Digital scholarship is an emerging field and has a number of definitions ranging from digital curation to the use of new media. In our context we adopt a broad working definition, intended to encompass all aspects of scholarship of "the impact of digital and networked technologies on scholarly practice".
Digital scholarship is essential in developing The Open University’s identity as a digital university in the coming years. Digital and internet technologies have a significant impact on all aspects of scholarship.
We explore digital scholarship around a number of themes, namely:
- impact of new technologies on scholarly practice
- the changing nature of academic identity
- the role of the scholar in an open, digital world
- learning analytics and other metric to support educators and learners
Our aim is two-fold - to both investigate what is currently happening in the area of digital scholarship and to explore and shape what is possible with the adoption of new technologies and approaches.
Exploring scholarly academic practice: We research both within and outside the University, balancing our focus internally and externally in order to investigate both the existing and changing nature of scholarly practice. We engage academics in wider debates, to promote adoption of open, digital methods, and also seek to develop the knowledge base on student practices as this is essential for the development of our understanding.
Transforming practice: Digital scholarship can be seen as a shorthand means of referring to not only the technologies but more significantly the changing practices they afford. Three characteristics of new technologies intersect to create a possibly transformative effect, namely digital, networked and open. When all three of these are present, as for example in open access publishing, then significant changes to very well established scholarly practice can be seen. The aim of the programme is to investigate these areas of tension, and to seek to influence the legitimisation of new practices, for example around recognition and reward, but also to take a critical stance and analyse much of the technology hype, for example the Net Generation mythology.
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- Strategic Funded Digital Scholarship work
- Scholarship of teaching and learning
- Support Centre for Open Resources in Education (SCORE)
- SCORE microsites (SCOREMS)
- Digital Literacies ESRC funded work
- Get-IT public engagement through video (PBPL funded)
We are interested in the ways in which new technologies can transform all aspects of scholarly practice. A good place to start is the paper we wrote for the open access journal 'In Education' - Digital Scholarship Considered: How New Technologies can Transform Academic work
We have conducted a review of current digital scholarship activity at The Open University and the report is called Digital Scholarship Audit Report
The idea of digital literacies in academic contexts is explored in Academic literacies in the digital university.
The complex interrelationship between literacies and technologies is explored in Digital Literacies in higher education: exploring textual and technological practice
The CASTL project looked at the nature of scholarship in a more general sense - see CASTL Publications and Conference Contributions
We are looking at the use of metrics to measure scholarly impact, socio-technical systems as a means of interpreting digital scholarship and the changing nature of science communication. Professor Martin Weller has written a book on digital scholarship which was published in an open access form in 2011.