I know there's tonnes on this, all that wikinomics stuff, but it's the small examples that always bring home to me the advantages of sharing. Take this week, I did a presentation on Twitter last Wednesday, and naturally let everyone know via Twitter.
Turns out a twitter friend, Martin Ebner, was doing one on the same subject today. So he did a presentation, which borrowed a couple of my slides (with acknowledgement), and then shared his presentation, and let me know via Twitter. His is a definite improvement on mine:
Added to that, when I put my presentation up on Slideshare, a few people favourited it. I got notifications of this, so had a look at their pages and found other presentations they'd favourited on the same subject, e.g. Josie Fraser
The result? If I had to do another Twitter workshop tomorrow, I'd borrow from Martin's and from some of those I found via Slideshare. Within a week, and with very little effort on my part, and without leaving my desk, I have gathered a reasonable set of resources that will allow me to significantly improve my own presentation. And all this results from the initial act of being open and sharing.
Now, without wishing to sound like a broken record, you would struggle to come up with a similar scenario for sharing research findings via conventional means. Which raises the question: is the aim of research to generate official outputs or to share knowledge?