrifter (både gratis og betal-versjoner) har savnet (i hvert fall jeg). Her er en oversiktsside over prosjekter Lund-biblioteket er involvert i.


Systemet for publisering av forskningsinformasjon har opptatt meg mye i det siste, det seneste resultatet er en artikkel i Dagens Næringsliv i dag (s. 47, vil bli lagt ut i sin helhet her senere). Den tar for seg hvordan mediekonserner som markedslederen innen vitenskapelig publisering, Reed Elsevier, har utviklet seg til de største pengemaskinene på internett. Biblioteks- og forskermiljøene forsøker å starte mot-initiativer (se oversiktsartikkel på Min favoritt her er Stevan Harnad – se for all del hans manifest med praktiske vyer for elektronisk publisering av forskningsinformasjon.