Networked Scholars &...Authentic Influence?
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Networked Scholars &...Authentic Influence?



What does academic influence mean in an age of information abundance? This keynote delivered at the University of Edinburgh's #elearninged conference explores the idea of authenticity in the context ...

What does academic influence mean in an age of information abundance? This keynote delivered at the University of Edinburgh's #elearninged conference explores the idea of authenticity in the context of networked scholarship, and outlines ongoing research into why scholars use networks and how they read each others' reputations and credibility within them.



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Networked Scholars &...Authentic Influence? Networked Scholars &...Authentic Influence? Presentation Transcript

  • Networked Scholars 
 &…Authentic Influence? Bonnie Stewart @bonstewart University of Prince Edward Island Edinburgh 2014
  • networked scholarship h"ps://  
  • influence = a complex equation h"ps://  
  • networks & institutions
 are both reputational economies
  • Those within the academy become 
 very skilled at judging the stuff of reputations. Where has the person’s work been published, what claims of 
 priority in discovery have
 they established, how often have they been cited, how and where reviewed, what 
 prizes won, what institutional ties earned, what organizations led? 
 (Willinsky, 2010)
  • what does this mean?
  • NETWORKED SCHOLARSHIP •  Introduction •  Context: Information Abundance •  Content: Influence & Networks •  Conversation: Authenticity?
  • dissemination of knowledge what people had for lunch CHANGE IN HIGHER ED Premise: Online networks enable different forms of identity, legitimacy, and belonging than institutions do
  • information abundance h"p://  
  • backdrop: changing educational culture knowledge scarcity knowledge abundance open systems public, institutional values market values closed systems
  • increasing pressure to go online
  • channels of abundance = networks h"ps://  
  • not about online/offline binaries h"p://  
  • networks require literacies + ACADEMICS
  • networks require time
  • so.
 what counts as influence in scholarly networks?

  • public identity = price of admission
  • not about tech
  • networked identities = multiple & participatory
  • my research •  ethnography •  14 (13) participants, 8 exemplars •  3 months of participant observation on Twitter & blogs •  10 interviews
  • dissemination advantage
  • but there’s more
  • community
  • connection h"ps://  
  • access to the conversation
  • speaking from the margins
  • speaking back to academia
  • speaking back to media/culture
  • participating from afar
  • but.
  • liability & constraint
  • signal/noise filters h"p://  
  • positioning fatigue
  • immersion required
  • not fully immersed yet? h"ps://  
  • literacies for understanding academic 
 networked publics Institutions Networks product-focused process-focused mastery participation bounded by time/space always accessible hierarchical ties peer-to-peer ties plagiarism crowdsourcing authority in role authority in reputation audience = institutional audience = world                      
  • authenticity? h"ps://  
  • the word ‘authentic’ can be dangerous in 
 digital contexts
  • authenticity online?
 show your work h"ps://  
  • is it just a numbers game?
  • h"p://­‐  
  • profiles = identity work  
  • profiles = information
  • profiles = institutional ++
  • fluencies that matter
  • there are real, complex global conversations happening
  • keep learning to read them h"ps://  
  • “who dares to teach must 
 never cease
 to learn.” 
 - John Cotton Dana, 1912
  •   thank you.