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I am an Australian occupational therapist, educator and researcher. I have worked as an OT in mental health, vocational rehabilitation and a private surgical hospital. I am passionate using online technology to enhance the knowledge and growth of the occupational therapy profession. In my PhD research I am looking at the role of online technologies in information management and knowledge transfer in occupational therapy. Views expressed and stories shared on this blog are my opinion and do not represent views of my employer or professional registration body.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sharing resources: Are we just giving away our knowledge?

Some people who are new to the online environment are concerned that others may use their content and not cite them, so they simply refuse to put any information online, keeping all their knowledge in the formal literature... inaccessible to the masses.

The fear of having your work stolen is real and it happens! Many people either don't know how to cite or maybe they don't want to cite (and in fact are stealing your work to pass it off as their own). Either way, that is plagiarism and should not happen!

So a dilemma exists for many people who want to use their wiki or their blog to share their small project, or their ideas or maybe even the results of a large study... they may not get any "glory"

This is how I view the dilemma (today) about what to put online and what to try to publish through the "formal channels"...
  1. Primarily my role is to find and make sense of information and translate this for use by others
  2. It is not about "glory"... even though I love a bit of a spotlight :-)
  3. Sharing my work through journal publications is one way to get new information to the community andpublishing in journals and books is still the most accepted form of currency for my employer to understand that I am contributing
  4. Web 2.0 tools such as wikis and blogs and podcasts etc are excellent tools for quick dissemination of information, and it is a good idea to promote your published material there for people who don't have ready access to databases and journals etc
Thinking "out loud" about this dilemma further maybe there is a time and a place to withhold information that I want to publish, but should really go through the formal channels of publication.

Question to the ether... "in the professional arena what do you withhold from your blog or wiki and why"


Christopher J. Alterio said...

As I am not employed in an academic context I always feel a little unfettered and unconcerned about publishing online vs. submitting to more traditional print resources. In that sense I am able to adopt a rather strong 'open-source' mental framework about the 'intellectual property' that I put online.

So - my 'limitations' about what I put online are more related to how much 'personal' information I want to share. I find that since my online writing is mostly professionally based with some small sprinkling of personal opinion/experience I prefer to leave political or religious conversations out of my conversation. I think that in my situation those are the only kinds of conversations that do not 'fit' into my online writing.

I have run into surprisingly strong hesitancy from some people in academia about the prospect of publishing online, or contributing to online conversations via blog. I suspect that this hesitation will be less prominent as time goes on.

Anita Hamilton said...

Thanks Chris, I relate to your thoughts. Do you think to that there might also be some people who just don't want to "get it wrong" online (for the whole world to see)? This was put to me today in a conversation (on the good old phone!) with a person who attended a presentation I gave about Wikis.

I hope you're right about "it will change over time" :-)
cheers, Anita

Unknown said...

Post title tells lots of things but I don't think that with sharing our resources and giving our knowledge. That's not true. By sharing our resources we just help others to learn more and try to do some different things.

Thanks !

occupational therapy university

Anita Hamilton said...

Hi Centennial College! Glad the post title grabbed your attention :-) I have found some people to be far more proprietary about their information than others. As they say "Knowledge is power".
Merry Christmas, Anita.

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