Threatening Academia

(Crossposted from The Free Speech Zone)

The generation gap is clear.

I was told that what I wish to research will get me into a “sticky” situation when it comes to authorship issues.

Let me explain…

In the programming/development community is a system of collaboration I want to replicate where instead of source code, it’s Creative Commons papers/dissertations.

When a developer or a group of developers want to work on an Open Source program, they put it into a CVS (Concurrent Versions System) Repository where other developers signed onto the project can edit and alter it while others can only view the source code and get updates so that they can possibly provide input on the code that could make it better.

Now imagine that, except “developers” are “authors” and “source code” are “Creative Commons licensed dissertations”.

The theory is that the model used for Open Source development can help with the development of concepts and ideas in various subjects if a CVS Repository was setup for academic articles.  The author holds the rights and their dissertation/article where nobody can edit the original but everyone can take a crack at improving or disproving various ideas.

So why is this a threat to academia?

This could allow for academic journals to become obsolete.  While “peer review” for submission to an actual academic journal would still be needed at the academic level, another “peer review” can be conducted that may produce greater results in terms of input for revisions to the piece by people who are and aren’t academics.

In effect, it would “liberate” the field of Sociology to allow for a greater input pool than currently exists with a system in place to allow for revisions to be suggested with the author having ultimate say on their original work. Just that now, others can obtain their work for free, look at it, revise it, and publish an alternative version if they wish with the possibility that this revised work would be credited to the original author with the changes crediting the one who made the revision.

To go one further, this can be done for every subject.

Computer folk will know what i’m talking about better than others on this one, but the Baby Boomers that hold the positions in academia think that such collaboration would never happen….I assume because they believe that each person is only in pursuit of their own interests…or for the sake of their important positions, this is their “hope”.


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  1. I swear.


    Another guy Edward Tufte

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