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Emerald opens Knowmad Society special issue of On the Horizon at IPON

This morning, I arrived in Utrecht, Netherlands for IPON, an annual educational technology event that attracts over 5,000 ICT professionals and educators. I will give a keynote tomorrow on “redesigning the future of education in Knowmad Society: our next steps,” where I will share some of the key ideas that we presented in the Knowmad Society book.

Related to this event, Emerald Group Publishing has agreed to provide early, open access to the next issue of On the Horizon, which is themed on Knowmad Society: Borderless work and education. Please note that these are the “EarlyCite” versions of the articles, and that there may be some modifications by the time the issue goes to print on May 17. This complimentary, online access to the issue is available for IPON participants only until June 10.

A simplified instruction page for accessing the journal is available at: http://www.knowmadsociety.com/oth/

Also, full instructions for accessing the special issue are provided for IPON participants here: http://www.knowmadsociety.com/oth/oth-instructions.pdf

Very special thanks go to Emerald for making this early look possible. Again, thank you!

Startup culture and the future of academic libraries: An interview with Brian Mathews

Note: An mp3 of this interview is available for download.

“Startups are organizations dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty” (p.4)

I had the pleasure of speaking with Brian Mathews, the Associate Dean for Learning & Outreach at Virginia Tech’s University Libraries.  Mathews is one of the most creative administrators in higher education today. He is the author of the popular Ubiquitous Librarian blog, part of The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Blog Network, and the 2009 book “Marketing Today’s Academic Library: A Bold New Approach to Communicating with Students”.  Recently, Brian gained international attention for his work “Think Like A Startup: a white paper to inspire library entrepreneurialism” intended to inspire transformative thinking in higher education using insight into startup culture and innovation methodologies.

Our conversation focused on the need for academic libraries and higher education leaders to “think like a startup”, Brian’s efforts to create and sustain an innovative culture at Virginia Tech, several user-experience research projects, potential roles for librarians in massive open online courses, and the future of scholarly publishing.

“Our jobs are shifting from doing what we’ve always done very well, to always being on the lookout for new opportunities to advance teaching, learning, service, and research” (p. 2).

Mathews’ white paper “Think Like a Startup” makes a compelling case that within 20 years many of the modern academic libraries’ services will be housed and run by other units across campus.  Therefore, Mathews argues academic libraries need to forge new partnerships across campus, discover new ways to create value for their users, and experiment with radical new approaches to solving their most pressing needs.

Click the table above for a larger version.

References

Mathews, B. (2012). Think Like A Startup: a white paper to inspire library entrepreneurialism.

“Sunset 14” From the album “As Days Get Shorter” by Sharp CC BY-NC 2.5

 

Is it time to boycott non-open journals?

Danah Boyd joined the call for reforming how academics publish their work by calling for a boycott of non-open-access journals …and, provided a list of suggestions on what needs to be done now:

  • Tenured Faculty and Industry Scholars: Publish only in open-access journals.
  • Disciplinary associations: Help open-access journals gain traction.
  • Tenure committees: Recognize alternate venues and help the universities follow.
  • Young punk scholars: Publish only in open-access journals in protest, especially if you’re in a new field.
  • More conservative young scholars: publish what you need to get tenure and then stop publishing in closed venues immediately upon acquiring tenure.
  • All scholars: Go out of your way to cite articles from open-access journals.
  • All scholars: Start reviewing for open-access journals.
  • Libraries: Begin subscribing to open-access journals and adding them to your catalogue.
  • Universities: Support your faculty in creating open-access journals on your domains.
  • Academic publishers: Wake up or get out.

(The above list is abstracted from her original post.)

I probably fall under the “young punk” category in her list, and publish in both traditional and new media as an attempt to compromise and appeal to both conservative and cutting-edge scholars. How can we move away from a culture of appeasement of 20th century academic culture and refocus our knowledge diffusion toward media formats that are more appealing to younger and more tech-savvy academics –such as blogs, and the spaces where open access journals and other, new, open media interface? How long until the academy will finally accept highly commented and linked blog posts as legitimate, peer-reviewed articles in a tenure review?

Integrating Open Source models into education

In Spring 2004, Laurie Taylor and Brendan Riley published an article in Computers and Composition on introducing the Open Source model into education to transform the nature of academic research and pedagogy. In regard to research, the authors argue that adoption of the model among authors would shift the ownership of academia’s intellectual property from publishers to academic authors. Today, the number of published works are limited by the high cost of publishing them. Adoption of an Open Source model, will expand primary publishing to electronic media and allow market demands and acclaim for each work to determine the extent of distribution. Faced with a future where continuous new knowledge production will be critical to ensure the success of individuals and organizations, integration of an Open Source-based model into academia could help ensure that knowledge production among academic professionals increases and is made available.

Adoption of an Open Source-based philosophy in the classroom that is centered on collaborative production, review, and continuous revision could support an exchange system worthy of sustaining continuous new knowledge production. In a potential classroom model, students will collaborate on a project where the continuous input knowledge contributes to the structure of the finished product. Taylor and Riley believe that by connecting with a greater community for review and evaluation of the project further enhances students project planning, design and communication skills.

Related: Other thoughts on the topic from SUNY Cortland’s English Department