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John Willinsky

John Willinsky
John Willinsky
Academic Title 
Other Titles 

Khosla Family Professor

Contact Information
Program Affiliations 
Learning Sciences and Technology Design (LSTD)

I work under the auspices of the Public Knowledge Project which is focused on extending access to, and the accessibility of, research and scholarship. The research is on student, professional, and public access to this educational resource, while PKP also engages in developing and designing open source software (free) publishing systems to improve the public and scholarly quality of peer-reviewed journals. This also involves 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, curriculum theory, lexicography, and European imperialism, I have come to focus my studies on both analyzing and altering scholarly publishing practices to understand whether this body of knowledge might yet become more of a public resource for education and deliberation and whether we can develop software tools to help make that happen.

"With the world’s embrace of the digital, publishing is facing myriad changes, not least of all within scholarly communication. Our efforts to sort through these changes can be assisted by what happened with learning, from the medieval to the early modern period, in the monasteries, schools, and universities. The digital era does seem to hold great promise for learning, and in ways reminiscent of the earlier translation movements, the initiation of the universities, and the advent of printing. These prior breakthroughs opened access to a broader literature, new methods of inquiry and scholarly standards, and different forms of sponsorship. This time the increases in access are not only to learned works, but to data, sources, archives, and instruments on a global scale, all of which speak to a far more open and collaborative commonwealth of learning."

-John Willinsky, The Intellectual Properties of Learning: A Prehistory from Saint Jerome to John Locke. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, in press.

  • 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)
  • Critical Theory and Critical Pedagogies (EDUC 304)
  • The Public Life of Science and Technology (STS 1)

Willinsky, J. (In press). The Intellectual Properties of Learning: A Prehistory from Saint Jerome to John Locke. Chicago: University of Chicago Press

Maggio, L. Moorhead, L., and Willinsky, J. (2017). A Qualitative Study of Physicians’ Varied Uses of Biomedical Research, BMJ Open (British Medical Journal), 6(11).

Carvalho Neto, S., Willinsky, J. & Alperin, J. P. (2016) Measuring, Rating, Supporting, and Strengthening Open Access Scholarly Publishing in Brazil. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 24 (29) Retrieved [date], from

Moorhead, L., Holzmeyer, Maggio., L., Steinberg, R., & Willinsky, J. (2015). In an Age of Open Access to Research Policies: Physician and public health NGO staff research use and policy awareness. PLOS One 10.7: e0129708.

Maggio, L, Moorhead, L., Steinberg, R., O'Brien, B. & Willinsky, J. (2013). Access of primary and secondary literature by health personnel in an academic health center: Implications for open access. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 101(3), 205-12.

Willinsky, J. & Provencal, J. (2013). The intellectual and institutional properties of learning: Historical reflections on patronage, autonomy, and transaction. New Media and Society, 15(3), 398-412.

Willinsky, J. & Provencal, J. (2013). Critical literacy lessons for the intellectual properties of learning from Bede and Alcuin of York. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 16(5), 475-89.

Willinsky, John. Teaching for a World of Increasing Access to Knowledge. CALJ Journal 1.1 (2013).

Directing the Public Knowledge Project at Stanford University and Simon Fraser University.

Directing the Program in Science, Technology and Society at Stanford.

Development of open source software: Open Journal Systems (V 3.0) and Open Conference Systems (V 2.0), and Open Monograph Press (3.0).

In partnership with SciELO and Redalyc in supporting online scholarly publishing initiatives in Latin America.

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