I followed a lead to Mark Carrigan yesterday. It was the start of a day of finding other connections too … around the theme of scholarship.
In his post, Mark observes:
Social media didn’t create the ambition to rethink scholarly communication, it gave us the tools to do it effectively.
He reminds us that rethinking communication has some fascinating precursors, including Pierre Bourdieu. Mark shares a quote from a 1975 paper in Actes de la Recherche en Sciences Sociales:
We shall present here, side by side, texts differing very greatly in their style and function: ‘finished’ texts, on the one hand, as they are called by academics journals, but also short notes, accounts of oral presentations, work in progress such as interim research projects and reports, in which theoretical intentions, empirical procedures of verification, and the data on which these are based, are all that much more visible. The desire to provide access to the workshop, which has different rules from those of method, and to present archives of a work still under way, implies a rejection of the most clearly ritual formalisms: justified typography, standard rhetoric, articles and issues of similar length, and more generally, everything that leads to the standardisation and ‘normalisation’ of the products of scholarship.
Pierre Bourdieu wrote about the importance of this workshop approach in a 2002 paper, The Social Conditions of the International Circulation of Ideas:
Texts circulate without their context; they don’t carry with them the field of production they come from, and the receivers, themselves integrated in a different field of production, reinterpret them in accordance with their position in the field of reception.
I enjoyed Mark’s discussion of Pierre Bourdieu’s work and the consideration of making visible of scholarship as a representational activity in a formative ‘field of production’.
I followed up on Mark’s post with an article in the Straits Times, recommended by Stephen Downes, Every space is a learning space. Toh Wen Li shares news of the Singapore Ministry of Education’s investment in flexible learning environments:
A jamming room and an outdoor music garden have more in common than making tunes. These are some of the informal learning spaces that some schools have been offering to students to get them to tinker in and explore in their spare time.
These are playful spaces and resonate, I think, with the open scholarship ideas Mark discusses.
The availability of social media platforms to play with and explore ideas and to share context goes beyond “ritual formalisms”. In recent years, I have really enjoyed the ways the LSE Impact Blog, has challenged this formalism and supported the formative and summative sharing of impact and curiosity.
By coincidence, Andy Miah was discussing science communication as a way of life this week too. He reports:
For me, science communication became a way of life at a very early stage in my postgraduate studies… I heard this at a time when the Internet was really taking off and so I started to think about how I could use the Web to share my work.
Andy suggests “science communication is best approached as a creative practice” and share a link to a new Masters course in Science Communication and Future Media. The course is delivered through distance learning, collaborative tasks, a creative portfolio and a final project.
It will be fascinating to learn if this new course stimulates the curiosity and creativity evident in DS106.
I imagine the future media conversations will include discussions about artificial intelligence. My final read of the day around open scholarship was David Smith’s Living with an AI. In his post, he shares his encounter with Amazon’s Alexa. He includes this section:
Let’s take a look at an Alexa skill called ArxivML. It was written by Amine Ben Khalifa, to allow him to scan the Machine Learning literature updates on arXiv whilst getting ready for work. Alexa will read out the abstracts of the ones Amine wishes to delve into further, and a more traditional title and abstract summary will be deposited into the Alexa app (where all your interactions with her are documented for posterity). The next few iterations of functionality aren’t exactly hard to think of, and not that hard to achieve either.
* Alexa Send to [Mendeley/zotero/DodgyFacebookForScholarsSites]
* Alexa Get me The PDF
* Alexa Share with …
* Alexa Save to my filestore
* Alexa Get the data from the paper
* Alexa Alert me when the authors are speaking at a conference
And so on.
Part of David’s conclusion includes:
AI is going to eat the world, and this time, it’s Scholarly Publishing that has the juicy data with which to feed the beast.
Keith Lyons (CC BY 4.0)
Lyons, K. (2012, June 7). Considering blogging as a scholarly activity [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://keithlyons.me/blog/2012/07/06/considering-blogging-as-a-scholarly-activity/.
Lyons, K. (2012, June 1). Blogging about blogging [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://keithlyons.me/blog/2012/06/01/blogging-about-blogging/.