Talk:Open academia: Principles and practices

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Latest comment: 7 years ago by Javier José Moreno Tovar18 in topic Order
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Benefits to society[edit source]

This paper argues that academia should be conducted so as to benefit society and that openness and transparency of academic processes and products are vital for a healthy relationship between society and academia.

Some (many actually) argue that Academic Capitalism (protectionism, public to private transfer, and commercialisation) is the best way for academia to benefit society. They would argue that research becomes patent-able, and if those patents return a profit, they return funds to supplement the public investment in research. They would also argue that positioning universities into commercial activity, attracts other forms of private investment and sponsorship, taking a financial burden off public revenue. While all this is debatable, (such as ver little research is patent-able to the point of profit returning, and commercialising academic practices brings unintended consequences that are yet to be accounted for as losses), it may be necessary for us to carefully consider how we set up the argument.

Perhaps something like:

This paper affirms that academia should be conducted so as to benefit society, and argues that open academic practices are now the best way to achieve that goal.

Leighblackall 22:36, 27 November 2010 (UTC)Reply

Agreed; but have reworded like this - what do you think?

This paper argues that open academic practices provide greater benefits to society, institutions and academics than do closed practices.

-- Jtneill - Talk - c 23:33, 28 November 2010 (UTC)Reply

Examples to discuss[edit source]

discussed in relation to case studies and examples (such as intellectual property[4], open textbooks[5], open journals[6] and open courseware)

We need an example to discuss open governance. Perhaps we look to WMF or even Wikiversity? Seems to me the politics in Wikiversity are very similar to that we experience at UC, in terms of intensity and manoeuvring, yet WV gov is relatively open and transparent. Other examples might be P2PU...

discussed in relation to case studies and examples (such as intellectual property[4], open textbooks[5], open journals[6] and open education (courses on Wikiversity), open governance (WV governance structure?))

Leighblackall 22:46, 27 November 2010 (UTC)Reply

Governance and methodology?[edit source]

Finally, universities should demonstrate transparent governance...

I wonder if this argument extends into methodology? I'm thinking in particular about the Australian Research Council's questionable methodology relating to the Excellence in Research Australia, Journal Ranking exercise. The ERA has been controversial because the method of establishing the list of ranked journals was not clear or well documented, let along taking into account the criticisms that such a list would retard academic work in Australia.

Finally, universities should demonstrate transparent governance and academic methodologies...

Leighblackall 23:08, 27 November 2010 (UTC)Reply

Criticisms of open academia[edit source]

They're hard to find, but might be worth including some form of collection and review of any criticism. I can think of my own Neo Colonialism concerns, and Richard Hall's call for a critique and concerns of technological fetishism. Other criticisms might point to the first discussion point here - about the benefits of academic capitalism and commercialisation, and open academia's seeming avoidance of that, remaining ideological before economically practical.

