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Scholarship in the Networked World, Professor Christine Borgman, 6 June 2013, 5pm at Balliol College0 Comments Published by Bill June 3rd, 2013 in Information Communication and the Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, Dissemination, eHumanities, Internet Studies, Outreach, Research and Learning, Social Informatics, Social Issues, Social Science Research, Socio-technical Systems
Scholarship in the Networked World
Oliver Smithies Lecture
6 June 2013, 5pm
Christine L. Borgman
Professor & Presidential Chair in Information Studies
University of California, Los Angeles
Oliver Smithies Visiting Fellow and Lecturer
Balliol College, University of Oxford
Scholars are expected to publish the results of their work in journals, books, and other venues. Now they are being asked to publish their data as well, which marks a fundamental transition in scholarly communication. Data are not shiny objects that are easily exchanged. Rather, they are fuzzy and poorly bounded entities. The enthusiasm for “big data” is obscuring the complexity and diversity of data and of data practices across the disciplines. Data flows are uneven – abundant in some areas and sparse in others, easily or rarely shared. Open access and open data are contested concepts that are often conflated. Data are a lens to observe the rapidly changing landscape of scholarly practice. This talk is based on an Oxford-based book project to open up the black box of “data,” peering inside to explore behavior, technology, and policy issues.
Christine L. Borgman is Professor and Presidential Chair in Information Studies at UCLA. Currently (2012-13) she is the Oliver Smithies Visiting Fellow and Lecturer at Balliol College, University of Oxford, where she also is affiliated with the Oxford Internet Institute and the eResearch Centre. Prof. Borgman is the author of more than 200 publications in information studies, computer science, and communication. Her monographs, Scholarship in the Digital Age: Information, Infrastructure, and the Internet (MIT Press, 2007) and From Gutenberg to the Global Information Infrastructure: Access to Information in a Networked World (MIT Press, 2000), each won the Best Information Science Book of the Year award from the American Society for Information Science and Technology. She conducts data practices research with funding from the National Science Foundation, Sloan Foundation, and Microsoft Research. Current collaborations include Monitoring, Modeling, and Memory, The Transformation of Knowledge, Culture, and Practice in Data-Driven Science, and Empowering Long Tail Research.
I have been spending the week keeping quite busy and engaged teaching a small seminar at the University of Konstanz, Germany. The seminar is entitled ‘Politics and Policy of the Internet’ and my 12 students are masters students in their faculty of politics and public administration. The first photo is of a subset of the class during one of our breaks.
Preparing for, and giving the course, has been very useful in moving me along in completing a 4 volume set of readings for Routledge, entitled ‘Politics and the Internet’. Also it has been refreshing to hear the discussion of the readings. I’m impressed by the high standards the students have in the methodological rigor and argumentation of the various readings – excellent critics, but also in their ability to see the contributions of the work they review. The discussion of particular contemporary issues and cases has been the most interesting aspect, and I was pleased to be able to introduce the students to some of the ancient history of tele-democracy around interactive cable, videotex, and bulletin board systems. Sometimes it is useful to be older.
I spent two stimulating days at the Library of Congress (LC) last week. The first involved meeting with staff of the LC who are involved in thinking through short and long-range plans for the Library’s future, everything from space to holdings that will help the LC take a leading position in the US and globally through its many initiatives and collaborations. All that I could imagine the library doing seemed already on-track in one or more of their many new and existing programs and planned initiatives, leaving me with a positive sense about their direction of change. Staff members are engaging their colleagues in wide-ranging discussions about shaping the LC for the digital age in ways that nevertheless respects what the Librarian defines as the ‘culture of the book’. All the many themes emerging from our Oxford lecture series on ‘innovation and digital scholarship‘ are coming into play in their discussions.
