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The Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative (COKI)

Open Knowledge Institutions book cover
Open Knowledge Institutions book cover

Universities exist to support the creation and transfer of knowledge. Efforts by universities to enable open knowledge have the potential to broaden the impact of higher education and research institutions. Our team is exploring the mechanisms that will allow universities to work more effectively with local and global communities in the production of knowledge; as well as those that support its uptake and application both within and beyond academia.

The Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative (COKI) group is developing a broad program of work on the theme of ‘open knowledge institutions’, supported in the first instance through a 2-year strategic research grant from Curtin University. The goal of our project is to develop tools and data that will allow universities to understand how effectively they are operating as open knowledge institutions; and to support strategic change in higher education and research.

Combining data science and a critical perspective we are addressing questions of how to collect and manage data at a large scale, as well as how sharing this data and analysis will effect the ecosystem. Using Google Cloud tools to harvest, combine and analyse large amounts of output, staffing, narrative and other data sources we are building new capabilities to support university decision making.

This first major output from the project is the book Open Knowledge Institutions: Reinventing Universities. Currently available here [] as a draft book hosted by MIT Press and open for community comment and review.

Our ultimate goal is to create a shift in the ways in which university performance is evaluated: subverting existing competitive impulses and promoting a collective goal of more open and productive universities. Building a community of institutions and individuals around a shared narrative and open knowledge agenda will be key to this.


Cameron Neylon, Professor of Research Communications
Lucy Montgomery, Associate Professor, Internet Studies
John Hartley, Professor of Cultural Science

Karl Huang, Data Scientist
Katie Wilson, Research Fellow
Richard Hosking, Data Scientist
Alkim Ozaygen, Data Scientist
Chloe Brookes-Kenworthy, Data Wrangler
Emma de Francisco, Project Coordinator

COKI publications

Montgomery, L., Hartley, J., Neylon, C., Gillies, M., Gray, E., Herrmann-Pillath, C., Huang, C-K., Leach, J., Potts, J., Ren, X., Skinner, K., Sugimoto, C. R., & Wilson, K. ( in review 2018). Open knowledge institutions: Reinventing universities. doi: 10.21428/99f89a34


Montgomery, Lucy and Neylon, Cameron (September 17, 2018). In a globalised and networked world, what is the unique value a university can bring? Introducing Open Knowledge Institutions. LSE Impact Blog.

WIlson, K., Neylon, C., Montgomery, L. & Huang, C-H. (2019). Library access policies: an indication of openness? Information Research, 24(1), paper 809. Retrieved from (Archived by WebCite® at

Benneworth, Paul, Peñuela, Julia Olmos, Montgomery, Lucy, Neylon, Cameron, Hartley, John and Wilson, Katie. (in press 2019). The ‘open’ university as a transformer of public service ideals. Chapter in “Humanities and Higher Education: Generating Synergies between Science, Technology and Humanities”, Higher Education in the World 7.

Montgomery, Lucy., Daniel S. Katz and Olivia Guest. (March 6, 2019). Creating an Inclusive Research Landscape, F1000Blog

Montgomery, Lucy and Neylon, Cameron (March 29, 2019). The value of a journal is the community it creates, not the papers it publishes. LSE Impact BLog