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Research note: Measuring the globalization of knowledge: The case of community informatics


DOI: 10.5210/fm.v18i8.4347

WILLIAMS, Kate et al. Research note: Measuring the globalization of knowledge: The case of community informatics. First Monday, [S.l.], jul. 2013. ISSN 13960466. Available at: http://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/4347.

p.1: Freely accessible online, with a wide set of authors and a wider readership, First Monday can be seen as striving for global knowledge on the social aspects of the Internet. In a meta–analysis now underway, we found First Monday to be the third most prolific journal on a particular subject: local communities’ uses of information technology. Our study also sheds some light on what constitutes global knowledge. The data suggests that a synthesis of English–language published knowledge is a first step. It points to a bigger agenda: reaching into the world’s local settings in a proportionate and representative way. That would mean publishers outside the U.S. and U.K.; scholars in other countries; and, studies in other languages. This is what it would take to learn from all our cultures and countries. -- Highlighted mar 21, 2014

p.1: In short, the globalization of knowledge is not complete, but is underway. The studies published in the English–language scholarly literature study primarily the English–speaking world. The authors are disproportionately at institutions in the English–speaking world, primarily the U.S. Their institutions are overrepresented in the literature relative to their countries’ populations, but also relative to the global distribution of top–ranked universities. Moreover, the scholars tend to study communities in their own country. To move closer to global knowledge, we must reach beyond U.S. and U.K. publishers, to scholars elsewhere, and outside the English language, for a representative picture of such a global phenomenon as our subject, the adoption of information technology by local communities. -- Highlighted mar 21, 2014

p.2: Community informatics enables us

to connect cyber–space to community–place: to investigate how ICTs can be geographically embedded and developed by community groups to support networks of people who already know and care about each other

-- Highlighted mar 21, 2014

p.2: CI is concerned with:

those who are being excluded from this ongoing [technology] rush, and enabling these individuals and communities to take advantage of some of the opportunities which the technology is providing. It is also concerned with enhancing civil society and strengthening local communities for self management and for environmental and economically sustainable development

-- Highlighted mar 21, 2014

p.2: CI is anchored in questions of social and digital inequalities, and poorer or working class people tend to be more place-bound than middle classes and elites, even if migration patterns separate them from their original homes. -- Highlighted mar 21, 2014

p.7: What’s more, some areas within countries are much examined, most of all South India (53 studies) and California (27 studies). That likely reflects Silicon Valley and the IT cities of Bangalore, Chennai, and Hyderabad. South India is home to just 22 percent of the population of India but the setting for 67 percent of the articles that examine India. So CI projects in IT–oriented local economies have attracted a disproportionate share of research interest so far. -- Highlighted mar 21, 2014

p.7: One additional measure of place is to compare the presence of rural and urban communities in the set. By 2008 just over half of humanity lived in cities. But only 23 percent of the studies focus solely on rural communities. If more research would focus on rural areas at they get better connected, it could help them sustain their residents. -- Highlighted mar 21, 2014