The second day of meetings shifted to whether and how The John W. Kluge Center of the LC might develop a new program around Digital Studies or Internet Studies – the exact nature of their prospective program has yet to be decided. The Oxford Handbook of Internet Studies (OUP 2013) helped secure me a seat for a wonderful debate over what the Center might do that would be unique and have major global implications, but also help the Library shape its holdings and activities for 21st Century digital research and scholarship. With the support of the Librarian and the ability to bring in scholars on the forefront of the field, such as Professor Manuel Castells, who the was the LC’s Kluge Chair in Technology and Society, during the summer of 2012, and continues as a member of the Library’s Scholars Council. I am quite optimistic about their prospects. The Center is developing an innovative program that will help build the larger field of Internet Studies, as I would define it, as well as support the LC.
I left with the impression that the LC does not trumpet its own work as much as we might do in academia, but they are involved in major initiatives at a scale most universities could not match. Academics should be tracking the Kluge Center and the LC over the coming years as its initiatives around the digital age take shape.
Internet Studies: Perspectives on a rapidly developing field
Charles Ess, William Dutton
New Media & Society, April 29, 2013
To quote from the introduction – which is available as a free download – We have organized the contributions to this issue such that they flow across four general areas. The first focuses on the field as a whole, and is filled by our lead article, by Tai-Quan Peng, Lun Zhang, Zhijin Zhong and Jonathan JH Zhu, ‘Mapping the Landscape of Internet Studies: Text mining of social science journal articles 2000–2009’. We then shift focus to specific Perspectives from Different Arenas, beginning with Jingyan (Elaine) Yuan’s ‘culturalist critique of “online community” in new media studies’, followed by Heidi Campbell’s ‘Religion and the Internet as a microcosm for studying trends and implications within Internet Studies’, then an article by Jessie Daniels, ‘Race and racism in Internet Studies’, and Michel van Eeten and Milton Mueller’s ‘Where is the governance in Internet governance?’.
The next set of articles focus more on Methodological Perspectives, beginning with Juliette De Maeyer’s ‘Towards a hyperlinked society: A critical review of link studies’, followed by Niels Brügger’s ‘Web historiography and Internet Studies: Challenges and perspectives’. The two final articles are both tied to Critical Perspectives on User Empowerment, a cross-cutting theme of Internet research across various research arenas. Anja Bechmann and Stine Lomborg’s article is entitled ‘Mapping actor roles in social media: Different perspectives on value creation in theories of user participation’, and this is followed by Christian Fuchs and Nick Dyer-Witheford’s challenge to Internet Studies, entitled ‘Karl Marx @ Internet Studies’.
We conclude with a more general account of what we have learned about this evolving field from this special issue in light of work on our respective handbooks.
Several of the articles are already published online; the print version of the complete issue will appear later this year.
We would also like to express our gratitude to numerous reviewers and to Editors, Steve Jones and Nickolas Jankowski, for their constant support and assistance in developing and bringing this special issue to fruition.
Charles Ess and Bill Dutton
Develop a Set of Realistic Expectations
- X (4?) articles accepted, in press, or published before completion of DPhil
- 2 or more in peer reviewed journals or equivalent outlets
- book chapter(s) are good, more valued with other professional journal articles
(Co-)Authorship issues vary across disciplines, but in Internet Studies:
- One or more single authored publications idea
- Co-authored publications fine, but not only co-authored publication
- Agree a strategy to manage co-authorship over two or more works (don’t agree to be the last co-author on all publications, unless that is fair
- Co-authorship is growing more common with team-based research
Present Your Work
- Present any piece being developed for publication
- Discover flaws and missing links, ordering problems in the argument and its presentation, in addition to getting feedback
- Often the source of suggestions of appropriate journals, even invitations to submit to a particular journal
- Don’t present too many conference papers relative to your publications – suggesting a lack of focus on getting your work published
Be Your Own Toughest Critic on whether Your Idea or Analysis is Publishable
- Is it an original contribution (empirically (new data set, new operational definitions, original observations or case studies), theoretically, otherwise)?
- Is it sufficiently important? A relatively simple contribution might merit a blog, or a research note, but not justify the time required for a full journal article.
Prioritize your Time, but be Flexible
- Focus your attention on the most important original contribution you can make, rather than saving it for future publications
- Create files, stacks or folders for other ideas, papers, which might rise or diminish in significance over time.
- Keep your priority, but if you can’t make progress, don’t stop writing. Move to another paper, where you feel able to make progress.
