Earlier this year I had the pleasure of working with Morna Simpson, of Girl Geek Scotland, on Innovating with Open Knowledge, an IS Innovation Fund project at the University of Edinburgh, that aims to provide creative individuals, independent scholars, entrepreneurs, and SMEs with the information literacy skills to find and access free and open research outputs and content produced by Higher Education.
Since the Finch Report and RCUK’s Policy on Open Access, universities increasingly make their research outputs available through a wide range of open channels including Open Access journals and repositories, data libraries, research explorer services, and research and innovation services.
Free and open access to publicly‐funded research enables the research process to operate more efficiently, disseminates research outputs more widely, fosters technology transfer and innovation, and provides social and economic benefits by increasing the use and understanding of research by businesses, governments, charities and the wider public. Open Access is also in line with the government’s commitment to transparency and open data, and it contributes to the global Open Knowledge movement more generally.
However it’s not always easy for those outwith academia to know how to access open research outputs, even though they are freely and openly available to all. In order to improve technology transfer we need to do more to disseminate Open Access research, open knowledge and open content to the general public, creative individuals, entrepreneurs and SMEs. This is the challenge that the Innovating with Open Knowledge project sought to address.
Innovating with Open Knowledge has produced a series of eleven open licensed case studies featuring a wide range of innovative individuals and companies that have used the University of Edinburgh’s open knowledge outputs to further their projects, products and initiatives. The case studies are composed of video interviews, supplementary text transcripts, learning activities and search tasks, and they demonstrate how entrepreneurs and creative individuals can find, use and engage with Open Access scholarly works, open science, images and media, physical resources and maker spaces, open data and open-source software.
- Creative Writing: Writing historical fiction with Peter Ramscombe
- Citizenship: The Conscientious Objectors Project with Nick Williams at WEA Scotland
- Climate Change: Solving Climate Change with Ecometrica
- Crafts: Bookbinding with Emma Frazer
- Heritage: Spirit of Leithers with Fraser Parkinson
- Maker Spaces: uCreate Studio with Mike Boyd
- Grand designs: Wikihouse with Akiko Kobayashi and Duncan Bain
- Open-source Software: with Scott Wilson, Cetis LLP & OSS Watch
- Citizen Science: Dogslife with Dylan Clements
- Bioinformatics: Bioinformatics in the Classroom with Heleen Plaisier & Daniel Barker
- Drug Discovery: Parkure with Lysimachos Zografos
Innovating with Open Knowledge also features expert guidance on finding and accessing open knowledge from the University’s Centre for Research Collections and OER Service, and from the National Library of Scotland.
Please feel free to reuse, revise, remix and redistribute these open resources.
This project was funded by the University of Edinburgh IS Innovation Fund, with generous support from Gavin McLachlan, CIO, and Hugh Edmiston, Director of Corporate Services. The project was steered by Melissa Highton, Assistant Principal Online Learning, and managed by Lorna M. Campbell, Learning, Teaching and Web Services. All video and text resources were created by Morna Simpson, Girl Geek Scotland and Enterprise Porridge Ltd. Graphic design by Interactive Content Service, University of Edinburgh.