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Digital Scholarship Debate (ED-MEDIA 2011)
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Digital Scholarship Debate (ED-MEDIA 2011)

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Slides of my presentation at the keynote debate on Digital Scholarship of ED-MEDIA 2011. The debate followed an Oxford-style 'competitive debate' format, where a motion is put forward and two debaters …

Slides of my presentation at the keynote debate on Digital Scholarship of ED-MEDIA 2011. The debate followed an Oxford-style 'competitive debate' format, where a motion is put forward and two debaters argue, one in favor of the motion and the other against it. Martin Weller, from the Open University, UK, had the task of arguing for the motion. I had the task of arguing against it. Following our presentations, we have briefly responded to each others' arguments, after which the debate has been open to questions and comments from the floor. At the conclusion of the session, the votes from the audience have been cast. The results have been as follows: For the motion - 33%; Against the motion - 67%. I will be blogging about this debate very soon, and I'll keep you informed.


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  • 1. KEYNOTE DEBATE In the next decade, digital scholarship (in open journals, blogs, and social media) will achieve the same status in academic settings as traditional scholarship… ☐ YesLisbon, Portugal — June 27 - July 1, 2011ED-MEDIA 2011, World Conference on Educational ☐ No  NoMultimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications
  • 2. I come from the University of Coimbra  Founded in 1290 (721 years ago) 
  • 3. The University of Coimbra is also  known for its early adopDon and engagement with new technologies  I have been personally  involved in contribuDng to this  process since  the early 1980s But what I would like to suggest, in  the metaphor that follows, is that  tradiDon and high‐tech can go  hand‐in‐hand very successfully  
  • 4. The iTunes U page of the University of Coimbra   The University of Coimbra is also  known for its early adopDon and  engagement with new technologies  I have been personally involved  in contribuDng to this process 
  • 5. DEBATE  STATEMENT  “In the next decade, digital scholarship (in open journals, blogs,  and social media) will achieve the  same status in academic seLngs as  tradiDonal scholarship… 
  • 6. 1. DECLARATION OF INTEREST:    I am biased in favor of open access  scholarship (namely ‘green’ OA).  
  • 7. 2. DECLARATION OF BELIEF:     Open access scholarship will not achieve in academic seLngs, in just a decade,  the  same status as tradiDonal scholarship.       
  • 8. 3. DECLARATION OF CERTAINTY:     Blogs and social media will take  much, much, longer than a  decade to gain widespread acceptance in academic seLngs. 
  • 9. WE ARE NOT ARGUING ABOUT:     The desirability of open  access scholarship. We can all agree it is desirable! 
  • 10. WE ARE NOT ARGUING ABOUT:     Whether open access scholarship  will, someDme in the future, reach the status of tradiDonal scholarship. 
  • 11. WE ARE NOT ARGUING ABOUT:     The likely scenario where, instead of  fighDng each other, they will transform each other, to emerge as a  combined new form of scholarship. 
  • 12. WHAT WE ARE ARGUING ABOUT IS:    Whether open access scholarship + blogs + social media will become an  alternaDve form of scholarship that   will predominate within a decade!   
  • 13. SOCIOLOGY OF INNOVATION:     Academic systems can be  seen as networks of actors   that reinforce each other   into stable configuraDons   These stable configuraDons   tend to prevent change 
  • 14. In such conservaDve echo‐systems  it is very difficult to produce   innovaDons with lasDng effects   the inerDa of the system dilutes  or distorts the innovaDons  and converts them   to the reigning uniformity It is like pouring water in the desert 
  • 15. EXAMPLES:     THE USE OF ICT IN EDUCATION:  Three decades later, can we talk about  significant pedagogical progress?  THE LECTURE IN HIGHER EDUCATION:  The lecture, used in the Middle Ages to propagate the word of the classics, keeps being (over)used, many centuries later, in spite of the  much befer alternaDves now available 
  • 16. Fortunately, the alternaDve  network of open access  scholarship has also been  gaining momentum   And there are signs of reconciliaDon between the two networks, which may eventually mix up 
  • 17. Blog scholarship and social network  scholarship are enDrely different things   Their quanDtaDve indicators are sDll  at a stage of early debate and are  likely to remain so for many decades   A variety of scholarship combining open  access scholarship with blog scholarship  and social network scholarship is unsustainable, and will be so for decades   
  • 18. KEYNOTE DEBATE In the next decade, digital scholarship (in open journals, blogs, and social media) will achieve the same status in academic settings as traditional scholarship… ☐ YesLisbon, Portugal — June 27 - July 1, 2011ED-MEDIA 2011, World Conference on Educational ☐ No  NoMultimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications