Brian Lamb calling for open access

It is almost “criminally irresponsible” to hoard academic knowledge in the digital age, according to a Canadian specialist in the field.

Brian Lamb, manager of emerging technologies and digital content at the University of British Columbia, also said that open educational resources (OERs) could help to reassert the academy’s role as a “leader and guardian of free and open enquiry”.

He made the comments at the Open Educational Resources International Symposium in London, which was sponsored by the Joint Information Systems Committee.

Mr Lamb said that OER – freely available course material – was “one small piece” of a broader movement. “Yes, we want open content, but also open source tools, the adoption of open standards, open data and open and transparent practices,” he said.

He added that it was possible universities did not have the answers to the world’s problems and that the human race was “doomed”, but that hoarding knowledge was “perverse”.

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