In 1998, John Willinsky founded the Public Knowledge Project (PKP) at The University of British Columbia. Its goal was to increase public engagement with university scholarship by making publicly funded research available to everyone.
Today, with its home base at the library of Simon Fraser University, it stands as the international model for scholarly research and data sharing. In fact, its Open Journal Systems (OJS) software is the open source platform of choice, used by universities around the world to publish their research.
Willinsky’s work involves collaborating with colleagues in the PKP on the design and coding of software systems for the online publishing of open access journals and monographs. His research efforts in the humanities and social sciences have included conducting historical inquiries into the intellectual properties of learned works going back many centuries; collaborating with other colleagues on randomized trials that assess physician and public health use of open access to research; and investigating the crossover between scholarly research and public knowledge sites, such as Wikipedia.
More generally, Willinsky speaks regularly with colleagues and students around the world about the opportunities for improving the contribution to, and fulfilling the responsibilities of, research and scholarship.
The OJS software is accessible in 25 languages, and has enabled peer-reviewed papers from over 325 Canadian journals to be published and shared online. And, perhaps more importantly, it is giving students and scholars in developing countries (especially in Latin America) a platform to publish their work, broadening and enriching scholarly research worldwide. It is estimated that over 2.3 million scholarly articles have been published on the PKP service platform.
A professor at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education, Willinsky obtained his PhD in sociology of education at Dalhousie University. He is also a part-time professor in publishing studies at Simon Fraser University through the PKP, which he directs.
Willinsky is an award-winning author of several books on education and open access, and is a fellow in the Royal Society of Canada’s Academy of Social Sciences, as well as a member of the National Academy of Education in the United States.