Web2.0 时代的学术分享,有序和失序并存

【Web2.0 时代的学术分享】web2.0时代,分享,还是不分享,不同学科的不同学者有着不同的选择。虽然同行评阅和数据共享已是两种常见的分享模式,但是否分享这个问题上仍然有学科和个人的差异。“荣誉”、“时间”和“个性”是影响分享的三要素。有些学者愿意在论文刊出之前,在网络上提前分享成果,提升学术声誉。有些则不愿意在网络上曝光,尤其是初期的研究“点子”,以免想法被窃取。网络上的学术分享,“有序”和“失序”并存。

原文题目:Credit, time, and personality: The human challenges to sharing scholarly work using Web 2.0

原文:

Abstract

Funding bodies, the economics of publishing, and the affordances of Web 2.0 platforms have spurred learned societies, publishers, and scholars to experiment with new media venues for scholarly communication. Why, then, have we seen few widespread changes in how scholars disseminate research in most disciplines? Drawing on qualitative interview data from the Mellon-funded Future of Scholarly Communication Project (2005–2011), we describe how scholars share their work-in-progress and the disciplinary values driving these practices. We then discuss credit, time, and personality as significant barriers to change across disciplines, and we explore these obstacles through an examination of two new paradigms for sharing: open peer review and data sharing. By situating larger discussions about the future of scholarly communication in the everyday lives of scholars, we argue that integration with disciplinary cultures will be key to the success of new media initiatives.

 

Keywords

Data sharing, epistemic cultures, higher education, peer review, scholarly Communication, social media, sociology of science, tenure and promotion, Web 2.0

 

Conclusions: Order and disorder in the future of scholarly sharing

Ten years ago, Nentwich (2003) spoke of the Academy as being in the middle of forceful changes ushered in by new information and communication technologies. Our research shows that we are still in these changing times, most recently compounded by the economic ramifications rocking the publishing industry (Cronin, 2010). What is clear is that different scholarly communities and subfields are creating and adopting tools that facilitate the specific needs and practices that they themselves delineate collectively. As disciplines become more and more specialized, it is increasingly unlikely that wide-scale adoptions of the same models for scholarly communication will occur. In summarizing our findings on the future of online sharing of academic research, we conclude with an identification of the larger theoretical issues at play and suggestions for further empirical study.

In his article in this issue examining the consequences of new media for the publishing industry, Phil Pochoda (2012) coins the term ‘digital soup’ to describe this brave new world of online scholarly communication and its mix of comments, preprints, publications, tweets, data sets, and all manner of scholarly material. This term also has great relevance for our findings, if we see scholarly communication as a symbolic system, something common to any society. As described by anthropologist Mary Douglas (1966), societies function by maintaining classifications between different social categories and excluding (as ‘dirt’ or ‘matter out of place’) the activities that do not fit into these categories. In scholarly communication, these categories could be seen as the different conventions for sharing work described above. In this light, the chief danger of publicly-open social media tools and venues is that they mix the conventions of different levels of sharing in the disciplines. Social media enable a more informal, immediate engagement with ideas, which is more common to small conferences or ‘hallway conversations’ with trusted colleagues, but combine this embryonic discussion with an open permanence that is more common to the final archival publication of record. Following Douglas, who wrote about other social contexts, the blurring of these traditionally separate spheres of activity can result in ‘disorder’. We have found that, for many scholars, this ‘disorder’ results in avoidance of social media technologies (as producing ‘matter out of place’).

Interestingly, new technologies for in-progress communication have always been instrumental in fostering discussions excluded from the mainstream, either consciously (e.g., by editorial ‘cabals’) or of nascent fields without established publication outlets. As a biologist described the 1970s C. elegans (roundworm) community:

Nascent fields, as they emerge, fairly often have these community blackboards, and I remember the times when the Drosophila community had stuff flying around on faxes. C. elegans has a Worm Breeder’s Gazette…on the Web…People put up negative results as well as positive results, everything…these things seem to work well as the field is struggling to establish itself and people realize that nobody’s got a breadth of expertise or tools… (Harley et al., 2010: 277)

Similarly to the C. elegans community, we predict that new social media will continue to be valuable in incubating new fields and topics of discussion. But, as a field grows, gels, and establishes a research trajectory, walls may be erected that preclude the facile sharing of early ideas. In this analogy, the formal publication system can be seen as a‘ritual of purity’ acting to restore order (and enforce credit) by directing the multitude of voices and conversations involved in pre-publication sharing into a record of progress in a field.

Scholarly conventions have such remarkable staying power because of their role to maintain order in academic communities, but they do not preclude change. Douglas notes that societies evolve by finding ways to include ‘matter out of place’ in classification systems by giving these substances or activities an interpretation that better fits into the established social order. We can use this framework to predict that new tools for inprogress scholarly communication are adopted (to maintain ‘order’) when they address distinct needs in a specific discipline by: (a) complementing, rather than interfering with, conventional practices for attribution and crediting; (b) building on established circles of trust and audience within discrete scholarly communities; and (c) not requiring additional resources, i.e., time and money.

Moving forward, although individual scholarly communities are likely to maintain order in scholarly communication as described above, the adoption of different digital tools and resources by different fields and subfields may perpetuate disorder on a larger scale, across the Academy. We speak, in particular, of the fear of spawning digital echo chambers in an online research universe. As Abbott (2011: 72–73) describes, in the 1940s and 1950s, an explosion of new research positions and subdisciplinary areas, and the resulting ‘flood of material’, drove scholars away from standardized indexes and abstracting journals produced by librarians to specialty scholarly literature and article reference lists as finding aids. Adding to this phenomenon, the early days of virtual communities (Katz et al., 2004: 326; Wellman et al., 1996: 232) saw the beginning of online social networking creating a powerful multiplication and fragmentation of traditional social networks. In scholarly disciplines, these shifts –multiplication of knowledge areas and social networking – could actually impede cross-pollination and focused disciplinary conversation by encouraging scholars to only communicate with (and cite) like-minded individuals. We suggest that it will be important going forward to study how some entity – scholarly societies, editors, curated crowd-sourced resources, and so on – works to ensure deep, wide-ranging conversation among scholars so that all members of a community can reap the rewards of each other’s work.

文章作者:Sophia Krzys Acord and Diane Harley

文章来源:New Media Society 2013 15: 379 originally published online 26 December 2012

文章链接:http://nms.sagepub.com/content/15/3/379

文章下载:Credit, time, and personality


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