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Remapping the Global and Local in Knowledge Production: Roles of Open Access
 

Remapping the Global and Local in Knowledge Production: Roles of Open Access

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It is generally acknowledged that researchers and institutions in the Global South suffer from knowledge isolation because of poor infrastructure and lack of access to key resources, including the ...

It is generally acknowledged that researchers and institutions in the Global South suffer from knowledge isolation because of poor infrastructure and lack of access to key resources, including the current literature. The remedy is therefore capacity building and the transfer of not only knowledge, but also the institutional framework of knowledge creation from the North to the South. In this context, Open Access to the scholarly literature is seen as a means of bridging the global knowledge gap.
 
In this presentation, I argue that a key contributor to the continual knowledge divide and the invisibility of knowledge from the Global South is the persistence and dominance of Northern frameworks of research evaluation and quality metrics, coupled with outmoded national and international innovation policies based on exclusion and competitiveness. These narrow measures have tended to skew international research agenda and undermine locally relevant research.
 
A great opportunity that Open Access provides is the means to develop alternative metrics of research uptake and impact that are more inclusive of knowledge from the South, particularly those with development outcomes. In particular, it is important to re-conceptualize and re-design the metrics of research impact to reflect new scholarly practices and the diverse means of engagement enabled by OA and the new wave of social media tools. At the same time, appropriate policies need to be developed to reward open scholarship and to encourage research sharing — issues of particular importance for ending knowledge isolation. Examples of the new kinds of “invisible college” enabled by networking tools and OA will be presented, and particular attention will be paid to innovations emanating from the periphery.
 

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  • Reframing the Global and the Local in Knowledge Production: Roles of Open Access  It is generally acknowledged that researchers and institutions in the Global South suffer from knowledge isolation because of poor infrastructure and lack of access to key resources, including the current literature. The remedy is therefore capacity building and the transfer of not only knowledge, but also the institutional framework of knowledge creation from the North to the South. In this context, Open Access to the scholarly literature is seen as a means of bridging the global knowledge gap.  In this presentation, I argue that a key contributor to the continual knowledge divide and the invisibility of knowledge from the Global South is the persistence and dominance of Northern frameworks of research evaluation and quality metrics, coupled with outmoded national and international innovation policies based on exclusion and competitiveness. These narrow measures have tended to skew international research agenda and undermine locally relevant research.  A great opportunity that Open Access provides is the means to develop alternative metrics of research uptake and impact that are more inclusive of knowledge from the South, particularly those with development outcomes. In particular, it is important to re-conceptualize and re-design the metrics of research impact to reflect new scholarly practices and the diverse means of engagement enabled by OA and the new wave of social media tools. At the same time, appropriate policies need to be developed to reward open scholarship and to encourage research sharing — issues of particular importance for ending knowledge isolation. Examples of the new kinds of “invisible college” enabled by networking tools and OA will be presented, and particular attention will be paid to innovations emanating from the periphery.  
  • metrics of total publications and citations.Top 15 countries account for 82% of total publicationsAuthor with African institutional affiliation account for less than 1% of global output, and S. Africa has the highest output. The rest are “invisible”Consequence of trying to publish in “International” journal results in neglect of important local problems and solutions that are appropriate for local conditions.
  • Consequences of publishing in “internatioanlly” indexed journals
  • information, research, and publication capacities are intimately linked. Investigators, publishers, editors, and editorial organisations all have important parts to play in solving this global information poverty.Horton R. North and South: bridging the information gap. Lancet 2000; 355: 2331–36.““institutional racism” has a very precise meaning. According to the UK’s Commission for Racial Equality, institutional racism “occurs when the policies and practices of an organisation result in different outcomes for people from different racial groups”. The term, if one accepts that it is appropriate for medical journals, does not mean that individual editors are racist. It does mean that the scientific, medical, and public-health priorities of the rich world are presented as the norm.”
  • he New Invisible College, Caroline Wagner combines quantitative data and extensive interviews to map the emergence of global science networks and trace the dynamics driving their growth. She argues that the shift from big science to global networks creates unprecedented opportunities for developing countries to tap science's potential. Rather than squander resources in vain efforts to mimic the scientific establishments of the twentieth century, developing country governments can leverage networks by creating incentives for top-notch scientists to focus on research that addresses their concerns and by finding ways to tie knowledge to local problem solving. T

Remapping the Global and Local in Knowledge Production: Roles of Open Access Remapping the Global and Local in Knowledge Production: Roles of Open Access Presentation Transcript