Follow a Simple, Clear Structure Reflecting Basic Research Processes
- Problem, research question, literature, approach, methods, findings, limitations, discussion of implications and further research
- Explain what you are going to do. Do it. Tell the reader what you’ve done.
- Do not write a mystery novel.
- Essential Element, but don’t Over Kill
- Are you aware of relevant research?
- Has related research been published in the journal you are considering?
Carefully Consider the Journal(s) in Which to Choose to Publish
- Centrality to your work based on Track Record of Published Articles
- Links to the Academic Community of the Editor, and Editorial Board (Have you read or heard of these scholars?)
- Do you publish in refereed journals in your field of specialization?
- Among the fitting journals, it is best to have your article accepted in one with a higher impact factor, and indexed by the right sources.
Write for the Chosen Journal
- Follow the journal’s style guidelines
- Keep to guidelines on length, word count
- Do not submit to another journal while being considered by your chosen journal. This may cause you to think twice about submitting to some journals, such a one noted for slow turnaround of reviews.
Respond to Reviewers
- Good luck on first review and chosen set of reviewers
- Most journals will return your manuscript to the initial reviewers, so it is practical to focus on understanding and being responsive to review
- Explain how you’ve responded to reviews, particularly when reviewers offer contradictory suggestions.
- Don’t be discouraged by critical reviews, and don’t blame the reviewers, if your writing has not convinced them of the merits.
- Be attentive to positive reviews: Why did the reviewer like your piece?
- If unsuccessful, consider an alternative journal, in light of the reviews.
The Importance of Focused Time
- Not Alcohol, Drugs, or Sleep Deprivation
- Time on Task in Revision after Revision
- Consistent Discipline in Reading and Organizing Notes and Research
- Record your ideas, notes, readings, systematically. Read: C. Wright Mills, ‘On Intellectual Craftsmanship’
- Focus on the Article, get feedback from colleagues who read or discuss your ideas, and revise, and revise again.
 Take a look at Galbraith’s wonderful essay on Writing Typing and Economics: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1978/03/writing-typing-and-economics/305165/
Our journal, Information Communication and Society (iCS), has had a step-jump in its readership and role in the field over the last several years. The editor, Brian Loader, and I were recalling our first meeting in the late 1990s, when Brian first proposed the journal. We are in the midst of the 16th volume with subscriptions continuing to rise, particularly online, indexed in 18 abstracting and indexing services, including the Social Science Citation Index, up to 10 issues per year, but with a healthy backlog, and with an increasing number of articles winning prizes and other forms of recognition.
The two most outstanding aspects of the journal to me, as one of the editors, are first, its international – global – reach. We have contributors and readers worldwide. For example, we received submissions of articles from authors in 38 countries from 2010-12. This was always an aim of the journal, but it has become a clear reality.
Secondly, the title remains broad and contemporary – it is not being overtaken by the pace of technical change and is as relevant today as when it was first proposed. I sometimes worry about the potential fragmentation of my field of Internet Studies, given the number of increasingly specialized journals, but iCS remains broad enough to encompass all aspects of my field and more, providing one mechanism for integrating work across a wider field of research.
iCS was Brian Loader’s idea, so let me thank him, but also my associate Barry Wellman, our Editorial Board, and many contributors and readers, as well as Routledge Taylor & Francis for helping us realize Brian’s vision. It is great to see this journal develop.
While I have no involvement in this conference, I want to help draw attention to this CALL FOR PAPERS:
Celebrating the Achievements and Legacies of Ada Lovelace
18 October 2013
Stevens Institute of Technology, College of Arts and Letters
An interdisciplinary conference celebrating the achievements and legacies of the poet Lord Byron’s only known legitimate child, Ada Byron King, Countess of Lovelace (1815-1852), will take place at Stevens Institute of Technology (Hoboken, New Jersey) on 18 October 2013. This conference will coincide with the week celebrating Ada Lovelace Day, a global event for women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). All aspects of the achievements and legacies of Ada Lovelace will be considered, including but not limited to:
-Lovelace as Translator and/or Collaborator
-Technology in the Long Nineteenth Century
-Women in Computing: Past/Present/Future
-Women in STEM
-Ada Lovelace and her Circle
-Please submit proposals or abstracts of 250-500 words by 14 May 2013 to: Robin Hammerman (firstname.lastname@example.org).
