Threat to openness: managing access to public archives

Lawrence Serewicz, Thoughts on management, Mar 16, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Though the focus of this article in on access to public archives, many of the same concerns apply to educational resources. The author considers the nature of openness, drawing for example from Popper's work, and notes that it consists not only of the absence of barriers but also something like the ability to comprehend and use the resources. These constitute the basic types of threats to openness: first, archival, where "where threats to funding become a threat to limit access to archives"; second, societal, "when people no longer value or understand archives"; and third, resistance to openness "because of cultural reasons or for security reasons." Only the first of these is treated in any detail, in an extended 'Part 2', but I think the overall framework is of value. Image: Open Society. See the complete set of presentations from the Threats to Openness conference.

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