Open Knowledge Environments: Concepts, Applications, and Potential Benefits


An Open Knowledge Environment (OKE) is a new way of thinking about knowledge creation, management, dissemination, and use.

An OKE uses an interactive, participatory approach, and builds on existing and emerging open access (OA) models in publishing research literature, sharing research data, and the use of open source software, to support four open knowledge-based activities:

  • (1) interactive, participatory knowledge production,
  • (2) knowledge dissemination and sharing,
  • (3) open collaboration and use, and
  • (4) storage, curation, and preservation.

An OKE is envisioned as being integrated into the educational mission of universities and research institutions. An OKE is thematic or domain specific; it focuses on a particular interest area.. An interest area could be a specific scientific research domain, such as atmospheric chemistry and physics, or an educational or professionally oriented domain, such as library and information sciences, digital humanities, communications, and education.. In terms of technology and infrastructure an OKE is an aggregate of web-based applications, information management and storage systems, collaborative knowledge production and distribution services.

The content of an OKE can include research reports, published papers, conference proceedings, primary and processed datasets, experimental procedures, grey literature, and other digital public knowledge products and services. An OKE system is integrated into educational missions. The technology and content of an OKE is seen as being developed and managed by professors, students, and experts in the libraries, i-Schools, computer science, and domain science departments, sometimes through consortia of institutions and sometimes in a single university. The application of OKE ideas and the implementation of OKE services will foster efforts to enable global access to information, facilitate inter-disciplinary work, and support young and independent researchers, as well as citizen science. This in turn will help increase the use of digital network capabilities, bridging some scientific and socioeconomic divides, and supporting development.

In this 2-session workshop, we propose to cover the following aspects related to the OKE concept and applications.

Session One: An Overview of the Open Knowledge Environment Concept and Requirements First Presentation: Introduction, by Paul F. Uhlir and Raed M. Sharif • An overview of the Open Knowledge Environment (OKE) Concept • Rationale and potential value of the OKE Second Presentation: An OKE: Technical Requirements, by Dr. William L. Anderson, Praxis101, USA Third Presentation: An OKE: Policy and Sociocultural Requirements, by Dr. Raed M. Sharif, Syracuse University, USA Fourth Presentation: An OKE: Economic and Legal Requirements, by Paul F. Uhlir, J.D., National Academy of Sciences, USA. Session Two: Examples of Applications and Potential Benefits of Open Knowledge Environments (OKEs) First Presentation: Potential Benefits of the OKE to Developing Countries: the Caribbean Region Experience, by Prof. Robert Lancashire, University of West Indies, Jamaica Second Presentation: Potential Benefits of the OKE in Higher Education in Taiwan, by Dr. Tyng-Ruey Chuang, Academia Sinica, Taipei Third Presentation: Applying the Concept of an OKE: Lessons from the Digital Lin Chao Geomuseum, by Prof. Liu Chuang, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China Fourth Presentation: An Example of a Mature OKE: The GeoBrain Portal, by Prof. Liping Di, George Mason University, USA.

Category: Session Proposal

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