-Visit the conference website: http://www.stevens.edu/calconference
Looking forward to speaking in Lisbon tomorrow about The Oxford Handbook of Internet Studies (OUP 2013). I’ll be addressing students and colleagues with one of my contributors, Gustavo Cardoso, an associate researcher at CIES, ISCTE-Lisbon University Institute, Lisbon, Portugal. This will give me a chance to speak with his students about the development of Internet Studies, but also the World Internet Project, in which Gustavo and I are both involved. Slides from the presentation are available here: http://www.slideshare.net/WHDutton/internet-studies-13
Reference: My introduction to Internet Studies: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2231188
The Guardian today featured two articles that bring home the risks of governmental policies and directives seeking to enforce the ‘right to forget’. One was about Britain (wisely) seeking to opt-out of EU’s data protection regulation that dictates the right for people to delete information from the Internet, such as an embarrassing photo. The other article is about the British Library archiving the Web, in collaboration with other main copyright libraries. With one hand, many governments are seeking ways to enable libraries to overcome restrictions, such as copyrights, to capture our cultural heritage, while with the other hand, many governments are imposing regulations that will make it easier to erase that history. In the name of privacy and data protection, governments are legitimizing their role in censoring the Internet and Web, and creating new threats to freedom of expression.
Erasing history is not only Orwellian and unfeasible, given the scale of the Web, but it will have a chilling effect on freedom of expression – ushering in a legitimate government role in censorship, even in liberal democratic societies. It is clearly an issue of Internet governance that any advocate of freedom of expression should not ignore. It will also create a legal swamp by expanding law and regulation in the privacy and data protection area that is already fraught with uncertainties, and arguably already covers any abuse of personal privacy that is the target of right to be forgotten rules.
My apologies for this brief position statement, but I have written more about this threat to expression in a UNESCO publication and a review in Science. If you think I may wish to forget that I wrote these words at some future date, you may want to save it on your computer.
Dutton, W. (2010), ‘Programming to Forget’, a review of Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age by Viktor Mayer-Schönberger in Science, Vol. 327, 19 March: 1456. http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/327/5972/1456-a
William H. Dutton, Anna Dopatka, Michael Hills, Ginette Law, and Victoria Nash (2011), Freedom of Connection – Freedom of Expression: The Changing Legal and Regulatory Ecology Shaping the Internet. Paris: UNESCO, Division for Freedom of Expression, Democracy and Peace. Reprinted in 2013; Trans. In French and Arabic.
It is heartening to read Alan Rusbridger’s editorial in The Guardian of 25 March 2013, as he seems to have become more aware of some of the serious weaknesses in the proposed press regulation, which has changed in ways that may have undermined his early support. See: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rics20/current He calls attention to the private meetings with Hacked Off, the imposition of punitive damages on those who don’t sign up to the regulator, and the power of the regulator to direct papers to print apologies – even where to place them. Hardly an independent press nor an independent regulator. He notes: “The advocates of reform – including the Guardian – should be unenthusiastic about endorsing a messy compromise with unintended consequences and with the prospect of years of stalemate in the courts and with the regulator itself.” Mr Rusbridger does complain that few people raised concerns over freedom of the press during early private meetings among editors, but I should hope that all of the stakeholders see the value of public debate on issues that threaten the independence of the press, and freedom of expression online. Perhaps there is hope that politicians will get off this escalator towards inappropriate press regulation and take the time to find a resolution that does not threaten the independence of the press and impose governmental controls on bloggers and expression online.
I’ve expressed my own worries online: http://people.oii.ox.ac.uk/dutton/2013/03/20/how-politicians-can-endorse-a-statutory-press-regulator-and-what-can-be-done/
William H. Dutton (B.A. University of Missouri; M.A., PhD. SUNYBuffalo, 1974) is Professor of Internet Studies, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, and Fellow of Balliol College.
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