Considering to restructure your research environm.

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Mr Phillip Boegh

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Terms of the Open Source Society pathway as inspiration for restructuring research environments.

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Developers / Researchers: Boegh Phillip (Copenhagen University)
Where Boegh Phillip is supervisor/ Snr Researcher.

Detailed Description:

Considering to restructure your research environment?
- then notice the definitions and terms of the Open Source Society.

Open Source Society (OSS2) pathway* is an overriding term of Open Source Software (OSS1) and OSS2 has been called a “dream that needs movement”1. However this vision is no longer a foggy dream, as it is brought into reality: The Obama administration has lately shown the motivating effect of inclusiveness for a common goal and how-to start a public movement using the Open Source Society facilities2 and EU now wants to continue the “yes we can” campaign3. Outside the open source communities, science research has succeeded as well: Even before the Linux community started, a non-hierarchical collaboration in 1987 has been carried out among 1000 participants in High Energy Physics4. Richard Jefferson created Biological Innovation for Open Society at BIOS.net5 and successfully pushed the Open Source software movement to biological [agriculture] sciences in 2004. In 2007, this was followed by Red Hat6 in the biomedical research area. Now in 2008, the Tasmanian zoologist Bob Mesibov7 has suggested an Open Source pathway as an alternative to a 'More Career Taxonomists' (MCT) pathway for the Taxonomic community.

In the
Utopia redux: On the convergence of community, technology and Open Source Society”, Kelley (2007)8 defines theopen source’ concept. To distinguish the concept from the open source software branch, we exchange the ‘open source’ concept with a general organizational theoretic framework:

*“Open Source Society pathway(OSSp) is “used to denote both the process by which a project is accomplished and the theoretical framework that structures the development of a project.
Turchetto & Viklund (2008)
9 highlight 'Open Source Values'” of the Open Source Society: inclusiveness to participate, equality, modesty in management, freedom & openness and economic abundance. However, OSSp exceeds these few spread visions, and a lot more mindsets lays behind. The theories is developed gradually from practice to restructuring the original fragmented online network of the open source communities. This review document intend to gather, define and systematize the terms of OSSp into their theoretic context and lists them in order to be operational outside their IT-origin. Fig.A. illustrates selected relations of terms to be propound for the Taxonomic community in EU.

→ On the management level,
OpenStrategy10 opens up for planning and actions to a much wider range of stakeholders. Open decision making11 including collegial self-governance will facilitate the steering committee to think informatively10 to process most decisions entirely through radical transparency12. The steering committees will mainly act as gatekeepers to control, formalize and announce most of the decisions of the community. Among all involved parties the most competent ones take charge as they propose suggestions that are taken serious. This structure recreate a new hierarchy called meritocracy13in most specific areas – despite there is plenty room for self-governance democratic projects. To motivate and include all interested parties open source governance14 presupposes online organizing15 in elaborated networks. Complicated decisions must be brought down to manageable tasks in distributed cognition3,4 so many more stakeholders can participate. Beside empowering the network, the most competent of the network participants need tools to be empowered. These are numerous. Although, the Stratification mapping16 belongs to the most powerful ones. If you keep on track and follow the netiquette17 you'll remain your status. Open team working10 covers the collaborate working process in loose online communities of interest to build projects like Wikipedia and Linux. The latter is structured into semi-open teams rooted in organizations and institutions. It is typical to split up the projects into small manageable tasks that all can manage and in a way so all remain focus on a clearly defined end goals.

Strengthening the science and fair merit
Especially in public funded institutions – like research departments – the basic funds need to be supplemented with
non-monetary incentives18 Special projects are considered as services and services are accepted to be commercial and still part of this gift economy like in the OSS1. As soon as you have proven innovation the service will provide your research with the budget you need. Still, you have to protect your ideas using copyleft19 or creative common licenses20 to avoid others to profit by taking over your services for themselves. The open and reviewed journalism21 way to produce science was difficult to give fair merit until the appearance of the wikigenes method22. If our suggested open scientific publishing23 is needed in an aesthetic book version, the paid service may be provided as print on demand to secure an ever updated version 24. The well-founded professional inductive research25 is elaborated in open science26 to include citicen science27. If this step is considered too far from the institutional tradition, open access28 of the produced resources will include any volunteer or non-career experts better than a closed source situation. At least open access is logical as the core production is already paid for by the public. The public research of USA is now given under open access29 and is situated online free of charge for the same reasons. Under the right protection, open access may be given to all produced resources (collections, papers and databases) and more people can verify these under open review10 (see below).

