Academic Transparency - a Big Opportunity

I had the chance to share a Tahoe cabin this week with a prominent UCSF research scientist. We discussed how academic knowledge is traditionally exposed to the world through a "peer review and publish" framework. The consequence of this centuries old process is ambiguity - knowledge is filtered by a hierarchy of experts and prestigious publication requires their consent. My friend tells me the internet has thrown academia into an examination of the publication process towards a more "open source" platform. The National Institute of Health ("NIH") has begun instituting guidelines in its grants towards fuller online disclosure in the presentation of data and research.

Currently, academic publication is not "open source" - selected data and the findings are presented but not the numerous intermediate steps in the research process. Presentation of these steps will open up research as profoundly as open source has done in software development. Since much of data is arcane to each academic field, a new way of describing the data so that it is standardized across each field of study is necessary. We suddenly discussed social networks and  how tagging data might be an appropriate solution since the data only needs to be relevant to each community of researchers.

My friend is in development of a Web 2.0 open source academic platform. Academia is a tremendous bastion for more efficient knowledge distribution, can anyone point to other companies interested in approaching academia from this angle? I'm fielding inquiries.

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  • 2/21/2007 11:55 AM Kyle Else wrote: is a social netwoking site that creates peer production content. The connections are made from social issues that identify member networks with a common concern or goal.
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