The Digital Scholar
New Tools for Writing and Research
August 14, 2012
Holly Willis / Elizabeth Ramsey
Institute for Multimedia Literacy
Why an “ecology”?
We are moving away from a transmission model of
communication that presumes a sender and
…to defining systems and information architectures which
are participatory, collaborative and extensible…
Why an “ecology”?
Christine Borgman, Scholarship in the Digital Age
“a machine for the motion of parts”
Alex Galloway, Gaming: Essays on Algorithmic Culture
not about authoring, but about “defining the rules for system
Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Expressive Processing
* The Labyrinth Project
* Vectors Journal of Culture and Technology in a Dynamic
Pat O’Neill - Tracing the Decay of Fiction
Norman Klein - Bleeding Through: Layers of Los Angeles
* Alliance for Networking Visual Culture
Florian Thalhofer, Korsakow System
University of Michigan Press
Noah Wardrip-Fruin, in Expressive Processing
-- Google yourself
-- think about your name
-- consider your image
-- get another email account
-- diverse components:
“One of the things the digital era affords us as scholars is
the ability to both deliver to a wider audience, and develop
a reputation independent of institutional structures.”
-- high stakes or low stakes?
-- user style
-- (these are low stakes)
-- bio / CV / research interests
-- higher stakes
-- Post versus essay
-- Academic Blogs Portal
Confessions of an Aca-Fan
Purse Lip Square Jaw
“For me, it comes down to making things public in a way that
is part an experiment in a kind of open-source design
practice, part as a way to manage a torrent of ephemeral
material, snippets, thoughts, sketches, cobbled together
prototypes, Shandy-esque projects that start and then stop
and then start and then divert — a collection and idea
- Julian Bleecker
-- to organize and manage citations
-- researching “in public”
New Media Consortium
for Digital Media and Learning
This kind of discussion is often couched in terms of branding. Given an increasingly competitive job market, and a culture understood in terms of the corporation, we're often told that we need to "brand" ourselves. In some ways this is true. A "brand" is an image, it's recognizable, and it is designed to be distinct. However, the term brings with it the highly competitive connotation that is a part of corporate culture, and while many would argue that it is also core to academic culture, I prefer to think of what new scholars should consider doing is building a research ecology, part of which faces inward, and centers on creating smart ways to harness the incredible amounts of information now at our fingertips, and part of which faces outward and is designed to build community, form networks, and share.
So I prefer to think about this endeavor less as creating a brand and more as creating a "research ecology."But why an "ecology"?Because this process of creating a research ecology is one that rethinks traditional modes of scholarly research, communication and production through the impact and affordances of digital tools generally, and social media tools specifically. This process of rethinking, however, is not simply one of remediation, whereby traditional research and authoring methods are merely repeated through the assistance of new tools, although it often appears as such. Instead, the process is one of reinvention.
Instead, the process is one of reinvention. Scholarly communication and production are not merely enhanced, expanded or made easier via digital tools; they are transformed, often dramatically, and yet many of the outcomes of this transformation are certainly not new to most of us: they center on sharing, participation, collaboration and networked interactions.We are moving away from a linear model of communication, one that presumes a sender and receiver, to a model that's centered on defining systems and information architectures, ones that are participatory, collaborative and extensive.Scholarly communication and production are not merely enhanced, expanded or made easier via digital tools; they are transformed, often dramatically, and yet many of the outcomes of this transformation are certainly not new to most of us: they center on sharing, participation, collaboration and networked interactions.
If we look at the traditional model of scholarship, it is centered on creating legitimation; it's about controlling access; it's about careful dissemination, preservation and curation.
However, with new media, this model gets remained. It now includes notions of reputation; of community; it's about sharing; it's also very dynamic and ever-changing, and it's collaborative. Christine Borgman who is a professor of information studies at UCLA, writes about this in her book, Scholarship in the Digital Age.
The notion of the digital research ecology underscores the transformative aspects by taking into account information-based paradigms that function nicely as metaphors in articulating the elements of – and the need for – an ecology. One of these notions is that of the algorithm. In his book Gaming: On Algorithmic Culture, Alex Galloway defines an algorithm as a “machine for the motion of parts.” He goes on to describe video games as an essentially activemedium, by which he means a medium “whose very materiality moves and restructures itself.” Galloway’s book is an often eloquent examination of video games as a cultural form, but for my purposes, his text offers a useful vocabulary for a set of computer-based actions that contribute to a new model for a scholarly practice similarly grounded on algorithmic unfolding and machinic processes. Following this lead, we should consider relinquishing scholarly practices of research and communication based on representation, linearity and discourse and move toward an information-based model, one in which research and scholarly communication function algorithmically, with the researcher becoming a curator and designer of systems, and the reader/viewer becoming a user of those systems. Alex Galloway, Gaming: Essays on Algorithmic Culture (Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press, 2006).
