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Form and Function of Digital Genres of Scholarly Communication: Results of the SciLogs study

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Form and Function of Digital Genres of Scholarly Communication: Results of the SciLogs study

  1. 1. Cornelius Puschmann, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin Merja Mahrt, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf Form and Function of Digital Genres of Academic Communication International Conference on Science and the Internet (#cosci12) August 3rd, 2012 Düsseldorf, Germany
  2. 2. 1. How do ICTs/the Internet reshape scholarship? 2. How is scholarly communication reconfigured? 3. How do scholarly blogs fit in?
  3. 3. Prior research on scholarly blogging • Mortensen and Walker (2002): blogs as tools for writing and knowledge management • Walker (2006): change of usage over time • Gregg (2009): blogs as a subcultural form of expression, part of constructing a professional identity • Bar-Ilan (2004): aims of scholars inferred from form and content • Luzón (2009): use of hyperlinks in academic blogs • Kouper (2010): “virtual water cooler” for experts
  4. 4. Why do we care? (Alt)metrics! • natively digital formats (blogs, wikis, tweets, ...) not part of formal academic evaluation (though there are exceptions) • this may change in the future, as metrics become more personalized • output in digitally native formats is likely to increase
  5. 5. Issues of defintion scholarly/science/academic blog defined by content defined by actor ”a blog with scholarly ”a blog written by a content” scholar” ...but what makes ...but who exactly is a content scholarly? scholar and who isn‘t? Genre as a possible point of convergence?
  6. 6. resea og rch blo bl g en ce s ci scholarly blog carn et de r eche rech different terms & concepts e Wiss ensc haft sblo g blog ic digita ad em l lab n otebo ac ok
  7. 7. What are the motives of scholarly bloggers? • online questionaire among bloggers on the German- language platform SciLogs (n=44) • platform is run by popular science publisher Spektrum der Wissenschaft • all respondents are regular authors on SciLogs • majority of bloggers male (73%) • majority with a natural sciences background (59%)
  8. 8. I blog... because I enjoy writing to present my field to a general audience to establish a thematic presence to raise grievances/controversies to express myself creatively 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% percentage of respondents who somewhat or fully agree with the statement
  9. 9. Important functions of my blog are... discussion and exchange of ideas presenting the results of my research publishing texts written for other purposes 0% 15% 30% 45% 60% percentage of respondents who somewhat or fully agree with the statement
  10. 10. In terms of style, my blog emulates... it varies from post to post popular science publications essays/op-eds I have my own style non-scholarly blogs scholarly publications 0% 10% 20% 30% 40%
  11. 11. Through my blog, I... answer the public’s questions repay a debt to society 0% 15% 30% 45% 60% percentage of respondents who somewhat or fully agree with the statement
  12. 12. SciLogs: one platform‘s take on scholarly blogging • the SciLog authors blog because they enjoy engaging with the general public • blogging is not seen as a replacement for traditional scholarly publishing • blogging is also not seen as a replacement for science journalism • instead, different blogs occupy different niches between popular science writing and public discussion of science • other platforms (Hypotheses.org, Researchblogging.org) are based on different sociotechnical conceptualizations and follow different aims
  13. 13. Thank you for your attention!

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