Both recruiting and strengthening of the scientific level is urgent. Certifications in different identification levels30 may serve both purposes. Career certifications in universities, in practical level for engineers,

for non-career specialists and in high-schools are well-known from the Linux world30a-e. Self-training is needed as few taxonomic career experts can provide resources. Using the exemplatory principle31,32,33 in connection with the online self-training program may be the way forward. Certifications of experts34 and a transparent review will clearly increase the university merit for updating the online resources - especially the poorly reviewed online ones. As an alternative or supplement to peer-review, open review10 of the resources will merit the core production, too. The principle behind is the bazaar model35 and a highly operational method is the bugzilla reporting tool36. Even un-described theoreticly, the transversal links between the increased network structures, the more open management structures and open science/open review has a comprehensive synergistic influence on motivation, activity and thus an increased core production. The practically experiences are comparable to the situation before and after the usage of the telephone due to the collaborate working processes:

Global collaboration presupposes open on-line networking
Open conversations10, the public and open online discussion is regarded essential. In Open knowledge projects, all the knowledge is provided freely, shaped and offered for a wide community of participants. The influences are implicit of these two terms. Open intelligence10 goes further and refer to the ‘collaborative gathering and analysis of information’, and it may comprise the sharing of information, collaborative learning and/or information filtering. It includes collaborative fora & wikies and OpenLaw10. OpenLaw embraces websites for information sharing & collaborative crafting of legal arguments. Computer supported collaboration37 includes ICT 10, web2.0 architecture8 and other IT-tools that ease community development, collaboration and long term information exchange of the community networks.
Many of the above terms overlap partly, but they graduate according to how open we like to be, how inclusive the collaboration, transparent our leadership, fair merit according to spend labor etc.

But how to utilize the terms? Caution has to be taken just for shopping between the many comprehensive theories, and combining one or two of them in hierarchic closed environments, due to the many barriers. For instance Open Access will never work in competition with closed publications, if the researchers have to pay for publishing. To make Open Access a reality, we need to pick components from all three areas 1. a more open management structure, 2. a more fair meritation and 3. a far more open networking structure. That is, in stead of shopping single terms, a strategic and coherent planning is needed according to the goal of the organization:

As illustrated in Fig.A, restructuring of closed top-down institutions need to go from thought out theories, over overriding planning and operational planning before we can implement the core producing routines.

In the figure, the Background theories are illustrated outside the rings, Overriding planning in the outermost ring, then the inner Operational planning ring and finally the bulls eye representing the Open Resources of the Core productions. Terms of the same ring is mainly related to terms of the same stage of planning, while the lines illustrate obvious related terms directing towards the core productions. Now, to an example of such process: Meritocracy belongs to the background theories. It is linked especially to Empowering the networking. Like in a conference where the aim is “Strategies of Taxonomy”, the organization interested have most to say. And the most qualified contributions may come from organizers, who will easily gain “networking merit” in this field. Next time the discussion deals with scientific issues and normally the researchers arguments gain most respect. Even the moderator may attach special marks to accounts of valuable experts or gate-keepers, education or position is not always enough to be highest ranked in all fields of such networking hierarchy. In some networks, invitation is not obligatory and all may participate. Occasionally outstanding ideas may come from unanticipated people. Providing visionary initiatives and interesting analyses to the network also increase your hierarchic status through stratification mapping. As in the physic world, most people will undertake a role.

Fig.A. The pathway from the background theories of the Open Source Society pathway
- to facilitate Core productions of scientific open resources. If not visible it is available at:


Selected background Theories of the OSS organizational structure (ad. Fig.A.)

Meritocracythe typical empowerment of OSS13

Radical transparency12 A decision procedure to carry out management publicly used in OSS in all levels below the gate keepers.

Open decision making11 as a 'no commander' approach. Collegial self-governance is an example.

Collegian self-governance and Distributed Cognition4,5 Supplementing effort of distributed and manageable tasks.

MCT (More Career Taxonomists) is the present situation that is partly in contrast to the Open Source Society 7

Non-monetary incentives18 driven by a gift economy, where only services are commercially founded, while the copyleft resources are open and free.

Bazaar model networking35 the common self-correcting system of Linux: Givin enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow”


Operriding planning:

Open Review10 Review of suggested resources by open networks, finally accepted or rejected by gatekeepers.

