Learning from Libre Knowledge Initiatives

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The aim of this page is to develop a collection of pages to share knowledge from initiatives which have thrived on libre knowledge.

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Peer production

Encyclopaedia-like initiatives

There is some knowledge to be gained via the learning of Wikipedia and Wikipedia-like initiatives (e.g. Appropedia).

  1. Design it so that each component (e.g. article or page) can stand alone and be connected to other components. Communities grow around each component or collection of connected components. (e.g. Wikipedia's Community Portal).
  2. Ensure that users and contributors are free to use, adapt, and share the knowledge as they are with the above examples.

e.g. Wikipedia's license.

Educational initiatives


Peer production for these has not matched the scale of Wikipedia. One reason relates to modularity (above) - books and educational resources require more discussion on structure and continuity than do encyclopaedia articles. Most chapters or modules cannot stand alone and need careful coordination to ensure continuity and style consistency.

Some educational initiatives have addressed this issue through close associations with universities and other institutions. For example:

For such repositories, peer-review processes become important (and more-so below).

The Mediawiki platform includes a corresponding discussion page for each page/article and a facility for users to be (optionally) e-mailed if any pages on their watch lists change.

In all cases, the freedom of anyone to participate at any time, even during early conceptualisation of a topic, is key to starting off in a sensible direction and keeping the knowledge resource alive.

Open Access

Another level of knowledge is academic research publishing. In this area, one of the most progressive business models is that of:

As the scale of a project and the scale of collaboration increases, more effort has to be directed towards managing the contributions. Continually building of a vibrant QA community is key here. Be careful that the sub-culture within this community does not become _too_ vigilant.

Institutions may need to invest extra resources in the early stages to screen material before liberating it until the culture of sharing is embedded in their modus operandum.

NB Knowledge wants to be libre: so, why not start off that way and say libre :-).

See Also