Academic Commons Solution Stories

Academy commons welcome and encourage participants of all backgrounds

Academic commons welcome and encourage participants of all genders, social, regional, ethnic, linguistic, and disciplinary backgrounds. They also recognise that disagreement is an inherent part of research communication, including disagreement as to fundamental principles and theories.

 

Discussion

 

These commons are an ecosystem that is defined by the interactions of each and every commoner that participates in jointly building their commons. Just like every other ecosystem, these commons can not be a monoculture, instead they need diversity in order to survive and thrive. This means that commons need to be welcoming to participants regardless of gender, social, regional, ethnic, linguistic, or disciplinary background.

 

While many scholarly disciplines differ in their culture of how to generate, treat and store their scholarly objects, commons must be open to all of them. In the same vein they can not be biased towards a fixed set of cultural expectations. Traditionally language has been one of these roadblocks. With English as the dominating language this also leads to an expectation of Latin­derived, left­to­right direction­biased systems, making participation hard for commoners outside this frame of reference.

 

In a similar way, commons can not only rely on the expertise of traditional scholars. Instead they need to be open and accessible to commoners that don't fit the academic stereotypes, or indeed never were in academia. Creating scholarly objects and performing scholarly activities is not limited to the traditional academic scholarly community. This means that commons must be open to non­traditional research questions and answers, including those proposed by non­professionals.

 

As ommons are not a piece of infrastructure, this dedication to diversity and inclusion does not only need to be reflected in the technical systems supporting them, but also (and much more importantly) in the actions of each commoner.

 

Adapted from Version .05 Force11 Commons Principles http://bit.ly/2r8mWPT

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