  • Remapping the Global and the Local in Knowledge Production: Roles of Open AccessGlobal participation in e-research and Leslie Chanscholarly communication: Open access Bioline Internationalstrategies for African institutions Centre for Critical Development StudiesUniversity of Cape Town, Aug. 10, 2012 University of Toronto Scarborough
  • Key points• Open Access as an enabler• “Journal” no longer serves the needs of networked scholarship• From Wealth of Nations to Wealth of Networks• Need to rethink measurements of “impact” and values, especially for development• Innovations are happening in the “peripheries” but there are gatekeepers and structural barriers• Aligning funding and reward policies with new value frameworks
  • The World of Journal Publishing According to Thomson’s ISI Science Citation Index Data from 2002 http://www.worldmapper.org/display.php?selected=205
  • http://thomsonreuters.com/
  • $$$http://ke.thomsonreuters.com/#/index.html
  • “… at a recent editorial team meeting, we discussed a researchpaper from a LMIC author. The science was well done and with alittle editing for English, the paper was potentially publishable. Butshould we send it out for review? The question we were wrestlingwith was whether its findings were sufficiently new to make itworthy of page space in the journal. This is always a considerationfor all manuscripts, since competition for space is intense and apriority is to publish interesting research that adds something newto the field, rather than too many replications of studies alreadydone. So the initial response when deciding whether to send thepaper out for peer review was: Reject. We already know this, dontwe?”
  • “No journal can afford to devote all or even mostof its precious page space to studies essentiallyfinding again what others already found, with onlythe places changing. And this may be a good placeto remind authors that we almost never publishprevalence studies, unless they are truly the firstever done (and sometimes not even then), sincethey tend to be of interest primarily in thecountries within which they were conducted.”
  • So who decide on what is “new” and legitimate knowledge? AndWho have access to that knowledge?
  • “We editors seek a global status for ourjournals, but we shut out the experiences andpractices of those living in poverty by our(unconscious) neglect. One group isadvantaged, while the other is marginalised.”Richard Horton, THE LANCET • Vol 361 • March 1, 2003
  • “Research or reviews that cover diseases unlikelyto be encountered in the western world will notgather the citations that some editors seek.But if this commercial environment doesseriously skew content away from what mattersto those people the journal claims to serve, as itsurely does at some journals, the culture ofmedicine is distorted, even harmed.”Richard Horton (2003)
  • “Is the scientific paper a fraud?”“I mean the scientific paper may be a fraud becauseit misrepresents the processes of thought thataccompanied or give rise to the work that isdescribed in the paper. That is the question and I willsay right away that my answer to it is ‘yes’. Thescientific paper in its orthodox form does embody atotally mistaken conception, even a travesty, of thenature of scientific though”. http://contanatura- hemeroteca.weblog.com.pt/arqSir Peter Medawar uivo/medawar_paper_fraud.pdf(From a BBC talk, 1964)
  • Commons-basedpeer productionin the networkedeconomy
  • "commons-based peer production refers to anycoordinated, (chiefly) internet-based effort wherebyvolunteers contribute project components, and thereexists some process to combine them to produce aunified intellectual work. CBPP covers many differenttypes of intellectual output, from software to libraries ofquantitative data to human-readable documents(manuals, books, encyclopedias, reviews, blogs,periodicals, and more)”Krowne, Aaron (March 1, 2005). "The FUD based encyclopedia:Dismantling the Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt aimed at Wikipediaand other free knowledge sources". Free Software Magazine.
  • From “Big”science toNetworkedscienceKnowledge forlocal problemsolving
  • Need for policy alignment and institutional redesign Governance ofKnowledge Commons Rethink the values and reward system Social Accounting and Expanded Values
  • Broadening the definition of “success”, “impact”, “value” and “capital”Business value monetary return, financial capital, efficiency, competivenessScholarly value Reputation and citation; trust; symbolic capitalInstitutional value Public mission, community outreach, intellectual capitalSocial value Equity, participation, diversity, social capitalPolitical value Evidence based policy, transparency, accountability, civic capital
  • Institutional DesignSustainability as a set of institutional structures and processes that build and protect the knowledge commons (after Sumner 2005, Mook and Sumner 2010)
  • Conclusions• Open Access is just the substrate, but an essential one• Metrics are driven by values, so what do we value in higher education? – Equity, equality, diversity, inclusiveness in knowledge creation and collaboration• Remapping the local and the global and “world class excellence”• Seeing university “excellence” through the lens of openness and sustainability
  • http://www.openoasis.org http://www.bioline.org.br http://www.openaccessmap.org Thank You!chan@utsc.utoronto.ca