Digital Scholarship: Roundup from Inside Higher Ed.

Keeping Citations Straight, and Finding New Ones
31 Jan. 2008
Andy Guess
At first glance, it seems like a nerdier version of Facebook. There’s the profile picture, the list of interests, the space for your Web site. Most of the members have Ph.D.’s, though, and instead of posting party invites or YouTube videos, their “Recent Activity” is full of academic papers and scholarly treatises.

Welcome to CiteULike, a social bookmarking tool that allows users to post, share and comment on each other’s links – in this case, citations to journal articles with titles like “Trend detection through temporal link analysis” and “The Social Psychology of Inter- and Intragroup Conflict in Governmental Politics.” It’s a sort of “ for academics,” said Kevin Emamy, a representative for the site’s London-based holding company, Oversity Ltd. It started out as a personal Web project in 2004 and grew organically by word of mouth. Today, it has some 70,000 registered users and a million page views a month, he said.

Like other similar sites, CiteULike allows users to register, create profiles and submit links that others can read, comment on, tag with relevant keywords and in turn share again. Moving away from the card-catalog view of scholarship, in which researchers dig through archives of recent and not-so-recent journal databases in sequence, the “social discovery” model, as Emamy describes it, allows colleagues to learn from each other’s bookmarks and potentially collaborate in groups….READ MORE HERE

‘Scholarship in the Digital Age’
14 Nov. 2007
Scott Jaschik

It’s hard to meet academics these days whose work hasn’t been changed by the Internet. But even if everyone knows that the world of scholarship has changed, it’s not always clear just how or the way those evolutions fit into the broad history of scholarship. Christine L. Borgman sets out to do just that in Scholarship in the Digital Age: Information, Infrastructure and the Internet, just published by MIT Press. Borgman, a presidential chair in information studies at the University of California at Los Angeles, responded to e-mail questions about her book.

Q: In terms of the creation of scholarship, how do you view the significance of the changes brought by the digital age – in contrast to changes brought by earlier revolutionary changes (atomic age, age of mass non-digital communication, etc.)?

A: While it is difficult to compare “revolutionary” changes across environments, I do think that we are the midst of profound shifts in the scholarly environment. Most new publications are distributed in digital form and vast portions of the print archive are being digitized. Scholars (at least in the developed world) have ubiquitous high-bandwidth connectivity to the Internet, online access to digital content in their fields (both free and by university-paid licenses), and the tools and services to make use of these resources. Taken together, this environment offers a wealth of opportunities for new kinds of data-and information-intensive, distributed, collaborative, interdisciplinary scholarship.

However, the availability of this environment does not lead directly to changes in scholarly practice. The scholarly communication system has evolved over a period of centuries – it doesn’t shift quickly. Scholarly journals still look a lot like they did in the 17th century, for example. The tenure system is a much stronger driver of scholarly infrastructure than is technology. Scholars are rewarded for publishing journal articles and books, in the right places. They are not rewarded for good data management, except in a very few fields. Rewards for open access publishing are indirect, such as more citations, and recognition of these benefits has been slow to emerge…READ MORE HERE

Mark of Zotero
26 Sept. 2007
Scott McLemee
Zotero is a tool for storing, retrieving, organizing, and annotating digital documents. It has been available for not quite a year. I started using it about six weeks ago, and am still learning some of the fine points, but feel sufficient enthusiasm about Zotero to recommend it to anyone doing research online. If very much of your work involves material from JSTOR, for example – or if you find it necessary to collect bibliographical references, or to locate Web-based publications that you expect to cite in your own work – then Zotero is worth knowing how to use. (You can install it on your computer for free; more on that in due course.)..READ MORE HERE