Public knowledge is that which is known by a community, the consumption of its content is free and can be shared among all members. It is characterized by integrating information that is of interest to most people , therefore no limits are established for its use.

Any public good will be available so that it can be accessed by any means. There will be no restrictions because there is no ownership or administration that regulates this data, it becomes the public domain. 

What is public knowledge?

Public knowledge is defined as that which is created by people and institutions to be freely used. It is also called open knowledge, this is because there is total accessibility and it is also reusable . It is a knowledge that begins to be considered as another public good, which must be preserved due to its importance for the community .

Reference is made to popular lore, because it is common for a large number of people to be able to interpret it easily. It is a knowledge of a universal nature , it is widely disseminated in various sectors of a society. There are no sectarian boundaries and no regulations of any kind.

It is knowledge that contains anonymous information , due to its free access it is always subject to change. New data can be added that could change the original meaning of an idea, however it depends on the acceptance of a majority for it to be considered as truthful information.

Using the term public implies being indicating that a content that belongs to the state or community . The administration of these data is carried out by all citizens who belong to the same company. To ensure that it is not forgotten, it depends largely on actions such as sharing and inheritance.

Characteristics of public knowledge 

Public knowledge by definition can be freely used, there are no limits that prevent access to this content. Among several characteristics that this typology of knowledge possesses, one of the most notable is in reference to its origin. It can be said that the genesis of public knowledge is difficult to pin down, it is information that does not have an owner or a date of creation.

Other characteristics that help to identify what is public knowledge are mentioned and described below. It is important to note that it is born from a process in which various elements intervene, the social aspect is important . These are its characteristics:

  • It is consumed jointly , that is, its usefulness applies to a large number of people.
  • It is not possible to exclude any person or a group so that they can access this knowledge. Its consumption is free and there are no rules that regulate its consumption.
  • Nor is there any rivalry or competition regarding the employability of said information. This is knowledge that cannot affect or limit people.
  • The origin of this knowledge is difficult to identify. For its creation various influences are taken into account, together all these elements allow to build a new idea; to which you can continue adding information .
  • The content can also be part of other types of knowledge. It could be said that it serves as a basis for the construction of new prepositions, this is because it has the support of several sources .
  • It is a knowledge that is usually considered as true . This is because there are several individuals who can attest that such information is real.
  • Unlike other types of knowledge , in this case methodologies or techniques are not established ; that are necessary to collect, store or use said content.

Although public knowledge is used by several people, it must also be considered that this is information that must meet certain conditions. Understanding it in another way, since there is no regularization for its access and use, errors or falsehoods can be found in some data.

It can be classified into two categories, pure and impure. Pure public knowledge is that which fulfills an established function, in a more strict sense it is useful and reliable . Impure public knowledge is that which proves to be unreliable regarding its content. In addition, it is possible to find certain limitations so that it can be used freely, referring to aspects such as prejudices.

5 practical examples

Here are some examples of public knowledge, these will help make it easier to understand how this knowledge works. It should be considered that since it is in the public domain, it could be applied to any activity, topic or problem solving .

1 The internet and social networks 

At present, due to the great advancement and scope of technology worldwide, there is a large population that has access to the internet service . This medium has made it easier for the public to handle knowledge that is important for various sectors of society.

Social networks are platforms that serve as a tool for sharing knowledge . It can be any of the most recognized such as Facebook and Twitter, the important thing is that they disseminate content that is prepared by the same public. It can have different purposes such as economic or educational, the important thing is that updated data is shared.

2 Facts about the political history of a nation

It is public knowledge to know what are the most relevant data about the founding and consolidation of a nation. All people possess knowledge that is directly related to the political, social and cultural history of their country of residence.

There are multiple examples of this type, it could be taken as a reference to what is taught in primary and secondary schools. Both students and teachers continue to study, learn and disseminate this content. This is the way in which the preservation of this content for future generations has been possible.

3 The rules and laws

Taking the previous example as a reference, it should also be considered that the different norms or laws that govern a society are in the public domain. In any community it is decided to officially establish a series of norms, these regulate which are the activities that will guarantee an adequate coexistence. 

Laws serve to implement measures so that the relationship between people is the most correct. In most countries a constitution is in force, it is made up of laws that describe the restrictions and freedoms that citizens are allowed. Therefore, it is necessary that it be public knowledge, so that each individual understands what their rights are, but also their responsibilities.

4 Scientific facts 

Certain information that is directly related to the scientific field becomes public knowledge due to its importance. It begins to be necessary for people to be aware of how their environment responds to certain natural laws. By having knowledge of these details, it has been achieved that human civilization has survived since the beginning of civilization.

Examples such as the elements: water, fire, earth and air can be taken as reference. By understanding precisely how they react to certain events, it has been possible to achieve an adequate use of these resources . By knowing information as important as that fire can cause fires, safety measures are implemented.

5 Open Source

This is a type of software code open to the public domain, however certain licenses are required to make modifications, distribute and use. It applies as a type of public knowledge because since the emergence of the internet its application began to be necessary, it continues to be used in various technological fields.

For example, today it is widely known for the manufacture of objects in 3D printing, anyone who acquires one of these equipment will be able to use it. Some mobile applications work on the basis of this software, it is a means that has made technology more accessible to everyone.

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Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.

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