Ideal Knowledge Work/Academic Document

An ideal academic document, which is a good model for building ever deeper literacies around, allows for, and supports the following:

  1. The presentation of an insight or finding
  2. clearly supported through well reasoned evidence and logical arguments,
  3. supported by references to previous work,
  4. published and hosted in a way which others can discover through powerful support for contextual meta-information,
  5. through richly interactive media supporting deep reading.

Deeply Literate Academic Discourse (first version)

It is clear to me that if I want to research and design interactive text systems for deeply literate academic discourse I should define what I mean by that. This is my first version, posted at http://www.deep-literacy.com/academic.html which I will share with friends for comments.

It is not enough to focus on carrying a facsimile of the analogue into the digital, as is done with PDFs. For academic discourse to progress it becomes vital to look at what purpose the discourse should serve, and from that design techniques and technology to support it.

To do this means taking into account the most basic aspect of our minds which is that the human brain works through links in a space of possible connections – to extend our intellect therefore means extending our capacity to deal with connections.

• Document Findability. Finding what is worthwhile reading, both supportive and contradictory to their main thesis, though seeing what is linked and by which criteria.
• Deep Reading. Helping the academic read deeply, meaning to understand the author’s intention and support their ability to question the author’s reasoning and supportive material.
• Deep Citations. Supporting them in integrating previous work into their own, in a manner which allows them flexibility and does not take much time and effort.
• Deeply Connected. It further means supporting the act of seeing and thinking about their researched material and their own ideas, editing their writing and doing further research.
• Which comes together to produce a Rich, Clear & Transparently Cited Presentation. Presenting their work in a format which preserves the richness of their research, thinking and conclusions and insights, while transparently citing sources and allowing the reader rich options for viewing the material.
• Furthermore, the main documents are supported by powerful implementationsof data storage, glossaries, specialised dictionaries, dialogue records and more.

The clear goal then becomes an effort of supporting the production of high-quality academic documents which have been thoroughly thought through and cited, and then supporting the next academic in dealing with the material.