digital scholarship

  • digital scholarship,  Research

    Your career is a research project

    I must confess, I have a mild warning klaxon that sounds when I see “action research” in a thesis. This is not to say it isn’t a valid methodology, indeed the only way to conduct some research, but it’s one of those fashionable terms that people apply rather loosely. If in doubt, call it action research. That thing you did where you gave them a different text book one year? Action research. But this isn’t a rant against lazy methodology terminology, as I am now going to co-opt the term for my own use. Rather it is to say that ideally academics should view their own careers as an action…

  • digital scholarship

    The ethics of digital scholarship

    I was asked to give a presentation at the Higher Education Academy summit on ethics and teaching last week, from a digital scholarship perspective. Being a chap of low morals and vague ethics, it was interesting to consider digital scholarship purely from this angle. Like much of educational technology or open education, the tendency is often to promote it as an unqualified good, but, inevitably, it's a bit more complicated than that. I started by asking the question "What is teaching?" As well as being about imparting knowledge, developing skills it is also a process of enculturation, particularly in higher education. That is why going to university is such a…

  • battle,  digital scholarship,  MOOC,  open access

    Battle for Open webinar

    As part of Open Education week, the OER Research Hub organised some webinars. One was around my Battle for Open idea/forthcoming book. It was my first attempt to condense the book into a presentation. The areas I covered were: the roots of open education; Open access publishing; OERs; MOOCs; Open scholarship; The Silicon Valley narrative; some warnings, and conclusions. For the 4 areas of openness (OERs, MOOCs, OA and open scholarship) I tried to set out the success of the open approach and also the key areas of battle.  You can watch/listen to the webinar here. The slidedeck is below: The Battle for Open from Martin Weller

  • battle,  digital scholarship,  higher ed

    Open scholarship, social media & libraries

    I gave a presentation to a conference of university librarians in Aarhus, Denmark last week. Social media and the role of the librarian was their theme. I won’t pretend to be an expert on libraries, but taking Shelby Foote’s quote that “a university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library” you could argue that the factors affecting higher ed are the same for libraries. The talk was kind of a cross over between my Digital Scholar book and the new Battle for Open one. My argument was that openness represents a key direction for libraries, and that social media plays a vital role in this. I then set…

  • digital scholarship,  identity,  OU

    Academics and online impact

    I presented at the OU’s communications conference yesterday. I was asked to talk about how you create an impact online. I’m always a bit cautious about giving advice on this, as I didn’t (don’t) have a plan, so it’s all been trial and error and messing about. But I guess that is my advice – just get started and try stuff out, don’t wait to go on the “Creating academic impact online with blogs” course, just do it. I was lucky to share the stage with two great OU colleagues. Meg Barker is an expert in relationships, and has a good blog associated with her book Rewriting the Rules. Natalie Starkey’s…

  • analytics,  digital scholarship,  identity,  Research,  Weblogs

    What do all these numbers mean?

    <image –> Bloggers, or anyone who maintains an online profile, have an ambiguous relationship with visitor stats and data. On the one hand we like to dismiss them as meaningless, but then secretly feel chuffed when we can outscore someone. I’ve tried to promote them as one way of measuring impact, but with the caveat that context is important. For instance, if you’re a blogger in a relatively obscure area, such as Barry Town football club, then your range is limited and unlikely to compare in absolute numbers with, say, a blog reviewing Apple products. I recently passed 300,000 views on this blog, over about 700 posts – that’s not…

  • digital scholarship,  MOOC

    My new favourite open scholarship example

    When I give talk on digital or open scholarship I often end by highlighting the unpredictable benefits that arise, usually by pointing to some examples of my own practice. I have a new favourite which isn't about me, so thought I'd share. Katy Jordan is my PhD student at the OU (although none of which follows is at all attributable to my supervision, Katy did it all on her own inititiative). Her research is examining academic networks on sites such as She is a whiz at data visualisation, and also a serial MOOCer. So she took the Infographics MOOC earlier this year. For her final project she decided to plot…

  • bavaness,  digital scholarship,  digscholbook

    It’s kinda personal

    Jim Groom and Tim Owens have been running a Domain of One's Own project at UMW. And to my delight they've kicked it off with a staff development program based around reading my book. I think all universities should do this! You can see some of the posts here. As the author it's been very interesting to see some of the reactions from what I guess are atypical readers. I think most of the people who read my book are kind of interested in the subject, so there's an element of preaching to the converted (although I try not to do any preaching). But with Jim's faculty I guess they're…

  • digital scholarship,  openness

    Open scholarship as resolution to the academic dilemma

    There is something of a tension at the heart of the relationship between academics and the institutions that employ them. Institutions want to have academics with a high profile and external recognition. But they also want them to do work for them, as they're paying the wage. Academics want to have a high profile and external recognition, but also recognise that a good proportion of their work may need to be for the institution in roles that don't attract much of this. Usually this balance is fairly easy to maintain, but the problem is that much of the work involved in scholarship doesn't directly benefit the institution. Consider these examples:…

  • digital scholarship,  publications

    Digital scholarship, tenure & barometers

    I use this blog as well as our university repository system to keep track (and shamelessly publicise) those journal article things that your grandad told you about. I have a new article out in RUSC (the open access journal from the University of Catalonia). It has the snappy title of "Digital scholarship and the tenure process as an indicator of change in universities". You can access the PDF here through our repository, or at RUSC here. It's an extension of some of the stuff I covered in the book, and I'm making the argument that how universities respond to the challenge of recognising digital scholarship can be taken as a…