Pop! Foundations for the Canadian Humanities and Social Sciences Commons

“One of these metaphors with close ties to geographical space is that of the research commons: a shared knowledge resource that may comprise physical, digital, theoretical, and intellectual space (see Hess and Ostrom 2006, 3). The research commons has historical roots in the medieval English tradition of designating certain lands for common use, which became enclosed for private use over time. Political philosophers and critics have since struggled with the concept of a commons: historically, in terms of land, labour, and materials, and at other times in terms of public access to knowledge. Drawing on this intellectual and material history, this paper introduces the Canadian Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) Commons, an open online space where Canadian HSS researchers and stakeholders can gather to share information and resources, make connections, and build community. Situated at the intersection of the fields of digital scholarship, open access, digital humanities, and social knowledge creation (see El Khatib et al. 2019), the Canadian HSS Commons is being developed as part of a research program investigating how a not-for-profit, community-run research commons could benefit the HSS community in Canada. This paper is the first on this topic to date, providing a foundation for conceptualizing the commons, its potential benefits, and its role in the Canadian scholarly publishing ecosystem. By situating the Canadian HSS Commons within the intellectual history of the commons and within the Canadian research ecosystem, this paper explores how this open, community-based platform complements existing research infrastructure serving the Canadian HSS research community. First, it introduces the Canadian HSS Commons and the community it is designed to serve. Next, it discusses its historical and intellectual context, discussing the transition from “grassy commons” (Boyle 2003, 41) to digital commons. After outlining types of digital knowledge commons and how they are being enclosed, it concludes by looking to the future of the Canadian HSS Commons within the digital research landscape….”

The INKE Partnership – A Canadian Social Knowledge Institute research partnership

“The Implementing New Knowledge Environments (INKE) Partnership is a North American-based research network with the goal of fostering open social scholarship: academic practice that enables the creation, dissemination, and engagement of open research by specialists and non-specialists in accessible and significant ways….”