Open Everything: a viable tool for improving research productivity in developing countries
(A case study of the Departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science)
Prologue: This is an open discussion. I am currently brainstorming on this idea and would like to read everyone’s contributions.
Open Everything is a new and broad term that includes Free Open Source Software (FOSS), Open Software Service, Open Education, Open Textbook, to mention a few. There is a massive movement towards Open Everything, most notably in Developing Countries, such as South Africa, with the recent launch of Cape Town Open Education Declaration. FOSS has played a significant role in Education, Government and Industry in terms of using FOSS to conduct research, using zero-cost software packages for governmental projects, and developing commercial products from FOSS.
The flexible licenses in the FOSS have resulted in innovative products and solutions, which are regularly pushed to the market. Although the resulting products are free to use, modify and redistribute, some products are commercialized. Open Software Service is a service provided by a software application running online and making its facilities available to users over the Internet via an interface. This development encourages individuals, companies or bodies that could not afford to buy licensed software to use a service and periodically pay for it.
Here, the research goal is to start a set of open source projects; run the project for a long period, probably three years; evaluate research outputs of academics and PG students at the commencement of the project and after three years; and draw conclusions if the project has imparted knowledge into researchers at home.
What are the open source projects?
- These would be all kinds of collaborative work based on Open Everything.
How would I evaluate the work?
- Number of (joint paper) publications, patents and the likes from the academics and PG students at home.
- Rate of absorption of graduates into the Industry.
I look forward to your contributions.