Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Google launches the Knol project

Google has officially launched its Knol project.  From today's announcement:

A few months ago we announced that we were testing a new product called Knol. Knols are authoritative articles about specific topics, written by people who know about those subjects. Today, we're making Knol available to everyone....

The key principle behind Knol is authorship. Every knol will have an author (or group of authors) who put their name behind their content. It's their knol, their voice, their opinion. We expect that there will be multiple knols on the same subject, and we think that is good.

With Knol, we are introducing a new method for authors to work together that we call "moderated collaboration." With this feature, any reader can make suggested edits to a knol which the author may then choose to accept, reject, or modify before these contributions become visible to the public....

Knols include strong community tools which allow for many modes of interaction between readers and authors. People can submit comments, rate, or write a review of a knol. At the discretion of the author, a knol may include ads from our AdSense program. If an author chooses to include ads, Google will provide the author with a revenue share from the proceeds of those ad placements....


  • For background, see my post (and comments) on Google's first announcement of the project in December 2007.
  • There are five knols online at the moment.  Three use CC-BY licenses (1, 2, 3), one uses a CC-BY-NC license, and one uses an all-rights-reserved copyright statement.

Update.  I was wrong to say that there were only five knols online at the time of launch.  Five were highlighted.  But there were already hundreds online.  (Thanks to Adam Hodgkin.)