Openness

Openness. One could put it dramatically : it’s a war of ideologies. Is education and learning for all citizens. If this is a basic right as a human being then it makes sense that as much as possible is shared widely amongst professionals increasing value for society from any knowledge that is gained and discovered.

Weller (2014) is no doubt a highly successful open scholar himself and argues for openness and I do agree with several of approaches he promotes. However with his conclusion that openness makes most sense and that overwhelmingly researchers understand the value of openness I’m somewhat doubtful about that.

Adams (2003) argues that there are issues with authentication and privacy settings that makes being openness inadequate. I think there may be some issues with that but not to the extent as since these articles there have been greater technical advances and security is high on the agenda. I think most researchers find the spontaneity in conflict with the research being accurate and peer reviewed. So for academics I have worked with the reputational risk seems high on the agenda making social media a no go. This has been one of the issues Mann (2009) raised as well, the perception of open journals not being ‘scientific’ enough putting researchers off.

I also think that researcher’s and other professions my struggle because the style of openness lending itself to influences and presenting ‘ work in progress ‘ ideas goes against that profession’s standard of working. In my opinion academics like to see finished ideas and products, have strong sense of ownership and this matters in a complete different way. Whilst working with other learning technologists it is more fluid; things can change drastically , goals or projects altered or a new tool can make whatever I make redundant.

My positive stance on openness derives from benefitting from openness. So many times other’s OERs have saved my day or fulfilled last minute requests from staff. I hope to contribute to any community I belong to. But also take a pragmatic approach and I will require working within a closed setting and use other situations where I don’t . If I did publish a paper I would like to think my choice would be an open journal, this is hypothetical. Nevertheless the advantage of today is you are able to present and blog about the things you write without involving publishers. You can use the copyright agreements open creative licensing to your advantage.

References:

Adams, A and Blandford, A (2003) ‘Security and online learning: to protect or prohibit’ in Ghaoui, C. (eds.) Usability Evaluation of Online Learning Programs, London, Information Science Publishing. Chapter 18. pp. 331–359.
Mann, Florian, et al. “Open access publishing in science.” Communications of the ACM 52.3 (2009): 135-139.
Weller, M (2012) Digital Scholarship: 10 lessons in 10 videos 2 April [online]. Available at: http://nogoodreason.typepad.co.uk/ no_good_reason/ 2012/ 04/ 10-digital-scholarship-lessons-in-10-videos.html (Last accessed 20 October 2015).
Weller, Martin. Battle for Open: How openness won and why it doesn’t feel like victory. 2014.
Xia, Jingfeng. “A longitudinal study of scholars attitudes and behaviors toward open‐access journal publishing.” Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 61.3 (2010): 615-624.
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