Knowledge Futures Group has a new website

New website!

Knowledge Futures Group builds infrastructure for a more effective, equitable, and sustainable knowledge economy.

 

Knowledge Futures Group is an independent nonprofit organization powered by academic, industry, and advocacy groups. Together we build and support products and protocols to make knowledge open and accessible to all.

Founded in 2018 as a partnership between the MIT Press and the MIT Media Lab, Knowledge Futures Group was created to build sustainable tools and technologies for libraries, presses, museums, activist organizations, researchers, and others whose knowledge work seeks to serve collective understanding and the public. What began as a handful of grad students working on publishing tools grew to an organization focused on addressing the systemic challenges faced by public-oriented groups beholden to infrastructure that is designed with misaligned incentives and unjust power dynamics.

In September 2019 we formally organized as an independent 501c3 nonprofit. Today, we are committed to building a full-stack of technology protocols and products that demonstrate an effective, equitable, and sustainable knowledge economy is possible. We work with partners to design for interoperability and to catalyze a distributed ecosystem of development.

Software Engineer, the Underlay Project · KFG Notes

“The Knowledge Futures Group is hiring a software developer to help us build the Underlay, a distributed public knowledge graph. We’re looking for someone with strong full-stack web development skills and an interest in semantic web and decentralized web technologies. You’ll get to work with experimental technologies, make significant contributions to product direction, and help shepherd a research project into the real world. We will pay you competitively with startups, let you work from wherever you want, and take you and your ideas seriously. Join us!…”

Knowledge Infrastructure and the Role of the University · Commonplace

“As open access to research information grows and publisher business models adapt accordingly, knowledge infrastructure has become the new frontier for advocates of open science. This paper argues that the time has come for universities and other knowledge institutions to assume a larger role in mitigating the risks that arise from ongoing consolidation in research infrastructure, including the privatization of community platforms, commercial control of analytics solutions, and other market-driven trends in scientific and scholarly publishing….

The research community is rightfully celebrating more open access and open data, yet there is growing recognition in the academic community that pay-to-publish open access is not the panacea people were hoping for when it comes to affordable, sustainable scholarly and scientific publishing. Publication is, after all, only one step in a flow of research communication activities that starts with the collection and analysis of research data and ends with assessment of research impact. Open science is the movement towards open methods, data, and software, to enhance reproducibility, fairness, and distributed collaboration in science. The construct covers such diverse elements as the use of open source software, the sharing of data sets, open and transparent peer review processes, open repositories for the long-term storage and availability of both data and articles, as well as the availability of open protocols and methodologies that ensure the reproducibility and overall quality of research. How these trends can be reconciled with the economic interests of the publishing industry as it is currently organized remains to be seen, but the time is ripe for greater multi-stakeholder coordination and institutional investment in building and maintaining a diversified open infrastructure pipeline.”

KFG Announces Four New Programs · KFG Notes

“KFG will use its resources intentionally and in partnership with others (you!) to ask: how do we enable just and inclusive life cycles of knowledge? How do we build trustworthy information environments to support a better-informed society? How do we meaningfully measure impact? How do we ensure universal access to knowledge? With the help of partners, we will explore the cultural and technological answers to these questions through four new programs:

Knowledge Ecosystems: We examine how knowledge ecosystems exist today, develop playbooks to improve them, and facilitate new knowledge life cycles accelerated through multi-institution collaboration.

Community Publishing: We build infrastructure to enable community-driven publishing toward more thorough, trustworthy, and inclusive models for publishing platforms and tools.

Universal Data: We research and develop tools for discovery, provenance, and interoperability of data, to ensure transparent and universal access to public knowledge.

Measuring Knowledge: We craft and deliver new analytics that aligns with the growth, learning, and empowerment afforded by modern knowledge ecosystems to redefine impact and success….”

KFG Announces Four New Programs · KFG Notes

“KFG will use its resources intentionally and in partnership with others (you!) to ask: how do we enable just and inclusive life cycles of knowledge? How do we build trustworthy information environments to support a better-informed society? How do we meaningfully measure impact? How do we ensure universal access to knowledge? With the help of partners, we will explore the cultural and technological answers to these questions through four new programs:

Knowledge Ecosystems: We examine how knowledge ecosystems exist today, develop playbooks to improve them, and facilitate new knowledge life cycles accelerated through multi-institution collaboration.

Community Publishing: We build infrastructure to enable community-driven publishing toward more thorough, trustworthy, and inclusive models for publishing platforms and tools.

Universal Data: We research and develop tools for discovery, provenance, and interoperability of data, to ensure transparent and universal access to public knowledge.

Measuring Knowledge: We craft and deliver new analytics that aligns with the growth, learning, and empowerment afforded by modern knowledge ecosystems to redefine impact and success….”

