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Open Engineering

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posted on 2017-05-24, 17:35 authored by Devin BergDevin Berg
As engineering researchers and scholars, we hope to have an impact on the world through our work. Many of us went into this field in pursuit of the dream of using our skills and training to help improve the lives of others. Unfortunately, through the pressures of career advancement we find ourselves creating and publishing work that will be read by a handful (sometimes fewer) of others. While practicing open engineering won't guarantee that more people will read your work, it does remove many of the barriers to access that make it difficult for millions of people around the world to obtain and engage with the engineering knowledge that is so often locked away behind the paywalls employed by some of the biggest academic publishers. With the availability of modern tools, it is easier than ever to make available not only the final, polished product of the engineering research or design process, but also the data, code, solid models, or any other artifacts produced along the way. By making the full scope of our work available, we have the opportunity to see our work replicated, expanded upon, or even driven in new directions we hadn't conceived. Through these mechanisms, the impact of our work is magnified. To realize these benefits, it may be necessary to re-examine the reward structures which drive our career advancement and in some cases, restructure the role of the publicly funded research institution in society.


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