Some thoughts on the importance of Open Source and Open Access for an emerging digital scholarship

Stefan Gradmann


Both constituents of the term 'Open Access' are of equal and vital importance for innovative scholarship to work effectively in a networked digital setting. 'Access' in such a context implies much more than just being able to freely read scholarly sources: the freedom to process and reaggregate such sources must also be part of such a setting (while fully respecting source authenticity and integrity). 'Open', as well, has at least three distinct connotations here: (1) absence of economic and legal barriers for access on the WWW, (2) availability of scholarly sources in open, transparent and non proprietary formats, (3) the processing methods to be used for processing sources should themselves be implemented as open source software. The presentation will explore all three aspects of 'openness' but will put particular stress on the issue of open document formats and models as well as on the reasons for open source based approaches being appropriate for effective scholarly work in the e-humanities. Economic considerations as well as the need to retain control of processing methods are considered in this context together with the implicate responsibilities such a strategy creates for an open source based community of scholarship in philosophy.


20th century philosophy; 20th century philosophy; linguistics; media philosophy; philosophy; philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; Wittgenstein Ludwig; digital humanities; digital humanities; document modeling; open access; open source; RTP-DOC; semiotics

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