SPEC Kit 338: Library Management of Disciplinary Repositories · 151
DIGITAL LIBRARY OF THE COMMONS
Research on the Commons
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Digital Library Of The Commons
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Research on the Commons, Common-Pool Resources, and Common
Property
Definitions
Commons
The commons is a general term for shared resources in which each stakeholder has an equal interest. Studies on
the commons include the information commons with issues about public knowledge, the public domain, open
science, and the free exchange of ideas --all issues at the core of a direct democracy.
Common-pool resources
Common-pool resources (CPRs) are natural or human-made resources where one person's use subtracts from
another's use and where it is often necessary, but difficult and costly, to exclude other users outside the group
from using the resource.. The majority of the CPR research to date has been in the areas of fisheries, forests,
grazing systems, wildlife, water resources, irrigation systems, agriculture, land tenure and use, social organization,
theory (social dilemmas, game theory, experimental economics, etc.), and global commons (climate change, air
pollution, transboundary disputes, etc.). There is a growing corpus of work on "new" or "nontraditional" commons,
which focuses on urban commons (apartment buildings, parking spaces, playgrounds, etc.), the Internet, electro-
magnetic spectrum, genetic data, budgets, etc.
Common property
Common property is a formal or informal property regime that allocates a bundle of rights to a group. Such rights
may include ownership, management, use, exclusion, access of a shared resource.
C. Hess
October 2006
Agriculture
Fisheries
Forest Resources
General and Multiple-use Commons
Global Commons
Grazing Areas
History
Information and Knowledge Commons
Land Tenure and Use
New Commons (also called Nontraditional CPRs)
Social Organization
Theory &Experimental
Urban Commons
Water Resources
Wildlife
This section describes the broad range of commons research subjects and foci.
Research on commons usually focuses on some aspect of the relation between the physical resource and
human institutions designed in the use and maintenance of that resource.
Focus areas are diverse and multi-disciplinary, including: adaptive systems, efficiency, environmental policy,
equity, experimental economics, free riding, game theory, gender, institutional design principles, new
institutional economics, participatory management systems, property rights regimes, resilience, regulation,
sustainability, etc. See Subject Thesaurus for a fuller list
Much of the research focuses on a specific country or countries, or geographical regions.
Resource sectors should fall within the following categories:
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