Skip to main content
Log in

An Operational Framework for an Online Community Based on the Commons, Dissensus and Shared Knowledge

  • Original Articles
  • Published:
Postdigital Science and Education Aims and scope Submit manuscript


In this article, we introduce a dissensual knowledge production mechanism for the creation and governance of the commons. Rather than seeking a singular truth which is a social construct, producing a bricolage of truths by citizen associations or communities opens up new perspectives for the commons and democracy. Taking an online community as a case study, we analyze knowledge production and sharing mechanisms, and conflict generation and resolution processes, using simple statistics, text mining, disagreement hierarchy, community guidelines, and group rules. We use the conclusions drawn from these techniques in the Institutional Analysis and Development framework. Superposing our findings and critical reading of current best practices, we define the four main principles as the operational framework for an online community based on the commons, dissensus, and shared knowledge: distributed versioning, layering, inclusion, and self-determination.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7

Similar content being viewed by others


Download references


We would like to thank our reviewers for their constructive feedback and Thomas Glenn Kelso for the proofreading.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Hulya Ertas.

Additional information

This paper is co-created as part of a Ph.D. research project by Hulya Ertas ‘Building a Knowledge Commons for Commons Architecture’ at the KU Leuven Department of Architecture, Campus Sint-Lucas Brussels, co-advised by Burak Pak, Caroline Newton and Lieven de Cauter. The online platform proposed in this chapter will be implemented as a part of her Ph.D. project.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Ertas, H., Pak, B. & Newton, C. An Operational Framework for an Online Community Based on the Commons, Dissensus and Shared Knowledge. Postdigit Sci Educ 2, 397–415 (2020).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: