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Information in the Academy
Transcript of Information in the Academy
The world of higher education and scholarship can be very confusing
- Scholars use strange terminology
- They seem addicted to depth and complexity
- They understand each other but don't play well with others
What makes them this way?
They share a common information base
- The data they use as the foundation for their work
- The scholars they respect
They share a common metanarrative
A metanarrative is an explanation for why you do what you do - It's your story that makes sense of your work
Scholars in a certain discipline share a common belief system about what is important, what values they will uphold, what beliefs they will share.
They share a common methodology
Disciplines are not just bodies of knowledge
- Disciplines transform as new knowledge is added
- The methods used to advance knowledge are agreed upon by the academy (the scholars within the discipline)
- New scholarship has to be recognized by the academy if it is ever going to have staying power
- The rules by which new information is recognized are rigid (peer review, citation by other scholars, etc.)
What the Academy Does
Controls expertise in the discipline
Creates a method of advancing knowledge
The information age has challenged the boundaries of the academy's control over information:
- academic blogs and websites by scholars (not peer reviewed)
- scholars posting papers for comment before peer review
- scholarly debates done online through social media
For a useful book on how various disciplines work, see: