Academic Commons Solution Stories

Commons in the academy are developed and governed by their members through their practice

Commons are agreements among members (commoners) to grow and steward scholarly and scientific objects as a common resource that can (help) sustain open scholarship.




The commons starts with people: a community of commoners. To paraphrase Peter Linebaugh, there is no commons without commoners.


This means that there is no single organisation or person responsible for oversight of the commons. There is no gatekeeper who decides whether a contribution may be included. While the commons is global and community-­based, its manifestation is local. It does not exist except through the practice of its members.


Commoners contribute to and help govern the commons in many ways. They contribute research­ (and other) objects; they ensure that these objects are sharable and discoverable through the use of appropriate metadata; ​they interact with each other in the commons over ideas and scholarly objects, ​they collaborate in the development and use of appropriate standards and stewardship efforts; they acknowledge the efforts of others in their work; they promote the commons and commoning as a mode of scholarly effort.


Because the Commons is owned and led by its community, volunteers are given the responsibility to envision and build it as the destination for the future of open science and scholarship. All commoners will benefit from the impacts that the commons will make on the academy’s research and communication capabilities. Volunteer leaders will also gain satisfaction that their time and efforts will grow this resource for the benefit of all and the advancement of knowledge.


From Version .05 Force11 Commons Principles


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Idea No. 27