Little Reviews

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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On “Towards Best Practices in Collaborative Online Knowledge Production,” by Susan Brown

On “Towards Best Practices in Collaborative Online Knowledge Production,” by Susan Brown

In “Towards Best Practices in Collaborative Online Knowledge Production,” Susan Brown illuminates the affordances of web technologies and standards for contemporary, large-scale and multiplayer scholarly production, possible in part because of the Web 2.0 evolution. In this chapter she draws explicitly from her experience leading The Orlando Project and the Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory. Brown suggests that in order to create truly “superior scholarship,” (48) we must design collaborative practices with data management, preservation, standardization, efficacy, and community engagement in…

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On “A Case Study of Scholars’ Open and Sharing Practices,” by George Veletsianos

On “A Case Study of Scholars’ Open and Sharing Practices,” by George Veletsianos

In “A Case Study of Scholars’ Open and Sharing Practices,” George Veletsianos examines faculty openness and sharing practices at a university that does not have any sort of open access or open scholarship policy. He concludes, unsurprisingly, that although many faculty members happen to be sharing their work and resources with others, these practices are limited without the incentive of an institutional policy. Notably, Veletsianos draws on David Wiley’s differentiation between openness and sharing: “open practices have to do with…

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On “Open Science: A Revolution in Sight?” by Bernard Rentier

On “Open Science: A Revolution in Sight?” by Bernard Rentier

In “Open Science: A Revolution in Sight?,” Bernard Rentier provides an overview of the Open Access (OA) movement. He acknowledges the affordances of the digital realm and points out where the academy is still holding fast to traditional practices like closed peer review and prestige-based publishing, even in the face of better options. Rentier also discusses the OA policy at his institution, the Université de Liège, which requires all faculty to deposit publications in their institutional repository. Decisions regarding promotion,…

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On Selections from “Open: The Philosophy and Practices that are Revolutionizing Education and Science,” edited by Rajiv S. Jhangiani and Robert Biswas-Diener

On Selections from “Open: The Philosophy and Practices that are Revolutionizing Education and Science,” edited by Rajiv S. Jhangiani and Robert Biswas-Diener

Open: The Philosophy and Practices that are Revolutionizing Education and Science draws together research and writing on Open Education. Primarily, the chapters reflect on Open Education initiatives, including the creation and use of Open Educational Resources (OER). Below, I quickly summarize a handful of chapters that are relevant to my current research into open social scholarship. “Iterating Toward Openness: Lessons Learned on a Personal Journey,” by David Wiley In “Iterating Toward Openness: Lessons Learned on a Personal Journey,” David Wiley discusses…

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On “Networked Participatory Scholarship: Emergent Techno-Cultural Pressures Toward Open and Digital Scholarship in Online Networks,” by George Veletsianos and Royce Kimmons

On “Networked Participatory Scholarship: Emergent Techno-Cultural Pressures Toward Open and Digital Scholarship in Online Networks,” by George Veletsianos and Royce Kimmons

In “Networked Participatory Scholarship: Emergent Techno-Cultural Pressures Toward Open and Digital Scholarship in Online Networks,” George Veletsianos and Royce Kimmons explore the possibly causal, possibly correlated relationship between contemporary scholarly practice and technology. In particular, they focus on the emergence of specific scholarly practices that are situated in online social practices. Veletsianos and Kimmons nominate such scholarly activity as “Networked Participatory Scholarship.” “Networked Participatory Scholarship,” the authors write, “is the emergent practice of scholars’ use of participatory technologies and online…

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