Open knowledge can provide benefits to a wide range of stakeholders. A collaboratively maintained shared or open dataset can help to provide equitable access to data.
A Knowledge Commons project differs from a Communal Database in the degree to which work is shared across the community. Sharing not just maintenance work, but also the overall stewardship might help to build trust and sustainability.
Going beyond the maintenance work of a Communal Database – to create a data infrastructure that allows communities to be more directly involved in the work of stewarding data – can help to build trust, adapt to diverging needs, and Minimise Harm.
A Knowledge Commons project will consist of a common core dataset that is enriched by different perspectives and data that support the needs of different, overlapping communities.
Unlike a Communal Database whose schema is likely to be more centrally managed, this type of project will likely involve a data model which is a Shared Canvas that is adapted and improved on by the community.
The project will likely involve a large, distributed community so get to Know Your Community, Encourage Interest Groups, Organise Campaigns and Build a Rhythm.
With a diverse, distributed community, using Escalating Blocking to handle disputes and malicious entries will be essential.
The decentralised decision making of this type of project means that Transparent Stewardship, Clearly Defined Roles and Visible Processes are all vital. Clear Licensing will also be important to ensure that the community of contributors understand what rights they have over data collected by and about them.