A revolution in the sharing of knowledge…

Transforming e-Knowledge
TABLE OF CONTENTS     Technologies, Standards, and Marketplaces for e-Knowledge   © SCUP 2003
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Repositories and Emerging e-Knowledge Marketplaces (continued)



Chapter 4

Technologies, Standards, and Marketplaces for e-Knowledge

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These expenses can be extensive at larger institutions and enterprises. The institutional repositories established to date have been at major research institutions. Does this solution scale down to less complex institutions? Indeed, it is unlikely that institutional repositories will be affordable by any institutions until the costs of entry are driven down substantially. This can be accomplished by providing model practices, policies, protocols, routines, and guidance on how to manage the cost of knowledge asset management. Professional societies serving the higher education industry should accept this challenge. In North America, the energies of the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), EDUCAUSE, Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA), and the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) would be most welcome in this effort.

Institutional repositories, by capturing, preserving, and disseminating a university’s collective intellectual capital, serve as meaningful indicators of an institution’s academic quality. Under the traditional system of scholarly communication, much of the intellectual output and value of an institution’s intellectual property is diffused through thousands of scholarly journals. An institutional repository concentrates the intellectual product created by a university’s researcher, making it easier to demonstrate its social and financial value . . . While institutional repositories centralize, preserve, and make accessible an institution’s intellectual capital, at the same time they form part of a global system of decentralized, distributed repositories. This attribute is central to the role repositories can play in a disaggregated model of scholarly publishing.

Raym Crow. SPARC, 2002


Multi-enterprise Repositories

A searchable and responsive marketplace that draws content, context, and narrative from many sources and repositories is one of the fundamental elements of an e-Knowledge Industry. For this to happen, technologies and standards must be developed that enable true interoperability for learning objects and practices. Groups like the Learning Objects Network, MERLOT, SMETE, and the Australian Le@rning Federation are developing shareable repositories of learning content. The MIT-created Open Knowledge Initiative (OKI) is building a scalable, sustainable open-source reference framework for all the online processes that support e-learning. This framework will help streamline the processes for assembling, delivering, and accessing educational resources. Such initiatives are the precursors of meta-marketplaces that will span industry verticals — education, publishing, learning management providers, associations, and professional societies — to create broad-based exchange of e-content and tacit knowledge through communities of practice.

Standards, processes, and marketplaces for e-content are essential, but they will be incomplete without advances in public and private infrastructures for exchanging and deploying content.

Association of Research Libraries — Scholar’s Portal. Announced in mid-2002, this three-year project aims to deliver software tools that provide integrated Web access to “open,” high quality (library-based) information services. It brings together a group of ARL members (University of Southern California, University of California-San Diego, Dartmouth College, University of Arizona, Arizona State University, Iowa State University, and the University of Utah) with Fretwell-Downing, Inc.



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  The three key digital content distribution issues are authentication, authorization, and access. These are difficult challenges that are best addressed by a shared, neutral resource.
Patrick McElroy