Public Knowledge Project

From New World Encyclopedia

The Public Knowledge Project is a non-profit research initiative of the Faculty of Education[1] at the University of British Columbia, the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing[2] at Simon Fraser University, the Simon Fraser University Library,[3] and Stanford University. It focuses on the importance of making the results of publicly-funded research freely available through open access policies and on developing strategies for making this possible. It seeks to improve the scholarly and public quality of academic research through the development of innovative online environments.

Public Knowledge Project developed a number of types of open source software: the Open Journal Systems, the Open Conference Systems, the PKP Open Archives Harvester, and Lemon8-XML. All of the products are open source and freely available to the public. Open Journal System, for example, is used nearly two thousands journals as of August 2008, including African Journals Online (AJOL), and similar online journals in Bangladesh, Nepal, and Vietnam.

History of PKP

The PKP was founded in 1998, by Dr. John Willinsky in the Department of Language and Literacy Education[4] at the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, based on his research in education and publishing. Dr. Willinsky is a leading advocate of open access publishing, and has written extensively[5] on the value of public research.

The PKP’s initial focus was on increasing access to scholarly research and output beyond the traditional academic environments. This soon led to a related interest in scholarly communication and publishing, and especially on ways to make it more cost effective and less reliant on commercial enterprises and their generally restricted access models. PKP has developed free, open source software for the management, publishing, and indexing of journals and conferences.

The PKP has collaborated with a wide range of partners interested in making research publicly available, including the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC),[6] the Instituto Brasileiro de Informação em Ciência e Tecnologia (IBICT),[7] and the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP).[8]

Together with INASP, the PKP is working with publishers, librarians, and academics in the development of scholarly research portals in the developing world, including African Journals Online (AJOL),[9] and similar projects in Bangladesh,[10] Nepal, and Vietnam.[11]

As of 2008, the PKP has joined the Synergies Canada[12] initiative, contributing their technical expertise to integrating work being done within a five-party consortium to create a decentralized national platform for Social Sciences and Humanities research communication in Canada.

Growth since 2005

The Public Knowledge Project has seen a tremendous level of growth since 2005. In 2006, there were approximately 400 journals using OJS, 50 conferences using OCS, 4 organizations using the Harvester, and 350 members registered on the online support forum. In 2007, over 1000 journals are using OJS, more than 100 conferences are using OCS, at least 10 organizations are using the Harvester, and there over 900 members on the support forum.

Since 2005, there have also been major new releases (version 2) of all three software modules, as well as the addition of Lemon8-XML, with a growing number of downloads being recorded every month for all of the software. From August 12, 2007 to September 11, 2007, there were 880 downloads of OJS, 269 of OCS, and 75 downloads of the Harvester (Lemon8-XML was still in development and unavailable for downloading during that period).

The PKP has also witnessed increased community programming contributions, including new plugins and features, such as the subscription module, allowing OJS to support full open access, delayed open access, or full subscription-only access. A growing number of translations have been contributed by community members, with Croatian, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, and Vietnamese versions of OJS completed, and several others in production.

The Public Knowledge Project is also collaborating closely with the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) to develop scholarly research portals in Africa, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Vietnam.

2007 Conference

The PKP Scholarly Publishing Conference[13] was held in Vancouver, BC, Canada, on July 11-13, 2007.

Notes on the conference presentations were recorded on a scholarly publishing blog,[14] and selected papers from the conference were published in a special issue of the online journal, First Monday.[15]

PKP Software

The PKP's suite of software includes four separate, but inter-related applications to demonstrate the feasibility of open access: the Open Journal Systems, the Open Conference Systems, the PKP Open Archives Harvester, and Lemon8-XML. All of the products are open source and freely available to anyone interested in using them. They share similar technical requirements (PHP, MySQL, Apache or Microsoft IIS 6, and a Linux, BSD, Solaris, Mac OS X, or Windows operating system) and need only a minimal level of technical expertise to get up and running. In addition, the software is well supported with a free, online support forum and a growing body of publications and documentation is available on the project web site.

Increasingly, institutions are seeing the value of combining the PKP software, using OJS to publish their research results, OCS to organize their conferences and publish the proceedings, and the OAI Harvester to organize and make searchable the metadata from these publications. Together with other open source software applications such as DSpace (for creating institutional research repositories), institutions are creating their own infrastructure for sharing their research output.

Open Journal Systems

Open Journal Systems
Developed byPublic Knowledge Project
Latest release2.2.2 / August 26, 2008
Preview release2.3 / CVS
Available inEnglish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish
TypeOpen access journal
LicenseGNU General Public License

Open Journal Systems (OJS) is open source software for the management of peer-review journals, created by the Public Knowledge Project, released under the GNU General Public License.

