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Issue 6 (2008)

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Collaborative work and networks in the knowledge economy, the realities of a new society

This new issue of UOC Papers opens with an in-depth article by Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Open University of Catalonia, UOC) lecturer, Joan Torrent, on network effects in the knowledge society. Specifically, it analyses the transformations in the supply and demand of observable and tacit knowledge goods deriving from network effects. The article concludes that network effects on demand and the creation of value clearly differ in terms of the type of knowledge good involved.

The issue also includes a special dossier focusing on collaborative work. This kind of work, despite the fact that it has been around and structured to greater or lesser extent for many years, has taken on more importance thanks to the new technologies that have made it easier and more feasible. Also known as cooperative work, it is taking on innovative forms in the way in which it is structured and faces up to new challenges in the fields of research, learning and all that linked to the so-called Web 2.0.

The dossier has been coordinated by UOC lecturer Alexandre Lpez-Borrull, and includes four articles that look to assess experiences of collaborative work in four different disciplines. In the first, David Cabanillas, IT expert and UOC Tutor, presents and examines the different collaborative technologies currently available, describing their evolution and capacities. In the second, Carmen Echazarreta, Ferran Prados, Jordi Poch and Josep Soler, from the University of Girona, describe the collaborative work competence linked to the new European Higher Education Area and how this skill should be developed. In the third, Jordi Snchez-Navarro and Llus Pastor, of the UOC, look at the media in terms of collaboration and the role they play in the generation of content. Finally, in the fourth article, the dossier's coordinator, Alexandre Lpez-Borrull, examines collaborative work in Information and Communication Studies.

This issue's Miscellany section includes two contributions. The first, from Cristbal Cobo, of the Latin American Social Sciences Faculty, Mexico, proposes analysis of the education-creativity-open source triumvirate, reflecting on the initiatives, methodologies and strategies emerging in the knowledge society to reassess education in the 21st century. In turn, Yolanda Garca, social researcher at the University of Santiago de Compostela's GIST-IDEGA, analyses the links between ICTs, audiovisual culture and the formation of local-level cultural economies based on an experience developed in Galicia.

Finally, after four years in charge of this UOC journal, I am pleased to be able to announce that the next issue, which is scheduled to come out before the end of 2009, will mark a new stage of development for UOC Papers. Now that the journal's position has been consolidated, having never failed to meet its two annual appointments with its readers (on average 2,500 unique monthly visitors and nearly 1,900 subscribers), and following the initial drive that saw it indexed in databases such as MIAR, DICE, Latindex, Carhus+, Redalyc or e-revistas, a new team will have to take on the challenge of making it a publication recognised by the world's benchmark indices in the field of scientific dissemination of research into the knowledge society. The challenge is great, but also exciting. I wish those now responsible for the journal the very best of luck.

Joan Fuster Sobrepere

Director, UOC Papers

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