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The Digital Age

Last week, the Chronicle of Higher Education posted a blog called, “The Challenges of Digital Scholarship,” that discussed the changing reality of online scholarship and even “pre-peer review” online before submission to a journal or publication of a book. The idea is to enhance collaboration and refine work before it gets into the literature rather than waiting until after.

Although the post doesn’t mention this, it may be a way to combat the rising rate of retractions in the literature because more eyes see it before ‘official’ publication. One source in the article even quipped that “blind peer review is dead. It just doesn’t know it yet.”

One of the main thrusts of the article is how (in particular) junior faculty, who tend to be more tech-savvy than their more senior peers, tend to seek out more online and ‘social’-style venues for scholarly work, and need to educate their departments (and colleges, et al) and create the expectations for evaluating this new style of work in their promotion and tenure (P&T) packages.

While I would never submit this blog as ‘scholarly work’ for any kind of review, especially at a school like UT, it would be nice to have some sort of recognition therein for the effort at reaching out to the community in this forum. Furthermore, it is fully appropriate for those who do use this forum and similar for more scholarly work to receive due credit for their work. In the year and a half (and 467 posts) of writing to you, I have essentially written a good sized volume, and any regular blogger among the professoriate has done the same, and so I see this awareness and move to recognizing the changing face of publications as a very positive step.

There have been some number of studies done on the power and eloquence of various social media at communicating depth and profundity in compressed formats such as Twitter. Below, I offer three videos done for a student-aimed travel agency that in about a minute each, display a quality of filmmaking and communication of the themes that I find extremely engaging and fun. They are not ‘scholarly’ in the traditional sense of the world, but if we could communicate more of our scholarship as effectively as these 3 gentlemen do their messages, it would bring a revolution to funding, public interest, opinion and student engagement with our work.




EAT from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.


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