Exemplatory principle in higher education31,32,33 to recruit and motivate students & experts. The elemental-fundamental approach: Learning the basic from elements.

Inclusiveness, Open Source governance, transparency, political discipline, strategy and practical implementation. Obamas2 inclusiveness & motivation tools used to recruit and engage volunteers & electors.

ICT10presents contemporary community development programs.


Operational planning features and tools:

Wikigenes method22How to carry out fair and transparent authorship in Open Accessed & Open Reviewed common publications.
Stratification Mapping16 to Empowering networking.

Open Science15 is a both way dialogue model while

Open Access28 is a one way deducing, but open model.



1. Escapable Logic. Politics. Economics. Love & Death. Archive for April, 2008

Oh, if only government went in for an open source make-over…”

2. Barack Obama proves the power of Open Source.
3. "Yes we can": Stakeholders give strong support to School Fruit Schemes at EU conference.

4. Discussion Note: Distributed Cognition in Epistemic Cultures. Giere, Ronald N.

5. BiOS Initiative for Open Inovation. Richard Jefferson, 2004.

6. Red Hat tries spreading open-source idea. Stephen Shankland 2007.


8. Matthew James Kelley , 2007. UTOPIA REDUX: ON THE CONVERGENCE OF COMMUNITY, TECHNOLOGY AND OPEN SOURCE SOCIETY . A Thesis in Geography. pp. 99-120. (

9. Matteo Turchetto and Andreas Viklund, 2008. The Open Source Society: What Community Software Development Can Teach Business, Government, and Media. Unpublished.

10. Wide Open . Open source methods and their future potential Geoff Mulgan Tom Steinberg with Omar Salem , 2005. p41-43(Open Review) + ISBN 1841801429.

11. Open decition making:

12. Wikipedia 2009,

13. Wikipedia 2009,

14.Wikipedia 2009,
15. The Struggles and Strategies of Online Organizing, Britt Brovo. 2007.

16. Goodman, Sasha. "Stratification Mapping: The Distribution of Status in an Online Organization" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Montreal Convention Center, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Aug 11, 2006

17. Wikipedia 2009,
18. Self Organized Sessions - Development of the Commons and Commons Based Business Models

19. Wikipedia 2009,

20. Wikipedia 2009,

21. The Slashdot Interval. Jon Katz. 1999.

22. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Hoffmann, R.,Axton, M. 2008
23. Nature 455, 22-25 (2008) | doi:10.1038/455022a. News Feature. Big data: Wikiomics or

The Financial Express. Sadagopan, S. 2005. Open source goes beyond Software.

24. Wikipedia 2009,

25. Deductive and inductive research. MBA – My notes. 2008:
26. Wikipedia 2009,

27. The New York Times. The Wild Side. Olivia Judson, 2009. Guest Column: A New Kind of Big Science:
28. Wikipedia 2009,

29. First U.S. Public access policy made permanent. Consolidated Appropriations Act ensures NIH public access policy will persist. March 12, 2009.

30. IDENTIFICATION LEVELS, Graham,A. 2009. CSIRO Australia: in the Linux certification world see 30.a.-e.

30.a. Linux certifications in universities:

30.b. Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE):

30. c. Linux Professional Institute (LPI) – most widespread for ITpersonal:

30.d. Non-career Desktop-training for all:
30.e. Linuxgym trainingprogram for school certifications: 31. Wagenstein, M. Verstehen lehren, 1968. Beltz Verlag – Weinheim und Basel.

32. Prosser, Michael & Keith Trigwell (2001). Understanding Learning and Teaching. The Experrience in Higher Education, Buckingham: The Society for Research into Higher Education & Open University Press, 194. pp.

33. R. A. Krüger; George D. Yonge . 2007., Journal of Curriculum Studies

34. Boegh, P. et al. 2009. Taxonomy needs scientific driving licenses and certifications. Wikigenes Evolutionary knowledge.

35. Raymond,Erik S.,1999. The Cathedral and the Bazaar. O'Reilly. ISBN 1-56592-724-9. or
Wikipedia 2009,

36. A standardized bug report system
37. Start Learning Now.Expert knowledge portal. Wiki-CMS. Ivan Wong, 2007. Learn more about "Computer Supported Collaboration".

Keywords: Open Source Society, theories, terms, restructuring communities and institutions.

An updated version of the present document is found at



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