Leighblackall 01:26, 28 November 2010 (UTC)Reply

Pasted from here: Your abstract fails to mention that such open systems are flooded with non-experts who tend to poison the atmosphere, destroy any academic credibility, and turn it into a myspace/World of Warcraft type of drama mongering that is completely unacceptable at a real university. That is why real universities have credential based processes and systems to ensure the protection of both professors and students from inappropriate conflict and outsiders wishing to disrupt. Ottava Rima (talk) 23:04, 28 November 2010 (UTC)Reply
Thanks - We're mostly focusing in this paper on brick and mortar institutional practices, although in my experience they are far from free of tribal politics themselves, so I think your comment is relevant, regardless. We need to beef up the criticisms of open academia, so thankyou. -- Jtneill - Talk - c 23:38, 28 November 2010 (UTC)Reply
I was thinking more of brick and mortar people like myself who use this as a way to facility classroom material. However, I just use it more of a free "BlackBoard" type of software while you've had students here. Anyway, I was channeling Moulton above. Ottava Rima (talk) 23:51, 28 November 2010 (UTC)Reply
Ottava echos my suggestion. By way of beginning a survey of existing literature on the matter, I think this First Monday paper is pretty good, Identifying and Understanding the Problems of Wikipedia's Peer Governance: The case of inclusionists vs deletionists, we would need a few more, including ones that critique the governance and conflict issues affecting traditional academic practices, such a this paper by Susan Awbrey from University of Oregon, Making the Invisible Hand Visible: The case for dialog on academic capitalism, and perhaps the historical collection of critical writing such as Illich.
I'd stop short of saying the problems open and networked academia is experiencing in some quarters, are why traditional academia is structured the way it is - though there must be some truth to the suggestion. At this stage, and for this paper, I think it would be enough to simply point out the issue, make the qualifying statement, and list good research and writing on the issue as it affects both approaches to academic practice. Leighblackall 00:32, 29 November 2010 (UTC)Reply
Many schools were tiny, tight knit communities based on trust and friendship to try and keep out the major problems. Small rivalries did exist, but if you are a fan of Harry Potter sometimes those kind of rivals can really help you in the end. ;/ Anyway, it is true that the more people and wider sample you allow in, the greater chance for personalities that don't mix to exist. If your goal is to produce academic content, then don't let in the ones that don't create anything and you will have a better problem to content ratio. Ottava Rima (talk) 00:40, 29 November 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • Academics also create content by analyzing, modeling, and solving problems. So if one of the problems is dissension and conflict within academia, there will be academics who undertake to study, analyze, model, and solve such problems. Above, Leigh cites work by Susan Awbrey. Among her other work in academia is her pioneering work (with the late Jerry Pine) on Action Research, which is precisely a solution to that very problem. —Caprice 01:01, 29 November 2010 (UTC)Reply
You mean scientists can do that. Not all academics are scientists. In the humanities, it is more about interpreting language and justifying opinions about that language through use of agreed upon concepts and ideas. It requires intelligent debate among those who are dedicated to the same field and topic. Ottava Rima (talk) 01:18, 29 November 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • Umberto Eco — an academic who is both a scientist and an author of first-rate literature — says, "Whereof we cannot express a theory, we must tell a story instead." Before scientists are ready to craft their technical theories, we often find poets, artists, and writers portraying the issue in the form of an anecdote, caricature, or parody. —Caprice 01:32, 29 November 2010 (UTC)Reply

Barriers to open academia[edit source]

Top ten reasons why academics do not contribute to Wikipedia -- Jtneill - Talk - c 02:07, 30 November 2010 (UTC)Reply

HERDSA 2011 response[edit source]

  • NOT accepted for submission as full refereed paper for blind review
  • Recommended for re-development and re-submission as an abstract for a Roundtable by 25 February 2011
Roundtable discussion - will not provide HERDC/DIISR points

"Roundtables have been instigated in response to feedback from previous conferences that participants want more opportunities for discussion. A roundtable is an interactive session of 55 minutes designed to facilitate discussion and debate. Numbers will be limited to 10 - 12 participants per roundtable. The focus of the discussion is a clearly identified topic that reflects an emerging issue in policy, practice or research related to the conference theme. The convenor(s) will introduce the topic and indicate a number of perspectives in no more than 10 mins. The remaining 45 mins of the session will be allocated for discussion.. A nominated person will moderate the discussion."


Write up as an article and submitted elsewhere for publication in 2011. -- Jtneill - Talk - c 01:34, 10 January 2011 (UTC)Reply

I'd like to write and submit elsewhere James. Not sure where, and ERA journals probably won't give many opportunities. But we can only try. Would like to try. Leighblackall 01:43, 10 January 2011 (UTC)Reply

Inconvenience[edit source]

For professors not pursuing active research, the primary factor is arguably that wikis are inconvenient as teaching tools. Wikipedia articles are loaded with material that is either too advanced or irrelevant, and it takes time and effort for an instructor to overcome this. While quality material exists on Wikiversity, it is difficult to find. The general absence of testbanks is another factor. It is common for instructors to change physics textbooks every few years due to concern that the local student population eventually develops an informal bank of solutions to the homework problems. It is very easy for a professor to inspect two or three textbooks that arrive in the mail each year and pick one. Designing a course around wikis is time-consuming, and writing a wiki to teach a course is even more difficult.

These barriers can be overcome, but the process will be slow, especially at first. The lack of organization on Wikiversity parallels a similar such lack on Wikipedia and on commons. On Wikipedia and on commons the solution seems to be the use of external search engines (e.g. Google) to find the material. There is no reason that a Google search will not eventually lead to quality materials on academic wikis. But the growth rate will begin slowly. At the moment few people are searching, which means that few people are finding, which leads to low search engine ranking. But don't despair! What is currently low use of wikis caused by low search engine ranking, can evolve into high use accompanied by high search engine ranking. One universal property of exponential growth is that it begins very slowly. --Guy vandegrift (discusscontribs) 18:17, 25 April 2015 (UTC)Reply

Order[edit source]

The best thing about wiki is how good organized and easy accesible is information, categories are very usefull for research and for the feedback in the same speciality or interdisiplinary fields. --Javier José Moreno Tovar18 (discusscontribs) 21:16, 24 April 2017 (UTC)Reply