How do we do that? I believe that Noah Wardrip-Fruin’s recent book, Expressive Processing: Digital Fictions, Computer Games, and Software Studies, offers one method. In the book, Wardrip-Fruin uses the term “expressive processing” to designate the ways in which the former work of “authoring” is now really a process of “defining the rules for system behavior” (Wardrip-Fruin 3). Authoring is not necessarily analyzing and synthesizing the results of research in essay- and book-form, but now includes the act of curating data flows; we act as data jockeys, crafting systems and processes through which to organize, manage and then manifest and share these flows.
At ISC, you are very lucky to be in the midst of amazing projects investigating the future of scholarship. The Labyrinth Project
MIT UC Press, Duke
Scalar enables users to assemble media clips and images from multiple sources and juxtapose them with their own writing in a variety of ways, with minimal technical expertise.
• digitalculturebooks is an imprint of the University of Michigan Press and the Scholarly Publishing Office of the University of Michigan Library dedicated to publishing innovative and accessible work exploring new media and its impact on society, culture, and scholarly communication. We welcome projects that have the ability to build bridges between more and less technologically-aware audiences by offering rich and relevant new frames for thinking about information and communication technology. digitalculturebooks is an experimental publishing strategy with a strong research component. By making our content available in print and online, we intend to: * develop an open and participatory publishing model that adheres to the highest scholarly standards of review and documentation; * study the economics of Open Access publishing; * collect data about how reading habits and preferences vary across communities and genres; * build community around our content by fostering new modes of collaboration in which the traditional relationship between reader and writer breaks down in creative and productive ways
Okay: so that is our context. Now, what are some of the specific tactics that you can deploy to imagine your online presence as a graduate student?TRANSITION
So the first step is in considering how you build a profile. 1) Think about your name. Look to see if there are other people with a similar name doing similar work. Steve Anderson: 2) Think about your image. What kind of image is appropriate? Different images in different spaces? - One thing to think about here is the relationship between private and public; some argue that there nothing is “private” any more, but you need to consider how you want to engage with colleagues, friends, family members and a broader public. How will you cultivate the identity you’d like to have with each of these groups?
One of the things the digital era affords us as scholars is the ability to both deliver to a wider audience, and develop a reputation independent of institutional structures.- Key here is to consider your identity apart from the institution where you reside.
Consider who you are and how you interact.Form communities; connect with people who can assist you.
Part of what you’re doing in this new landscape is creating an identity, akin to what you do with social media around your social identity. You need to think about the ways in which you want your personal to appear: what kind of scholar are you? What are the kinds of contributions you can make to your field/Academia.edu is a Facebook-like social networking platform for scholarsLinkedIn is a social networking site with a focus on job recruiting.Mendeley is a social reference management site. You may already be using it to store your citations and help write your research papers, but it also has some great social features. You can list or upload your research publications, provide a brief academic CV and biographical information, and participate in a group. Mendeley groups allow you to share and discover new research in your fieldAbout.Me lets you gather all of your profile information into a single place, extremely easily and quickly.
Academia.edu: fairly straightforward
About.me: super easy!
Creating a website: should include a bio, current CV, your research interests; publications or links to publications.This is your continuous presence, and you should maintain it.You’ll need an internet service provider, a content management system, and a domain name.Show wordpress site creationShow Google Sites creation
Another way to think about building your identity is through providing content: Blogs are a space where academics and scholars engaged in new ideas, begin discussions on research findings, and gain feedback on pre-published materials. Blogging gives academics the opportunity to expand the reach of their scholarship by presenting their work to a larger community. This builds opportunities for collaboration and potentially new publishing outputs. Additionally, blogging of research can provide academics with open discussion about their research, a form of interactive peer review that moves beyond the closed models currently supported in traditional publishing models
Choose your topic
(1) write about things that are useful to their audience , (2) write great headlines, (3) make blog posts scannable by incorporating headings and subheadings, and (4) write in a common-sense style
Anne Galloway started her blog as a graduate student in 2002. Titled “Purse Lip Square Jaw,” with a subhead, “Connecting Material, Spatial and Cultural Practices,” Galloway effectively became a go-to source for new technologies and their impact on culture. The strengths of her blog included her ongoing commitment to a topic; her ability to meld the gathering of information with astute analysis of it (it’s not enough to merely aggregate!); and the clear evidence that her career, even as a student, was moving forward through publications, conference presentations and eventually, job talks.
“For me, it comes down to making things public in a way that is part an experiment in a kind of open-source design practice, part as a way to manage a torrent of ephemeral material, snippets, thoughts, sketches, cobbled together prototypes, Shandy-esque projects that start and then stop and then start and then divert — a collection and idea circulation machine.”
Have you given a presentation at a conference or colloquium that you're exceptionally proud of? Chances are that you also spent a good amount of time making professional slides. Archiving your slides online can give people early glimpses into your research. It can also help maintain your active research presence after the presentation and build interest in your future publications. Get the most out of your slides!