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On “Consultation: Developing a Digital Research Infrastructure Strategy,” by the Government of Canada

On “Consultation: Developing a Digital Research Infrastructure Strategy,” by the Government of Canada

In this short document, “Consultation: Developing a Digital Research Infrastructure Strategy” the Government of Canada acknowledges that research methods and processes are changing as the prevalence and complexity of technology increases. The author suggests that “Canada’s current [digital research infrastructure] DRI ecosystem needs to be examined against these rapid changes,” and reiterates that the government intends to develop a more purpose-driven digital research infrastructure strategy. This new strategy will cover research data management and preservation, as well as provisions for…

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On “Policy Recommendations for Open Access to Research Data,” by the RECODE Project Consortium

On “Policy Recommendations for Open Access to Research Data,” by the RECODE Project Consortium

“Policy Recommendations for Open Access to Research Data” is a report and summary of recommendations made by the RECODE Project Consortium. The RECODE Project is a European partnership that explores solutions to open access implementation and effective research data management. Project partners include Trilateral Research & Consulting, the (previously named) e-Humanities group at KNAW, the University of Sheffield, the Stichting LIBER Foundation, the National Documentation Center, the National Research Council of Italy, the Biekinge Institute for Technology, and the Amsterdam…

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On “Back to the Future,” by Bob Stein

On “Back to the Future,” by Bob Stein

In “Back to the Future,” Bob Stein discusses SocialBook, an Institute for the Future of the Book project that uses networked technologies to publish and read cultural materials. He argues that prior to the invention of the printing press, reading used to be a collaborative activity in social knowledge creation. People would gather around texts, discuss them, and insert comments into manuscripts via marginalia. Once book production became mechanized, and more people developed literacy skills, reading became a much more…

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On “CommentPress: New (Social) Structures for New (Networked) Texts,” by Kathleen Fitzpatrick

On “CommentPress: New (Social) Structures for New (Networked) Texts,” by Kathleen Fitzpatrick

In “CommentPress: New (Social) Structures for New (Networked) Texts,” Kathleen Fitzpatrick suggests that electronic publishing should reproduce the organization and structure of the print book, rather than take a skuemorphic approach that mimics the look of the book, and instead of employing more radical, disorienting approaches. To do so, Fitzpatrick offers Commentpress as a potential option, a WordPress theme that allows for side-by-side commenting on academic texts. She argues that by using a platform like Commentpress, one can return to…

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On Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy, by Kathleen Fitzpatrick

On Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy, by Kathleen Fitzpatrick

In the oft-cited touchstone book Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy, Kathleen Fitzpatrick examines the current academic publishing system, and outlines its drawbacks and possibilities. She suggests that the current fixation on the printed book monograph, at least in the humanities, needs to change. For Fitzpatrick, the monograph is part of an undead, zombie logic of the academy, as it represents a mandatory but often dysfunctional system of scholarly communication. Beyond the monograph, Fitzpatrick argues, we…

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On “‘Facebook for Academics’: The Convergence of Self-Branding and Social Media Logic on Academia.edu,” by Brooke Erin Duffy and Jefferson D. Pooley

On “‘Facebook for Academics’: The Convergence of Self-Branding and Social Media Logic on Academia.edu,” by Brooke Erin Duffy and Jefferson D. Pooley

In “‘Facebook for Academics’: The Convergence of Self-Branding and Social Media Logic on Academia.edu,” Brooke Erin Duffy and Jefferson D. Pooley examine the popular academic paper sharing site, academia.edu. They argue that academia.edu reflects the self-branding impetus of contemporary scholars, but also feeds the conception that such self-branding is necessary. They frame academia.edu as a classic Silicon Valley start-up, and reveal the significant venture capital that has funded the company since 2008 (over 12.6 million since inception [4]). Duffy and…

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On Social Media in Academia: Networked Scholars, by George Veletsianos

On Social Media in Academia: Networked Scholars, by George Veletsianos

In Social Media in Academia: Networked Scholars, George Veletsianos aims to nuance the conversation around academics’ participation on social media networks like Facebook and Twitter. Contrary to the common focus, Veletsianos  urges his readers to consider the role of social media for academics as individuals. By contrast, social media is usually discussed in relation to increasing citation count or status as a public intellectual (106, 107). “To understand scholars lives,” he writes, “we need to examine more than just their…

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On “Crowdsourcing the Humanities: Social Research and Collaboration,” by Geoffrey Rockwell

On “Crowdsourcing the Humanities: Social Research and Collaboration,” by Geoffrey Rockwell

In “Crowdsourcing the Humanities: Social Research and Collaboration,” Geoffrey Rockwell asserts that the point of his chapter “is not to praise collaboration, but to ask how it can be structured through social media for research” (136). He goes on to explore crowdsourcing as an outcome of social media-enabled collaboration in the humanities. Rockwell surveys the arguments for and against digital humanities collaboration, and tends to come down in the middle: he doesn’t believe that collaboration is a “transcendent value” (138),…

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On “‘By the People, For the People’: Assessing the Value of Crowdsourced, User-Generated Metadata,” by Christina Manzo et al.

On “‘By the People, For the People’: Assessing the Value of Crowdsourced, User-Generated Metadata,” by Christina Manzo et al.

In “‘By the People, For the People’: Assessing the Value of Crowdsourced, User-Generated Metadata,” Christina Manzo, Geoff Kaufman, Sukdith Punjashitkul, and Mary Flanagan focus on the classification of digital objects in libraries. They immerse themselves in the debate over which model of classification is superior: a folksonomic model, where users generate metadata as they encounter cultural material, or an institution-imposed classification system. Manzo et al. argue that, in fact, a blended system is best. By bringing together user-generated content with…

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On “From Tagging to Theorizing: Deepening Engagement with Cultural Heritage through Crowdsourcing,” by Mia Ridge

On “From Tagging to Theorizing: Deepening Engagement with Cultural Heritage through Crowdsourcing,” by Mia Ridge

In “From Tagging to Theorizing: Deepening Engagement with Cultural Heritage through Crowdsourcing,” Mia Ridge discusses crowdsourcing within the context of museums. She considers crowdsourcing to be an extension of volunteer practices, facilitated by technology and at a larger scale. Ridge argues that crowdsourcing should be recognized as a valuable form of public engagement, even if “the crowd” and the project initiators never meet face-to-face. She provides suggestions for effective crowdsourcing projects, including conscientious design that makes use of proper scaffolding…

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