Editorial Manager, PubPub · KFG Notes

“The Knowledge Futures Group is hiring an Editorial Manager to help curate and produce content for two of its products, PubPub1, a collaborative and open publishing tool for the academic web, and Commonplace, a new publication of the KFG. We’re looking for someone with strong writing and editorial skills, knowledge of academic publishing, and interest in experimenting with new publishing practices. You’ll get to work directly with authors and editors, and use those experiences to experiment and contribute to the KFG’s editorial plans and PubPub’s roadmap. We will pay you competitively, let you work from wherever you want, and take you and your ideas seriously. Join us!…”

Editorial Manager, PubPub · KFG Notes

“The Knowledge Futures Group is hiring an Editorial Manager to help curate and produce content for two of its products, PubPub1, a collaborative and open publishing tool for the academic web, and Commonplace, a new publication of the KFG. We’re looking for someone with strong writing and editorial skills, knowledge of academic publishing, and interest in experimenting with new publishing practices. You’ll get to work directly with authors and editors, and use those experiences to experiment and contribute to the KFG’s editorial plans and PubPub’s roadmap. We will pay you competitively, let you work from wherever you want, and take you and your ideas seriously. Join us!…”

How Do We Find Ourselves Here? Context for Increased Institutional Investment and Ownership of Infrastructure · Commonplace

“How have institutions become so disconnected from the workflow and publication tools that their researchers depend upon to do research, communicate it, validate it? How can this tremendous outsourcing be corrected? How can universities better understand the need for investing in public infrastructure?

We hope that this reading list will provide background and food for thought….”

About The Commonplace · The Knowledge Futures Commonplace

“The Knowledge Futures Group (KFG) is committed to building and sustaining open infrastructure for public knowledge that puts researchers in control of the tools they use everyday to solve society’s biggest challenges. Our newest product, The Commonplace, is a publication that invokes the title’s Latin roots of locus communis to create a space where people discuss the digital infrastructure and policies needed to distribute, constellate, and amplify knowledge for the public good.

The Commonplace will bring together mission-aligned individuals, institutions, and organizations to contribute to the larger conversation about the many social implications of open and closed infrastructure: the distributed and centralized systems that undergird our modern modes of information sharing and communication. We will pinpoint emergent practices and new ways of thinking that benefit everyone. The goal for The Commonplace is thus to reflect a multitude of viewpoints around what the future of knowledge should look like toward collective action and broader advocacy. We will integrate our resources across the KFG and with our partners to bring people together, build infrastructure, and advocate for a more sustainable and collaborative process for ongoing knowledge creation and data stewardship. …”

Webinar: Rapid communication of COVID-19 research – ASAPbio

“Join ASAPbio and the Knowledge Futures Group for a conversation about new ways of sharing scientific information relevant to the coronavirus pandemic via preprints, rapid peer review, and more. Individual talks will be followed by a round-table discussion and an audience Q&A period….”

The Case for an Institutionally Owned Knowledge Infrastructure

“Academic journals, the dominant dissemination platforms of scientific knowledge, have not been able to take advantage of the linking, transparency, dynamic communication and decentralized authority and review that the internet enables. Many other knowledge-driven sectors, from journalism to law, suffer from a similar bottleneck — caused not by a lack of technological capacity, but rather by an inability to design and implement efficient, open and trustworthy mechanisms of information dissemination.

Fortunately, growing dissatisfaction with current knowledge-sharing infrastructures has led to a more nuanced understanding of the requisite features that such platforms must provide. With such an understanding, higher education institutions around the world can begin to recapture the control and increase the utility of the knowledge they produce….

But signs suggest that the bright future envisioned in the early days of the internet is still within reach. Increasing awareness of, and dissatisfaction with, the many bottlenecks that the commercial monopoly on research information has imposed are stimulating new strategies for developing the future’s knowledge infrastructures. One of the most promising is the shift toward infrastructures created and supported by academic institutions, the original creators of the information being shared, and nonprofit consortia like the Collaborative Knowledge Foundation and the Center for Open Science….

The Case for an Institutionally Owned Knowledge Infrastructure

“Academic journals, the dominant dissemination platforms of scientific knowledge, have not been able to take advantage of the linking, transparency, dynamic communication and decentralized authority and review that the internet enables. Many other knowledge-driven sectors, from journalism to law, suffer from a similar bottleneck — caused not by a lack of technological capacity, but rather by an inability to design and implement efficient, open and trustworthy mechanisms of information dissemination.

Fortunately, growing dissatisfaction with current knowledge-sharing infrastructures has led to a more nuanced understanding of the requisite features that such platforms must provide. With such an understanding, higher education institutions around the world can begin to recapture the control and increase the utility of the knowledge they produce….

But signs suggest that the bright future envisioned in the early days of the internet is still within reach. Increasing awareness of, and dissatisfaction with, the many bottlenecks that the commercial monopoly on research information has imposed are stimulating new strategies for developing the future’s knowledge infrastructures. One of the most promising is the shift toward infrastructures created and supported by academic institutions, the original creators of the information being shared, and nonprofit consortia like the Collaborative Knowledge Foundation and the Center for Open Science….

Knowledge Futures Group: An interview with Amy Brand, Director of the MIT Press – The Scholarly Kitchen

The MIT Knowledge Futures Group is a new joint venture of the MIT Press and the MIT Media Lab. Its ultimate goal is to help build a more sustainable scholarly publishing ecosystem. As we grow — adding resources, new staff and now new advisors — we’re looking to accelerate the path from research breakthrough to application and societal benefit, developing tools that enrich and fortify our knowledge infrastructure. At the same time, we’re trying to galvanize a real movement towards greater institutional and public investment in that infrastructure, by serving as a model for it and partnering actively with aligned initiatives. It’s worth pointing out that MIT has a strong track record in homegrown knowledge infrastructure. It is, after all, the birthplace of Dspace and Open Courseware….”