Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Profile of John Willinsky and the PKP

Heather Morrison, John Willinsky and the Public Knowledge Project, Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics, December 11, 2006.  Excerpt:

The University of British Columbia's Dr. John Willinsky, founder of the Public Knowledge Project (PKP), is - most remarkably - world-renowned for both theoretical and practical contributions to the open access movement. The idea of public knowledge embraces open access, but goes beyond to encompass the transformative potential of open access for society as a whole, while the free, open source Open Journal Systems has greatly facilitated the development of open access publishing.

While some open access leaders focus exclusively on increasing access for researchers, the public knowledge approach is broader. John talks about access to knowledge as transformative for society as a whole. Historically, it was an increase in access to knowledge that made public libraries, and subsequently public schools, possible. The transformative potential for our society with open access to our scholarly research is as difficult for us to imagine, as public universities might have been in the days before the printing press.

John Willinsky's outstanding theoretical contributions have been recognized by the American Library Association, who awarded the 2006 Blackwell Scholarship Award for John's book The Access Principle (also available in DLIST). Links to more of John's works can be found from the PKP Publications page.

The Public Knowledge Project (PKP) is best known for its open source software - particularly Open Journal Systems (OJS), a free, open source journal publishing software platform. Since its release on November 8, 2002, an event noted on Peter Suber's Open Access Timeline, OJS has become the publishing platform for over 800 journals, in 10 languages, around the world, greatly facilitating open access publishing....

Recently, PKP was the sole Canadian winner of the first annual Mellon Awards for Technology Collaboration.  PKP is a partner of, and endorsed by, the Scholarly Publishing and [Academic Resources] Coalition....

This post is the second in the series Canadian Leadership in the Open Access Movement.