I have been thinking a lot recently about how to move beyond the rhetoric of “open equals good” towards identifying where open approaches help us meet key business cases. A notable quote from the Power of Open book launch was that “open isn’t a business model, its a part of a business model”. I’m seeing this trend in open educational resources, open access repositories and open innovation. It’s how open source became more mainstream, and we need to be learning from that journey. If we want to see open approaches sustained, we need to get businesslike about how make the case, however contradictory that might sound.
Earlier this month I spoke at a UKOLN event on metrics and the social web, and the discussion there reinforced the potential of using the web more effectively to underpin our key business goals in further and higher education.
On 26th July I am presenting at the Institutional Web Managers Workshop 2011 and I will be developing this theme further, paying particular attention to the way that web managers can support open access, open educational resources and open social scholarship.
In reflecting on how open access and OER can contribute to the core business cases of universities, I think that activities particularly worthy of more attention include:
- Profiling academic expertise
- Supporting REF impact metrics
- Enhanced research publications
- Cross-linking open content to open course data
- Social media listening tools
- Web analytics and visualisation
My presentation on slideshare: Marketing and other dirty words