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Digital Scholarship: is it all worth it?

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Michael Duignan

on 13 March 2015

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Transcript of Digital Scholarship: is it all worth it?

Digital Scholarship
: is it all worth it?

--> novelty effects. Little evidence...
Information resource
Generally finding secondary data / lit
Prof Andy Miah:
"I find more resources through PinInterst and Google Scholar that I do my own library"
(LSE Digital Event, 2013)
local, regional, national and international
the 'individual' profile
Online mediums e.g. Twitter/LinkedIn as a key source for:
Impact on society
REF 2014 / 2020?
Michael Duignan
1) Digital Scholarship - strategic options
2) Critically evaluate
- should we bother? Evidence?
Medium for Sharing ideas?
choose me!
no choose me!
no choose me!
no choose me!
no choose me!
no choose me!
no choose me!
no choose me!
no choose me!
no choose me!
no choose me!
no choose me!
no choose me!
no choose me!
no choose me!
no choose me!
no choose me!
no choose me!
no choose me!
no choose me!
no choose me!
no choose me!
no choose me!
options + jargon = complexity
complexity + time consuming + limited evidence base
(correlation/causation between social media use and academic measures of success)
= why bother?
complexity = time to choose, learn + time to execute
Oct, 15th (2014)
- Compliment, Lorraine's talk (experience)
- Strategic overview to DS in context of
an academic
Starting point?

What constitutes digital scholarship?
Every act we do as scholars ....
shifting academic production
Way of thinking
- Draws on British Library Conference (2011 + 2012): 'Digital Researcher'
Rather broad eh?
- Becoming a Digital Scholar (Jan, 2014) talk for RCDS
Splitting DS down - are there typologies?
Ideas for a paper - stimulate debate in networks?
Personalising your academic persona? Blog about conf?
Stimulate debate for a newly published paper?
Non-publishable ideas, but contributing basic opinion
Public engagement?
Contributing to circular flow of academic production?
Greater dissemination of work?
Engagement with target research population?
Closer connection with 'everydayness' of those interested with academic outputs?
Development of networks to stimulate change (CT perhaps?)
Basic online research
Joining special interest groups via
Subject/discipline specific channels of info
Twitter as research tool.
a news feed perhaps..
Access to closed
Organising interviews
Local networks:
great for snowball
e.g. Mayors Office for London
"Saw your recent 2014 gov report, my research covers similar themes - would be great to talk with @mayoroflondon"
Strategic underpinning
Professional reputation
Greater dissemination of ideas
Potential higher cites, views, downloads, bookmarks of publications
Publication calls
Joint bids with other academics
Special interest discussions
Connecting with individual academics
Connecting with policy/practitioners
Public engagement/social impact
Concept of social media
= not 'chit chat' but extended academic conversation
If you find the right ones...
Critical theory, 'CDA'- importance of
emancipatory led social change and process?
Does the digital world sound a bit like this?
- no clear articulated evidence (all a bit, yeah kinda works, its worked for me!)
- still in this tentative 'early adopter' stage in academia
According to Weller (2012)....
- by and large down to 'quality' debate
Institutional level
Individual level
University as a 'quality assured' form of education
Traditional forms of academic output
Traditional - key
Wider debates - DS replacing traditional?
But firstly...
Tradition is strong, but DS forces are changing
- Open access and sharing
IP and theft of ideas?
(Institute for the future, 2013)
- By shouting louder about
your work
Increased criticism?
- Choosing DS over forms
of traditional academia?
Academic progression?
Nature (2011)
Wider issue of does DS represent 'proper scholarship'?
(Weller, 2012)
30-35 min talk
World Bank, Senior Economists (LSE, 2011)
- blogging effect on views/downloads (Research Papers in Economics - RePEc)
Expanded study:
Database of 94 papers
Blogged on six economics blogs
Aid Watch; Chris Blattman; Economix (NY Times); Marginal Revolution; Freakonomics; Paul Krugman
"Blogging about a paper causes a
large increase
in the number of abstract views and downloads in the same month: an average impact of an extra
abstract views in the case of Aid Watch and Blattman,
for Economix,
for Marginal Revolution, and
for Freakonomics and Krugman"
(World Bank, 2011)
"These increases are massive compared to the typical abstract views and downloads these papers get-
one blog post in Freakonomics is equivalent to 3 years of abstract views!"
Kaisa Puustinen and Rosalind Edwards (2012)
‘Who gives a tweet? After 24 hours and 860 downloads, we think quite a few actually do’.
Terras, M. (2012)
‘The Impact of Social Media on the Dissemination of Research: Results of an Experiment’
- Time and patience
In light of workload
2500 academic outputs
LSE Policy Group, 2012)
Citations increased with 2 authors
"We don’t really know why this is, but we assume its that the more authors, the more contacts and larger networks a research publication can be disseminated to"
(LSE Policy Group, 2012)
DS as a bolt on...
Thank you for listening
Any questions?
(Source: JBP, 2011)
"...However, only a minority of readers click through – we estimate 1-2% of readers of the more popular blogs click on the links to view the paper, and 4% on a blog like Chris Blattman that likely has a more specialized (research-focused) readership"
Reference list available online after talk.
Weller M (2012) The Digital Scholar, Bloomsbury
McKenzie, D and Özler, B (2011) ‘Academic blogs are proven to increase dissemination of economic research and improve impact.’ LSE Impact of Social Science blog. http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2011/11/15/world-bank-dissemination/
Miah, A (2011) Top 5 social media platforms for research development
Available at: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2013/07/26/a-to-z-of-social-media-for-academia/
Puustinen, K and Edwards, R (2012) ‘Who gives a tweet? After 24 hours and 860 downloads, we think quite a few actually do’. LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog. http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2012/05/18/who-gives-a-tweet-860-downloads/. 18 May

Terras, M. (2012) ‘The Impact of Social Media on the Dissemination of Research: Results of an Experiment’, Journal of Digital Humanities, 1 (3) http://journalofdigitalhumanities.org/1-3/the-impact-of-social-media-on-the-dissemination-of-research-by-melissa-terras/

Ayers, E (2013) Does Digital Scholarship have a future? Educause Review [online PDF] Available at: https://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ERM1343.pdf
Anderson, T. (2009). ALT-C keynote presentation. http://www.slideshare.net/terrya/terryanderson-alt-c-final.
Fry, J., & Talja, S. (2007). The intellectual and social organization of academic fields and the shaping of digital resources. Journal of Information Science, 33(2), 115-33
Barjak, F. (2006). The role of the Internet in informal scholarly communication. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 57(10), 17.
McAndrew, P., Scanlon, E., & Clow, D. (2010). An open future for higher education.
EDUCAUSE Quarterly, 33(1).
Pieri, E. (2009). Sociology of expectation and the e-social science agenda. Information,
Communication and Society, 12(7), 1103-1118
Wiley, D. (2009). The golden ratio of OER. Iterating towards openness (Blog). Retrieved from http://opencontent.org/blog/archives/1146#axzz0nvFUkwxQ
Willinsky, J. (2006). The access principle: The case for open access to research and
scholarship. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
University of York and University of Southampton (no date) Gender and Digital Culture, Available at: http://genderanddigitalculture.wordpress.com/
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