(L-R) John Willinsky, SFU publishing professor and Ted Hewitt, SSHRC president

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John Willinsky honoured for work on Public Knowledge Project

November 23, 2016
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By Justin Wong

Publishing professor John Willinsky has received the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada’s (SSHRC) Connection Award and $50,000 for his work on the Public Knowledge Project (PKP). It is the world’s leading open source and open access publishing software for scholarly journals.

For the past 18 years, this multi-university initiative has enabled journals to tap into online management and publishing technologies to help facilitate knowledge circulation worldwide. Since 2005 the SFU Library has served as its operational center.

“I believe that knowledge should be accessible to everyone and PKP has helped make that dream a reality,” says Willinsky, director of the PKP. “Our platform provides a means for journals to review and publish researchers’ work online. Many would not otherwise have the resources to do so.”

Willinsky, who has been an advocate for open access to research and scholarship for two decades, says the award recognizes the PKP team’s hard work and dedication, as well as the support of SFU and other partnering institutions.

PKP is the world's most widely used online, scholarly publishing software

Today, PKP is the most widely used online scholarly publishing software in the world, with more than 10,000 active peer-reviewed journals utilizing its open source software. Willinsky is understandably proud of this accomplishment.

He says the SFU Library’s expertise in developing open source software played a major role in PKP’s adoption by many in the scholarly community. Over the years, the library has ensured that the robust platform and easy user-interface meets users’ evolving needs.

“For myself, the research and design work that went into this project has been intrinsically satisfying, “ he says.

 “Today, the scholarly community around the world is committed to open access to research and with the help of our software, is engaging in a global knowledge exchange.”