My latest higher education article for Technology &
Networks, is now available. The article draws deeply from my previous
blog posts, Linked,
2.0, and The
Future of Academic Publishing.
Here are a couple of quotes from
[T]he system [of academic writing] is fairly clunky. There aren’t easy ways
to tell who the [top scholars] are, nor are there ways to easily find hidden
nuggets of wisdom. . . . Tracking down a new resource from an existing article
or book also is difficult, since readers have to first find the publication
through trial-and-error searching of various databases and then either download
it or track down a print version. Much high-quality writing never sees the light
of day or isn’t cited by anyone because it’s not in the "right place." We can do
better. . . .
If we can figure out how to get beyond academic publishers’ revenue
protection concerns, the world’s body of scholarly research can be available to
anyone with an Internet connection. That’s a goal worth working
I’ve just read your article and it is pretty interesting.
1) The tools that emerged with the web 2.0 phenomenon help us move from a document approach to an information one. Because the web becomes the medium, content is scrolled by search bots looking for keywords, can be referenced with pings (blogs particularly), delivered via RSS notifications and visually represented and accessible with tags(clouds). This overall brings more visibility to information. Information ceases to be siloed in documents. A difference that should be noted and advertised as organizations have document-based routines.
They experience we have at Headshift is that changing the document and email oriented routines is kind of a hard job.
2) People can participate.
They can comment initial content in blogs or amend it in wikis. They can also vote on it and therefore add a qualitative perspective to it that systems like Digg then reuse to promote “quality” contents.
The experience we have at Headshift is that some people are ready for this, some not. So you’d better start with people who have the culture for that and then let others come to this when experience matures.
3) People can remix
Mashups are interesting in that sense as they allow the combination of two or more applications to create new services and informations. TwitterVision is one of my preferred.
Personalisation of content with AJAX also brings in benefits. By organising the information in a personal way, users find more relevance and can more easily access to information. Netvibes and iGoogle showed the way and PersonAll pushes of the logic personalized pages in organizations.
It is all a new way of thinking the governance of Research. The trick I see, from personal experience, is that 1) people are not aware of this potential and 2) some people in the academy have a very high opinion of knowledge and see participative knowledge as poor.
Thanks again for this nice article!