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.

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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... more »

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Commons are open to all participants who accept their principles

Commons support a diversity of skills and knowledge without privileging any. All commoners will find a home for their knowledge and their interests. Participation in a commons is not restricted on the basis of accreditation, professional standing or reputation, or any other criteria except willingness to contribute and uphold the principles of the commons. Content and behaviour are the only criteria for moderation within... more »

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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.

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These commons are an ecosystem that is defined by the interactions of each and every commoner that participates in jointly... more »

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All contributions to academy commons are attributed

Academic commons are constructed so that all activities that contribute to human understanding and scholarship are attributed unambiguously. This is both to recognise contribution and establish provenance and responsibility. While this recognition can be used by other systems as the basis for the assignment of rewards (e.g. pay, promotion, positions, and honours), commons do not impose an intrinsic hierarchy on participation:... more »

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Academic commons accept all contributed objects that adhere to their guidelines on an equal basis regardless of form

All research objects that conform to the parameters of academy commons can be housed in or referenced by these commons on an equal basis. There are no intrinsically preferred forms, genres, or approaches.

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In order to improve the breadth and pace of knowledge generation, academic commons will accept any contributed object that adheres to their guidelines. Because these commons are grounded by a logic of abundance... more »

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Content in academy commons are OPEN and FAIR​: Findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable by humans and machines.

Because academy commons are explicitly launching in the age of machine­ and human­-based networks, all scholarly objects and content is to conform to FAIR principles (Wilkinson et al., 2016). While the original FAIR principles explicitly referenced data, in academy commons, the idea of FAIR is extended to all types of ​digital outputs, including conversations, annotations, comments. "Open" here adds the aspect of publicly... more »

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A publisher in an academy commons is any entity that will ensure that outputs are open and FAIR

Any person, organization or other entity can make scholarly work public. As long as the criteria for FAIR output are met, this is considered publishing a work. There will be no action in academy commons that is restricted to publishing companies or entities that currently act as such (e.g. scholarly societies), nor are they excluded. In order to participate in academy commons, publishers must ensure that work adheres... more »

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All activities and outputs that take place in academy commons remain in common

All content and services in the these commons will be publicly shared. All resources are openly available and may not be removed.

Currently, academic research is surrounded and interpenetrated by an economic logic that manufactures scarcity as a means to grow arbitrary value and improve profit margins. Scholarly communication needs to grow its own digital economy. And for this, it needs to capture the value that researchers... more »

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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... more »

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There is an expectation of service by commoners to support research and scholarship in these commons

Scholarly communication will establish its own form of do­ocracy. Leadership will be gathered from its edges, where new working groups will be building and expanding the collection and its services. Effective group leaders will find that their service opens up new doors for greater service (no good deed goes unpunished). A reputation for accomplishing significant work will form the basis for participation in leadership... more »

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Commons regularly respond to the requirements of commoners

Academy commons will need to be reflexively learning to address internal and external issues. The way forward requires an effort that spans the entire practice of scholarship, from intellection to publication. Researchers face the task of redesigning the scholarly workflow, while they inject these new modes of doing research and publication into the broader academy.

Scholars and scientists want to accomplish their research,... more »

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Academy commons exist independently of the technology, funding, and business models that support and enable them

Academy commons are enabled but not controlled by technology, funding or business models. Their modes of operation accommodate, facilitate, stimulate and adapt to any developments in these areas that promote their goals. Because the needs of commoners and the means to meet these will be emergent, and academy commons must remain nimble and able to pivot.

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

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Academy commons stimulate behaviors that support openness in all stages of the research cycle

Incentives in academy commons are designed to stimulate behaviors that support the production and dissemination of the best scholarship and science. They encourage respect for commons governance and rules and they discourage behaviors and practices that inhibit participation. They apply to all stages of and participants in the research cycle. They respect and support non­standard research outputs (such as datasets, software)... more »

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In academy commons, the form research is disseminated in is determined by the needs of the research itself

Academy commons encourage research to be disseminated in the form that makes the most sense for that research: i.e. as a dataset, software, clinical practice notes, letters, blogs... or articles and monographs. They discourage the use of inappropriate forms solely for reasons of tradition, metrics, or to satisfy reward or evaluation systems (e.g. the publication of an article in order to claim credit for a dataset or... more »

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Better than Tenure: new thoughts on the bargain between universities and their faculty

What is better than tenure? Here are the beginnings of potential guidelines, a strawman to build from. What's YOUR solution?:

1) A university-wide pay scale for teaching courses that allows for incremental adjustments for years served, and bonuses for class size and results (how do we want to measure results?). No second-class citizens in this system. Everyone who steps up to teach has the rank of professor. The full-time... more »

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