Digital scholarship – conclusions

[This is for the Change11 MOOC]

Digital scholarship – Conclusions

I hope to add to this as the week progresses as it should arise from our discussions.

Some thoughts from my perspective are to revisit the four themes I mentioned in the introduction:

  • Alternatives – ultimately I suspect this, combined with the impact argument, will be significant for digital scholarship. If academics find they can achieve the same, or better, results through alternative means (which may often be quicker), then they will vote with their actions.
  • Impact – I suspect that research funders may play a significant role here, just as they did with open access publishing. They want the maximum impact for their funding money, and if digital scholarship methods provide this then they will encourage (or even mandate) them. Practice will follow money then. In addition one should not underestimate the role of ego – if academics begin to get better impact because of their online videos or presentation, that becomes a strong driving force to engage.
  • Openness – this is an interesting area, and in some respects it is already becoming a cliche (for example read these posts from David Wiley: http://opencontent.org/blog/archives/1934#more-1934and http://opencontent.org/blog/archives/1800) Openness may yet become another term to be co-opted by commercial providers. But even so, it is the easy, low-threshold ability to share content that is driving much of the change in academic practice.
  • Tension – I think we should view the current period as one of creative tension, a period when much is open to change. In this respect it is both an uncertain and an exciting time to be involved in education.


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