Producing a Knowledge Commons : tensions between paid work and peer-production in a public institution

This paper explores peer-production initiated and organised by a public institution. We propose a sort of borderline test case that may shed light on issues surrounding peer-production in a capitalist context. We explore tensions around work and production in the digitisation project of the Marie-Victorin Herbarium in which a team of volunteers is working to photograph thousands of herbarium specimens, complete a database entry for each specimen and associate the digital photos with the database. Carried out in the context of a digital infrastructure, Canadensys, whose aim is to make information contained in Canadian biological collections freely accessible online, the project is realised almost exclusively with volunteer labour. This case illustrates how unpaid labour, freely given but organised from above in an institutional context, can produce a knowledge commons that may be difficult for capitalist forces to appropriate.

Ce contenu a été mis à jour le 17 octobre 2018 à 21 h 32 min.