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Kierstead, Megan


Designing an Analysis Framework for the Study of Knowledge Commons


Charlie Schweik

Contact info:


Project abstract: 

Shared knowledge and information have become increasingly important in education, science, finance, and many other innovation-based industries. The study of “knowledge commons”, environments for knowledge pooling and collaborative production, is a relatively new field, emerging within the last decade as digital technologies have increased the availability of shared intellectual resources. Knowledge commons not only have the potential to fuel innovation and economic growth, but also contribute to social good by providing structures and institutions for improved information access and wider user participation in design. While there is a thorough and extensive body of work on other types of resource commons, the shared features of knowledge commons are less well understood, partially because of a lack of in-depth and comparable case studies of these systems. Using collaborative design tools and techniques, I am developing an analysis framework that will enable systematic examination and comparisons across studies. This framework aims to capture the important concepts and relationships common to all types of knowledge commons and will provide researchers with flexible tools to frame and guide their inquiry. I will be evaluating this framework by applying it to new case studies and inviting others to do the same. The goal of this work is to establish a body of shared, comparable case studies for long-term theory development and design recommendations. Academics, policymakers, and innovators alike will be able to use this research understand the institutional and organizational processes of innovation, knowledge production, and collaboration in many domains. 


Kierstead, M. “Air Pollution in Southern California and Disadvantaged Populations.” University of Massachusetts Life Sciences Graduate Research Symposium. Amherst, MA. 2012. Poster.

S. Berkman, N. Bush, L. Fletcher, M. Kierstead, S. Libby, B. MacDonald, J. Starr, J. Fish, C. Schweik. “Outsmart Invasive Species: Outreach and Research on Citizen Engagement in Invasive Species Monitoring.” Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group Symposium. University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT. 2012. Poster.

MacDonald, B., Schweik, C., Kierstead, M., Bush, N., Fletcher, L., and Fish, J. “Outsmarting Invasive Species: Smartphone Crowdsourcing and Collaborative Environmental Management.” Association for Public Policy and Analysis Fall Research Conference, Baltimore, MD. 2012.

Stark, R., Wollocko, A., Borys, M., Kierstead, M., and Farry, M. (2012) “Visualizing Large Scale
Patterns and Anomalies in Geospatial Data,” VisWeek 2012, Seattle, WA. 2012.

Kierstead, M., and Koelle, D. “Collaborative Geospatial Visualizations to Improve Sociocultural Understanding,” 4th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics (AHFE), San Francisco, CA. 2012. Poster.

Page updated: March 6, 2013