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about Academy Commons

WHAT

Academy Commons is a platform conceived to interconnect and empower our academic and research practices, born in the awareness of the higher education transformations, debates and conflicts.

Facing these transformations taking place worldwide, like the Bologna process in the EU, the aim is to provide ourselves with instruments which may help us to redirect their logics by committing with truly possibilities of exchange and mobility, as well as with forms of openness to society other than the ones of corporate partnership.

The basis of the project is to offer a tool to explore the notion of the commons here applied not to contents but to our academic and research activities, both inside and outside the official academic system.

The activities posted in this site allow free access to researchers either if they take place at independent/autonomous spaces, public institutions or formal universities. When the activity is held at these last, the ac_ access takes its basis and legal frame by using (yet expanding and politicizing) the status of the traditional figure of the ‘guest auditor’.

The tool

ac_ consists in a data-base of research activities posted by the researcher-teacher/lecturer/etc. who organizes or gives a class, conference, debate, course, workshop etc., and a search engine to be used by researchers-students in order to attend these activities out of the official curricula and accreditations.

The search engine of ac_ allows finding activities related to certain research interests. The researcher looking for an activity may refine his or her query by selecting criteria like city, date, subject or teaching person.

ac_ has been conceived to empower ourselves and our learning/research activities, referring to the historical notion of the commons in the sense of a land -here spaces of knowledge- managed and shared by their users.

HOW & WHO FOR

–Have you ever been trying to attend a course to which you have not been subscribed and not knowing if you can do so or how to do it?

–Have you ever been tempted to open your class to other researchers interested in your contents further than the ones affiliated to your institution?

Academy Commons is a tool either for teacher-researchers who post the activity which they are going to do (a course, conference, class, workshop, master seminar, etc.), or for student-researchers looking for research activities. Aware of the multiplicity of forms that embrace these two roles, and of the importance of naming itself, we refer to teachers or lecturers as ‘host researchers’ and to students or guest auditors as ‘visitor researchers’.

Host researcher: as a host researcher, you can post your activity wherever it is taking place by filling out the form you will find in add your activity and it will be automatically posted in the calendar of the web-site, ready for the search engine. In this process you will be requested to log in / create an account, in order to allow you to further updating or editing the posted information (for example in case of change of date or place).

The use of ac_ platform is not restricted to any geographic area or area of knowledge. It is not limited to activities at official institutions or universities; you can post your activity if it takes place either in an official institution or at independent spaces. You can also include requirements, like those that can derivate from understandable space limitations or working literature. The only conditions are that it must be a research activity, and it must allow free of charge entrance to ‘visitor researchers’.

Visitor researcher: are considered visitor researchers the ones who use the platform to search on activities published at the ac_ data-base, in order to attend an activity. If the activity is held at an institution of the official academic system, probably your access will be legally sustained on the traditional figure of the ‘guest auditor’. The only condition regarding your use of this platform is to follow every requirement specified by the host researcher.

Note that your attendance of an activity usually will be out of the official curricula, and consequently not followed by diplomas or certifications unless further personal agreements with the host researcher.

WHO

Academy Commons has been created by researchers based in Barcelona and is registered as a non-profit association (Associació Cultural Academy Commons). However, the initiative is conceived as a tool to be used and fed by a sharing community beyond any cultural or geographic boundaries.

Academy Commons has been created as a completely independent project. Aware of the importance of transparency in economic issues in a platform that will also involve other’s people work and commitment, we think it is a good thing to make explicit the few basic principles of the economic philosophy of the project:

-No kind of comercial advertising will be allowed in this platform.

-No kind of tax or payment will be required for posting activities or to accessing them.

-No kind of economic exploitation of the information posted in the platform will be accepted.

-It is not excluded (moreover it would be welcomed) the possibility of receiving individual or institutional support for the improvement of the web-site platform or for promoting/organizing debates and reflections related to the issues and conflicts that articulate the project.

-As we are a cultural association, users and friends of the project are welcomed to freely (and for free) join the association. Help for some work in the project is welcomed as well, for instance in translating the basic information of this site into the languages of new communities of users.

ac_ Team

Academy Commons is a project created and coordinated by:

Octavi Comeron, Nicolas Maleve, Anja Steidinger

contact: info@academycommons.net

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