Open Scholarship and UQ

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In 2011 CEIT, with support from the Vice-Chancellor and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), will be conducting a major investigation into UQ and Open Scholarship.


Open” means accessible to anyone, anywhere, with no barriers from logins, firewalls, or a need to belong to an institution or an association, or to subscribe to a website. 


Much of the material on the Internet, and especially in the WWW, is freely accessible. For instance, we take it for granted that our browsers will be free: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome and others. 


Open” covers many kinds of things: courses, applications, data, text, audio, video, graphics and more. For teaching, learning and research the umbrella term is “Open Scholarship”. 


In 2001 the Massachusetts Institute of Technology made what was then a radical decision to put all its courses on the Web for all to use. This is the now famous OCW (Open CourseWare) initiative:


OCW is more than a free distribution service for content. It is a window in to what academic staff teaching at MIT think is important about courses they teach and an invitation to see how they've chosen to organise, assess, share and engage with the subjects they teach. In some cases there are videos of teaching interactions to give further insight into their interpretation of the act of teaching.


UQ iTunes University, a step in that direction, providing a simple, easy-to-use download service to move video, audio, and text files about course content and unverisity programs from their server to your connected device (computer or mobile phone) equipped with the iTunes application. It is an efficient content dissemination process, but it does not show the conceptual organisation and inter-relationships with the discipline subject that one finds in an OCW course site.


For example, consider "5.111 Principles of Chemical Science" - there are pdfs, video lectures, tests, and more. But it's the layout and presentation that helps you see it 'fit' together in a particular way - that which Prof. Cathey Drennan has chosen to organise the course. In other words, it's more than a list of files in a directory.


More than 100 leading institutions world-wide, including Harvard University and Michigan State University, have followed MIT’s lead. It is no longer radical, but it is still provoking. There are obvious tensions with institutional corporate plans and Intellectual Property, for a start. 


So what should UQ do about Open Scholarship?


In 2011 CEIT will be conducting interviews, dissemination groups and surveys of staff and students at UQ: 

  • What do we know about Open Scholarship? 
  • What do we think about it? 
  • What do we think UQ should do about it? 

Vice Chancellor's Seminar Series on Open Scholarship


The first event was a lecture and workshop by Professor Gráinne Conole of UK’s Open University: 


  Talk Title: "Open Scholarship in the Age of Global Competition

  When: Monday, Feb.21st, 2011

  Where: Room 141, James Foots Engineering Building, Bldg 47A

  Time: 10:00 am - 11:30 am


The second event is a lecture by Prof. John Houghton, Professorial Fellow at Victoria University's Centre for Strategic Economic Studies (CSES) and Director of the Centre's Information Technologies and the Information Economy Program.


  Talk Title: "Exploring the economic impacts of open access to publicly funded research"

  When: Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 

  Where: Terrace room 613 Top floor Sir Llew Edwards Building no. 14, St Lucia campus of UQ

  Time: 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm (12:30 pm for 1:00, coffee)


For more information, please contact Prof. Phillip Long