Open Knowledge Institutions: Reinventing Universities

MITP Works in Progress (WiPs) are written works in early stages of development that would benefit from an open peer review process. This program provides authors the benefit of community feedback in the development of their ideas, as well as the ability to publish a version of their work before more formal publication. WiPs are vetted by the Press, then posted on PubPub for open discussion. Comments are moderated by the author(s) and facilitated by Press staff. After the open review period, authors may revise the work and submit it for consideration for formal publication. The MIT Press will have first right of refusal, and all submitted manuscripts will be subject to our usual rigorous peer review.

The Press supports greater transparency in the revision and review process as well as the open access to new ideas by readers, researches, and other interested audiences.   We encourage interested authors to submit their work for consideration as WiPs. Please contact the appropriate acquisitions editor for your field.


The community review period for Open Knowledge Institutions closes on Friday, March 1, 2019.



Can 13 authors, from the USA, Germany, Australia, China and South Africa, many previously unknown to one another, get together and, from scratch, write a 150-page book –– on a topic none of them has tackled before –– in 5 days?

If the group in question is committed to the same goals as MIT’s PubPub platform, to “socialize the process of knowledge creation”; [1] and if the process they use is a Book Sprint, a professionally facilitated “collaborative process that captures the knowledge of a group of experts in a single book,“ [2] then the answer is yes.

What drew our diverse group together is “open knowledge.” By this we mean not just the technical specifics of open access publishing or open source computing, and not just a general commitment to an open society, open government or open science, but a need to understand how these technical and social possibilities can be brought together in open knowledge institutions.

Specifically, how can the most long-lasting, successful and expanding version of a knowledge institution –– the university –– face the mounting challenges of global, digital and contested knowledge systems, in order to transform universities into Open Knowledge Institutions?

We present the results of our work here to the wider community for annotation, commentary, constructive criticism and engagement, with a view to extending the collaborative spirit further. We want the book to gain further analytical richness and precision from crowd-sourced expertise. You are invited to join us as we work through some of the issues that may enable or stand in the way of socialising knowledge itself.


[1] https://www.pubpub.org/about; and see: https://www.media.mit.edu/projects/pubpub/overview/

[2] https://www.booksprints.net/


Pub DOI: 10.21428/99f89a34


Read more:

Sep 21, 2018Updated: Oct 02, 2018
This update adds a new framework to help us understand the overall argument and to organise our thinking around evaluation. It proposes that we categorise activities and platforms around three areas that correspond to earlier chapters: Communication, Diversity and Communication.
Aug 20, 2018
Aug 20, 2018
This is not an exhaustive glossary of technical definitions but a brief recap of how various key terms are used within this book.
Aug 20, 2018
Recommended reading from the authors
Jul 10, 2018Updated: Sep 14, 2018