digital scholarship,  Research

Ten digital scholarship questions for researchers



In my talk the other day for the Change MOOC, and in my book, I argue that digital scholarship has the potential to alter the way we conduct research, or at least to add some new tools to the toolbox.

Now checklists should be treated with even more caution than a finding that 3D improves learning, so take this as some things to think about rather than a definite checklist you can submit to your research funder. I'd be interested to hear of other suggestions, and also whether this is all stuff people are doing anyway. My feeling is that when it comes to writing research proposals we're all locked into a set of existing behaviours, and more significantly, the process is so arduous that you focus on surviving the process itself and not on thinking beyond it. In other words if the research funders aren't asking for it, we don't consider it. But if we (and by we, I mean researchers) want to take ownership of our own practice, then maybe we should.

So here's my list of digital scholarship type stuff to consider for your project:

  1. Do you have an open access publishing policy for the outputs of the project?
  2. Will you make the data openly available, or is some of it not appropriate to do so? If so, where will you put it?
  3. Will there be one main individual in charge of social media communication or is it just distributed across the group?
  4. Will you have specific twitter/blog/youtube accounts for the project or do individuals in the project have a high online reputation it would be better to utilise?
  5. How will you incorporate analytics into the project? Do you expect to get a certain number of views, dwell time, global distribution, etc on a main site?
  6. What media will you use? For example, will you create a 'trailer' video for the project and an overview of the findings?
  7. How will you archive discussion around the research, eg twitter hashtag conversations?
  8. Will you provide a curation service, eg a Scoop-It page of relevant resources as you go along?
  9. Are there new methodologies you will employ, eg crowdsourcing?
  10. Is there a planned release for findings throughout the project? Will any aspects be not open for dissemination eg via twitter or blogs?

I'll stop there because ten is a nice number.

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