Academic Commons Solution Stories

Uses of academy commons cannot devalue these commons

The logic of scholarly communication starts with the notion of abundance. One mission of academy commons is to manage a full range of science objects, without needing to reject some because of an arbitrary constraint on capacity or a responsibility to judge their value. The aim then is to maximize the usefulness and usage of these objects by supporting discoverability, mining, sharing, and reuse. Commons are governed to be used globally and without constraint. Using it this way adds value to it, and returns value to the academy.


Unlike natural resources (a fishery, a forest, etc.) the digital objects in scholarly communication are non­-rivalrous (apart from bandwidth competition!). Their use by one member does not devalue their use by another. Overconsumption is not a concern. The optimal state for academy commons is one that supports as much consumption of its resources as is technically possible.


Similarly, commons contributions are encouraged across all disciplines and locales. All reputable contributions add value. In daily practice, researchers maximize this value by making their objects more discoverable, mineable, and reusable. Researchers also work to build services that add value to collections of scholarly communication objects. These services will be designed to be used by anyone.


“​With ‘subtractive’ resources such as fisheries, for instance, one person’s use reduces the benefits available to another. High subtractability is usually a key characteristic of common­-pool resources. Most types of knowledge have, on the other hand, traditionally been relatively non-subtractive. In fact, the more people who share useful knowledge, the greater the common good.” Hess and Ostrom 2007


Adapted from Version .05 Force11 Commons Principles


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Idea No. 38