The Open Knowledge Foundation is proud to support over 20 active and incubating working groups, domain specific groups promoting, advocating for and building openness in their respective fields. Here is what some of our working groups have been up to over the past few months!


Open Science:

The Open Science Working Group has welcomed three new Panton Fellows. Meet Samuel Moore, Rosie Grave and Peter Krater, three early career researchers who will spend the next year exploring and supporting the adoption of open research practices in science and other fields of research.

In addition to welcoming these incredible new fellows, the Open Science working group (in collaboration with IDRC and Open-UTC) organised two Open Science for Development workshops, one in Cape Town (see photo above) and one in London. Following from these successful workshops, the working group has been working tirelessly to produce an Open Science for Development Research Framework. At OKcon in September, the working group organised an Open & Citizen Science Hack Day, where they succeeded in attracting both OKcon attendees present in Geneva and remote participants from France, the US, the Netherlands and Germany.

Open Science is spreading across the world! More and more local open science strands are coming together as open science enthusiasts from different corners of the globe are getting together and developing projects in their local community. Now you can join an open science community in Stockholm, Brazil or one of the other local strands of the working group. If you’d like to get involved, introduce yourself on the open science mailing list and follow the group on twitter.

Open Product Data:

Open Product Data is one of the newest Open Knowledge Foundation working groups with the goal of both developing the largest open product database in the world and advocating for increased access to product data. Open product data has the potential to empower consumers, increase efficiency and drive economic growth but at the moment product data, such as a product’s barcode, is public but not open. Since joining the Open Knowledge Foundation only a month ago, our community has already developed an android application for Open Product Data and heard stories of others use our database to further their initiatives.

The working group is organising an event (in collaboration with Hub Westminster and Provenance) in London on November 26th, 2013 in order to bring together a diverse group of people interested in open product data to share what they are building and discuss future collaborations. The daytime event will be focused on the more technical aspects of open product data with discussion topics such as mapping the data source possibilities, hypothesising the future implications of open product data and brainstorming the information architecture necessary for such an endeavour. A separate evening event will bring together manufacturers, retailers and consumer groups to discuss the business model opportunities that a more open product data environment would create.

Find out more about the ambitions of the group here and remember, Open Product Data is a community project, if you want to contribute, join the group on github, say hello on the mailing list and follow everything that they are doing on twitter.


OpenGLAM is now all over the world. 2013 has seen the growth of local OpenGLAM groups organising professional networks that take action and promote the value of open culture within a given region or country (ex US, Switzerland, Austria etc.).

The OpenGLAM Working Group is now also supported by a new set of key network partners including the Digital Public Library of America, LODLAM and the Internet Archive.

The OpenGLAM Working Group has been working hard on a set of principles, which cultural institutions can adopt and endorse in order to make their resources more open to re-use. The OpenGLAM Working Group has been collecting useful research and resources on open cultural data and specifically its measurable impact on cultural institutions. You can check the page where we are gathering together these resources and essential reading for anyone hoping to open up cultural content or data.

OpenGLAM, Open Science and Open Product Data are only three of our 20+ working groups dedicated to making their fields more open! If you would like to get involved, join one of the mailing lists or contact us directly at getinvolved {at} okfn . org and make sure to tune in next month to find out what other groups have been up to.

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Katelyn Rogers is a project and community manager at Open Knowledge Foundation.