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Subject: Sharing knowledge

Sharing knowledge

From: Niccolo Caldararo <caldararo<-at->
Date: Monday, June 10, 2013
About 30 years ago Robert Organ proposed an venue for conservators
to share their work.  He called it the National Institute for
Conservation.  This institute would preserve all the treatments of
conservators the world over as a resource to present and future
conservators.  It would be both an archive and a living facility
where people could do research and have questions answered about
what people had done in what situations so that archived reports
could be mined for decision making evidence.

This proposal drew many supporters and many opponents. It was an
expensive proposition, requiring a lot of labor (researchers) and
communication (librarians to answer questions).  Some opposed it
because they felt it would open the conservation field to a host of
liabilities and both supporters and critics had their points.  The
proposal failed mainly I think because it required a lot of funding.

Recently I was contacted by an organization called Research Gate.
They sent me a list of my publications and asked it I would agree to
put them on their site for free download open to any scientist the
world over.  The spirit of this effort is consistent with that of
the technology world where sharing is considered a positive and
within the tradition of science.  The founder wanted to create a
site where scientists could share their unpublished work,
experiments, theories, etc. and then be able to discuss the
materials, online in real time. I agreed to place my work on the
site after researching the firm and seeing how it works and who uses
it.  I have put all my articles, chapters from books and some
unpublished work on the site.

I think this site could function much like Robert Organ had hoped
his NIC would.  People could upload their treatment reports,
experiments on materials, etc., images of problems and we could all
download these articles, images and data and discuss problems

While this would not replace our present publications, it would
greatly enhance communication among conservators.

I would like to start a discussion of this idea.  What do people
think?  Is this a good idea?  What are the downsides if any?  It is
free and could act as a model for a future conservator only site.

Niccolo Caldararo
Director and Chief Conservator
Conservation Art Service

                  Conservation DistList Instance 27:4
                   Distributed: Tuesday, July 2, 2013
                        Message Id: cdl-27-4-004
Received on Monday, 10 June, 2013

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