Open Knowledge Community Project

Open Knowledge Community Project (2019-2022)

Data in the Service of Global Knowledge

The Open Knowledge Community’s mission is to provide open, transparent, non-proprietary data to encourage people to ask better questions and tell more diverse stories about how knowledge is produced, shared, and used. The OKC grew out of a project sponsored by Arcadia (described below); its work is ongoing and currently involves a geographically distributed, multi-stakeholder group including more than 60 institutions and organizations.

Project Background

The “Coalition of Open Knowledge Institutions in Higher Education” project (2019-2022) developed and launched a coalition of universities with a shared aim of becoming Open Knowledge Institutions by actively building and promoting open access to knowledge. The project built tools and methods to help these institutions to engage in ongoing analysis and reporting of their own “openness” in order to demonstrate progress towards this aim. Funded by the Arcadia Fund, the “Coalition of Open Knowledge Institutions in Higher Education project” built on previous work led by the Curtin University team to define and provide the rationale for encouraging universities to put principles of openness at their center and work across broad communities to generate shared knowledge resources for the benefit of humanity (see e.g., Open Knowledge Institutions – Reinventing Universities (MIT 2021).  

In the shifted context of 2020, this project developed a critical level of importance. The pandemic and other crises required universities and  knowledge producers to make stark choices about investments, services and aspirations for the future. Knowledge-sharing and openness moved to centre stage as a critical element of the pandemic response, while substantial challenges arose with the co-option of open knowledge systems (e.g. preprint repositories) to spread misinformation, both deliberately by bad actors and accidentally by well-intentioned actors. 

By November 2021, the institutions associated with this initiative chose the ongoing community name, “Open Knowledge Community” to represent their work.

Formal Project Title: Coalition of Open Knowledge Institutions in Higher Education

Short Title: Open Knowledge Community

Duration: April 2019 – March 2022

Funders: Arcadia – A Charitable Fund of Lisbet Rausing & Peter Baldwin

Arcadia Fund Logo, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin

Partner Organisations:
Curtin University



Principal Investigators:
Lucy Montgomery
Cameron Neylon
Katherine Skinner


Technical Team:
Kathryn Napier
Rebecca Handcock

Project Management and Support:
Jessica Meyerson