OJS was designed to facilitate the development of open access, peer-reviewed publishing, providing the technical infrastructure not only for the online presentation of journal articles, but also an entire editorial management workflow, including article submission, multiple rounds of peer-review, and indexing. OJS relies upon individuals fulfilling different roles, such as the Journal manager, editor, reviewer, author, reader, etc.

As of August 2008, OJS was being used by at least 1923 journals worldwide. A selected list of OJS journals is available on the PKP web site.

Originally released in 2001, OJS is currently (as of November 2008) in version 2.2.2. OJS is written in PHP, uses either a MySQL or PostgreSQL database, and can be hosted on a UNIX-like or Windows web server.

OJS has developed a strong user community, with many active participants, and significant enhancements being contributed to the project from the Brazilian Institute for Information in Science and Technology (IBICT), the Journal of Medical Internet Research, and others. A growing body of publications and documentation is available on the project web site.

OJS has a "plug-in" architecture, similar to other community-based projects such as WordPress, allowing new features to be easily integrated into the system without the need to change the entire core code base. Some of the plug-ins contributed to OJS include tools to facilitate indexing in Google Scholar and PubMed Central, a feed plugin providing RSS/Atom web syndication feeds, a COUNTER plugin, allowing COUNTER-compliant statistics and reporting, and more.

OJS is also LOCKSS-compliant, helping to ensure permanent archiving for ongoing access to the content of the journal.

To improve reader's engagement with the work published in journals using OJS (as well as with conference papers in OCS), PKP has developed a series of Reading Tools (see right column in linked example), which provide access to related studies, media stories, government policies, etc. in open access databases.

OJS has been translated into eight languages (English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Turkish), with an additional ten languages (Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Persian, Hindi, Japanese, Norwegian, Thai, Vietnamese) in development. All translations are created and maintained by the OJS user community.

PKP Open Archives Harvester

The PKP Open Archives Harvester is software used to accumulate and index freely available metadata, providing a searchable, web-based interface. It is open source, released under the GNU General Public License.

Originally developed to harvest the metadata from Open Journal Systems articles and Open Conference Systems proceedings, the Harvester can by used with any OAI-PMH-compliant resource.

It can harvest metadata in a variety of schemas (including unqualified Dublin Core, the PKP Dublin Core extension, the Metadata Object Description Schema (MODS), and MARCXML). Additional schema are supported via plugins.

The PKP OA Harvester allows any institution to create their own metadata harvester, which can be focused specifically on gathering information from or for their research community.

See also


  1. University of British Columbia, Becoming a university: The shifting landscape of postsecondary education in BC. Retrieved November 13, 2008.
  2. Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing, Homepage. Retrieved November 13, 2008.
  3. Simon Fraser University Library, Homepage. Retrieved November 13, 2008.
  4. The University fo British Columbia, Department of Language and Literacy Education, Faculty of Education. Retrieved November 13, 2008.
  5. PKP, Public Knowledge Project. Retrieved November 13, 2008.
  6. ARL, The Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resoure Coalition. Retrieved November 13, 2008.
  7. IBICT, Instituto Brasileiro de Informação em Ciência e Tecnologia. Retrieved November 13, 2008.
  8. INASP, International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications. Retrieved November 13, 2008.
  9. AJOL, African Journal Online. Retrieved November 13, 2008.
  10. SFU, Bangladesh Journals Online. Retrieved November 13, 2008.
  11. SFU, Vietnam Journals Online. Retrieved November 13, 2008.
  12. Synergies Canada, Synergies. Retrieved November 13, 2008.
  13. SFU, The PKP Scholarly Publishing Conference. Retrieved November 13, 2008.
  14. Blogspot, Scholarly publishing blogspot. Retrieved November 13, 2008.
  15. UIC, First Monday. Retrieved November 13, 2008.

ISBN links support NWE through referral fees

  • Breeze, Marshall Hall. Public Knowledge and Attitudes Regarding the Florida Phosphate Industry and Related Issues: Project Report. Bartow, FL: Florida Institute of Phosphate Research, 2002.
  • Mattison, D. 2008. "Crisis or Opportunity: The First International Public Knowledge Project (PKP) Scholarly Publishing Conference." Searcher 16 (1): 28-33.
  • Owen, G.W.B., and K. Stranack. 2008. "The Public Knowledge Project and the Simon Fraser University Library: A Partnership in Open Source and Open Access." Serials Librarians 55 (1/2): 140-167.
  • Public Knowledge Project. Homepage. Retrieved November 13, 2008.
  • Reid, Herbert. 2001. "Democratic Theory and the Public Sphere Project: Rethinking Knowledge, Authority, and Identity." New Political Science 23 (4): 517-536.

External links

All links retrieved December 2, 2022.


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