By Stephen Downes
October 16, 2003

Building a Digital Library the Commons-based Peer Production Way
The author describes the rationale and methodology for the construction of a commons-based peer production (CBPP) digital library. Nice table outlining the four major sets of motivations: philosophical (spirit of camaraderie, democracy, altruism; aversion to hierarchy/command), logistical (knowledge distributed unevenly and/or widely; inflexibility of centralized effort), fiscal (inability to provide major coverage using works for hire) and optimal (more material; more peer review; more up-to-date content). The case of PlanetMath, a paradigm CBPP is discussed. The author also offers some interesting remarks about representing content quality. By Aaron Krowne, D-Lib Magazine, October, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

On-line Publishing in the 21st Century
Nice article about the contradictions between traditional publication models and the possibilities inherent in the web. The two mix together, notes the author, about as well as oil and water. So long as they see no role for themselves, publishers will continue to complain (incorrectly) that the new distribution model is flawed. But their role post-internet is becoming clearer. "Consumers and authors alike have much to gain from the free exchange of knowledge, especially with regard to the intellectual satisfaction of rapidly impacting the growth of enlightenment... A void still exists, however, in providing a filter for consumers, who must figure out which findings are legitimate and which are not quite solid. Publishers take note: opportunity knocks." By Geneva Henry, D-Lib Magazine, October, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Experimental OAI Registry
From the Belarusian State University Fundamental Library to the American Indian Studies Research Institute, they're all here, more than 400 Open Archives Initiative repositories listed in this new OAI Registry. By Various Authors, Grainger Engineering Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, October, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Open Source Everywhere
Despite some scaremongering and red-baiting by traditional publications such as Forbes, open source as a business model has taken hold in the software world and is expanding to other domains of enterprise, most notably medicine and publishing. This comprehensive article takes a sympathetic look at the success of open source in various areas of endeavour and suggests that the movement is permanent and revolutionary. "In 2003, the method is proving to be as broadly effective - and, yes, as revolutionary - a means of production as the assembly line was a century ago." By Thomas Goetz, Wired, November, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Traffic Overwhelms New Online Science Journal
Imagine. An academic journal on the subject of biology gets a million hits in a single day. Biology, even! In what may mark the most popular day in the history of the subject, the Public Library of Science Biology journal, the first to be launched by PLoS, was swamped by the widespread interest on its first day. As the story notes, "One reason the journal has generated so much attention is a report it contains about brain implants in monkeys that enable them to control a robotic arm with their thoughts." Well, true. But remember when, in the dark ages, we had to read about such reports second-hand, mangled at the hands of an underqualified science reporter? No more. It's science, the real thing, available to the public at large. And a new day dawns. By Alorie Gilbert , CNet News.Com, October 14, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Fourth Planet
This site attempts a new dimension in learning: the use of blogs within a simulated Mars mission. beautifully designed, this site (which is just getting started) provides tasks, blogs, discussion and chat. Whether or not this succeeds, I applaud the attempt. Via Jeremy Hiebert. By Heather Stoehr, October, 2003 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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Copyright 2003 Stephen Downes
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