In this presentation Chiara gave at the Congresso de Humanidades Digitais em Portugal held at the Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas da Universidade Nova de Lisboa (8-9 October 2015), we focus on “digital scholarship”, which has been the central notion of the first line of work of the research project “The importance of Being Digital”. I introduced the notion and some of the debates surrounding it and then referred these debates to our research experience, leaning on data coming from the transcripts from the workshop we had in Portugal with Martin Weller (Open University, UK), the focus group we held at the end of these workshops and the interviews with participants to both events. We propose two provocations. The first one is a political one: is digital scholarship a luxury for the few? The second one is an epistemological one: is digital scholarship old wine in new bottle?
The importance of being digital – i.e. establishing a digital identity, and engaging in research dissemination and in wide, open scientific conversations on the web – has become nowadays a sort of mantra for scholars of all disciplines and at different stages of their career. If traditionally scholars’ visibility was a function of academic outputs – books, book chapters, and peer-reviewed journal articles – this situation is rapidly changing with the meteoric increase of the communication and dissemination opportunities opened up by the advent of digital media which are changing the dissemination, accessibility and recognition of scholarship.
Among the activities of our project we organized two editions of a Digital Scholarship Workshop (DSW), on the 24th of June in Lisbon (at CES-Lx) and on the 25th of June in Coimbra (at CES). We offered to 30 early stage researchers and tenured faculty the opportunity to learn how to use in a more effective way digital media to produce and disseminate research. The DSW aimed at helping participants in identifying an online repertoire suited for their specific needs and goals and at enabling researchers of different backgrounds to effectively integrate social media applications into their research activities and professional development strategies.
We had the pleasure to have Martin Weller from the Open University (UK) as instructor of the sessions. Martin is specialized in the area of online publishing, academic digital identity, writing for non-academics and engagement with social media and is author of the book The Digital Scholar: How Technology Is Transforming Scholarly Practice (2011). Here the slides Martin used during the workshop.