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Willinsky, John

John Willinsky
John Willinsky
Academic Title 
Other Titles 

Khosla Family Professor

Contact Information
Program Affiliations 
CTE: Science Education
Research Interests 
Information Literacy
Intellectual Property, Learning, and John Locke
Scholarly Communication
Sociology of Knowledge

Work on the Public Knowledge Project is focused on extending access to, and the accessibility of, knowledge through online sources. The research is on student, professional, and public access to research and scholarship, while development continues on designing systems to improve the public and scholarly quality of peer-reviewed journals. In addition, international collaborations in Latin America, Africa, and South-East Asia are aimed at helping to better understand and strengthen scholarly publishing in those areas.

After working for some time on the educational implications of such knowledge systems as literary theory, historical dictionaries, and European imperialism, I have come to focus on both analyzing and altering scholarly publishing practices to understand whether this body of knowledge might yet become more of a public resource for learning and deliberation.

"These new publishing technologies are being used to draw different sorts of lines between private property and public commons, some of which, such as open access scholarly publishing, promise to do a great deal to advance the commons in favor of all, as well as providing in the process a much stronger public account of that commons’ value. As university faculty come to appreciate how much more they can do for this commons, and as students are taught how to contribute to that commons through their own learning and labor, one cannot help but feel somewhat encouraged about the democratic and educational properties of the world to come."

-John Willinsky, "The Properties of Locke’s Common-Wealth of Learning," Policy Futures in Education, 4.4, 2006, 348-365.

  • Ph.D., Sociology of Education, Dalhousie University, 1982
  • M.Ed., Educational Theory, University of Toronto, 1980
  • B.A., English, Laurentian University, 1976

Pacific Press Professor of Literacy and Technology, Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia, 1990-2007

Associate Professor of Education, University of Calgary, 1984-1990

School Teacher, Sault Ste. Marie Board of Education, 1973-1984

  • Doctoral Pro Seminar (EDUC 325A)
  • Developments in Access to Knowledge and Scholarly Communication (EDUC 358)
  • Curriculum in Theory and Practice (EDUC 208C)
  • Curriculum and Instruction in English (EDUC 262B)

Willinsky, J. (2009). Toward the design of an Open Monograph Press. Journal of Electronic Publishing, 12(1). SUSE OA.

Willinsky, J. (2009). The Publisher's Pushback against NIH's Public Access and Scholarly Publishing Sustainability, PLoS Biology. 7(1):e30. SUSE OA.

Willinsky, J. (2008). Socrates back on the street: Wikipedia’s citing of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. International Journal of Communication, 2, 1269-1288. SUSE OA.

Willinsky, J. (2007). What Open Access Research Can Do for Wikipedia, First Monday, 12(3).

Willinsky, J. & Quint-Rapoport, M. (2007). How Complementary and Alternative Medicine practitioners use PubMed. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 9(2).

Willinsky, J.; Mendis, R. (2007). Open Access on a Zero Budget: A Case Study of Postcolonial Text. Information Research, 12(3).

Also, open access to work from the last ten years is available at the Public Knowledge Project website.

Directing the Public Knowledge Project at Stanford University, University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University.

Development of open source software: Open Journal Systems (V 2.2) and Open Conference Systems (V 2.0), and Open Monograph Press.

In partnership with INASP for development of Asian Journals Online system, and with SciELO and Redalyc in supporting online scholarly publishing initiatives in Latin America.