It’s a software that, once installed on a server, will create a website where people can create groups of documents (scientific or not) and/or get notified of new ones coming from scientific data repositories or other OLKi servers.
OLKi is not only designed for scientists, as corpora created on it will be commentable from other federated social networks like Mastodon, Pleroma, and many others. The main goal is to free scientific discussion from silos like ResearchGate, Mendeley and Academia.edu where only scientists get to discuss publications. Another goal is to give scientists a better tooling than Twitter when they want to express themselves on social networks.
Will OLKi replace data repositories?
Although you upload documents to your OLKi server when you create a corpus, there is not the same guarantee that it will stay available decades after that. It is mainly due to the fact anyone can decide to host an OLKi instance - it's up to them to decide of their own data management plans and associated guarantees. OLKi (the software) by itself should have no problem lasting multiple years and we intend to support it long-term.
Data repositories are traditionally used for storage and are very good at it, but OLKi wants to focus on what they don't cover: collaboration, scientific watch, public involvement. As for their purpose, data repositories and OLKi have multiple differences. Content hosted on a data repository is mainly static or revisioned by their authors at best. Content on OLKi is meant to be discussed, and undergo revisions that may be the direct outcome of discussions.
How much will it cost me to use OLKi?
The OLKi software will be distributed free of charge, and no one will have to pay us anything to install it on their server or modify it. Running the software can be done on a light server, so operating costs should stay low too.
How do I install OLKi on a server?
Much like for any nascent software, you will have to wait (until winter 2019) for a first beta version. There are no installation facilitation nor guidelines yet. Of course, you can be willing to take part in the development and we can assist you to run a test instance. In that case or if you are just curious, the code is available here.
Who will be able to use OLKi?
If you are willing to use OLKi but cannot install it yourself, you might find hosting (for free or at a cost, depending on what admins set) on third-party servers hosting OLKi themselves. Typically these are institutional instances, but OLKi is not only designed for scientific or institutional use. A knowledgeable (as in, having the knowledge to install software on a server) acquaintance can also host OLKi and provide you the service. A list of instances with open registrations will be made available to spot such instances and test the software for yourself.
OLKi is designed for (but not limited to) scientific discussion and dissemination around corpora. The discussions around a corpus can be useful for non-scientific works too, so we made sure the software doesn't only cater to scientists. In addition, the discussions are meant to be open (although this can be tuned) via ActivityPub, meaning millions of citizens from other federated networks can see and comment your works, to make them evolve and give you feedback.