Scholarly Knowledge Development and Dissemination in an International Context: Approaches and Tools for Higher Education
Computers in the Schools Volume 27, Number 3, ISSN 0738-0569
This paper looks at the process of collaboratively creating and disseminating information resources, such as journals, books, papers, and multimedia resources in higher education. This process has been facilitated and encouraged by two relatively new movements, open-source and, especially, open access. The most definitive expression of the principles of open access is the Budapest Open Access Initiative. It calls for the creation of journals that are freely available via the Internet to anyone. The broad principles of open access can be the foundation for creating many types of information resources-from online textbooks to sophisticated instructional videos. What distinguishes such open access resources is that they are distributed without charge to users and that most of the individual and institutional authors give permission for them to be revised, remixed, and reformed by users, who may then distribute the "new" version of the resource. Much of the work on open access information resources is collaborative and involves international teams with diverse experiences and areas of expertise. Such collaboration is not easy, but there is a growing set of electronic tools that support such work. The electronic toolbox for collaboratively creating new information resources includes tools that can serve as "electronic hallways" where potential collaborators can meet and interact informally; gateway Web sites and document repositories that support the exchange of information; Web tools that support groups with special interests; tools for supporting project teams; collaborative writing support systems including file sharing, document exchange, and version control software; wikis where a team can collaboratively write and revise documents, and project management software. There are also many avenues for disseminating information resources. These include open-access journals and the software packages that support them such as the Open Journal Systems package from th Knowledge Project, pre-print and repository archives and the software for creating such archives (e.g., dspace, Fedora, Joomla, and Drupal), Web resources for indexing and locating relevant information, and international as well as virtual conferences and the software for operating such meetings. This paper explores the different approaches to both creating and disseminating information resources for higher education and evaluates some of the most commonly used software options for supporting these activities. (Contains 1 figure.)
Willis, J., Baron, J., Lee, R.A., Gozza-Cohen, M. & Currie, A. (2010). Scholarly Knowledge Development and Dissemination in an International Context: Approaches and Tools for Higher Education. Computers in the Schools, 27(3), 155-199.