Oliver Smithies Lecture MT 2012
Professor Christine Borgman
Oliver Smithies Lecture, Michaelmus Term 2012
Wednesday 28 November at 5pm in Lecture Room XXIII, Balliol College
Digital Scholarship: Three Decades in Internet Time
by Christine Borgman
“In a few short decades, the practices of scholarship have been transformed by the use of digital resources, tools, and services. Some shifts are obvious, such as seeking, reading, and publishing research online, often to the exclusion of print. Other shifts are subtle, such as data being viewed as research products to be disseminated. Research objects are more atomized, yet aggregated in new ways. Digital technologies offer opportunities to innovate in scholarly practice, collaboration, and communication – from the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and arts to technology and medicine. Externalities such as Internet economics and research policy pose constraints on scholarly work. Underlying these opportunities and constraints are four trends in scholarly communication, information technology, policy: (1) the transition from a closed scholarly world to the open Internet, (2) the evolution from static to dynamic forms of information, (3) changes in the roles of scholars as readers and as authors, and (4) the growing value of data as new forms of publication. These four trends are explored, leading to a discussion of the challenges facing 21st century scholars.”
2 thoughts on “Digital Scholarship: Three Decades in Internet Time by Christine Borgman”
Information retrieval has become dominated by commercial search engines. While effective for commercial purposes — finding products and services — they are far from optimal for scholarly search. The academic community must reckon with methods for improving access to highly specialized data and information objects that are outside the realm of most commercial applications. That is a far different issue than open access to academic content, itself a thorny thicket. Please come to my talk today for more on these topics.
Why must information retrieval be reclaimed by the scholarly community? Why cannot academic content just become public?