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Current & Ideal Academic Discourse

The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) provides a basic definition of scholarly communication as “the system through which research and other scholarly writings are created, evaluated for quality, disseminated to the scholarly community, and preserved for future use. The system includes both formal means of communication, such as publication in peer-reviewed journals, and informal channels, such as electronic listservs.” (2003,

The subject for my work is augmenting scholarly document discourse to increase clarity and credibility in the following document lifecycle:

•  discovering document of relevant and of high quality to read,
•  reading to critically understand,
•  write/enter text to get thoughts cleanly and quickly out of head onto a substrate
•  construct argument to more deeply understand your text
•  cite external & internal material to tie into the web of scholarly discourse and to increase credibility
•  copy-edit document to present a clear and coherent argument
•  review of the work (primarily by supervisors/teachers but also by peers and editors) to increase quality and chance of publication/pass grade
•  publishing credibly (logically presented and correctly cited) and clearly (in a readable and clear format) & archiving to augment the first spoke in the cyclical wheel
•  archive document for future access, also to augment the first spoke in the cyclical wheel



Approaching Ideal Academic Discourse

The subject of my work is not to simply replicate the early generations of digital work where a serious focus was on replicating the capabilities (and, more importantly,) the limitations of the previous media of paper (WYSIWYG to WYSIAYG). The subject of my work is to explore and develop new digital capabilities far above what the previous capabilities of paper publishing would allow.

This will not be linear process. With new technologies come new opportunities, which are often spent on flashy demos which simply aims to sell the technology itself. To find out what truly useful utility the new opportunities offer is an exploration of the new capability space – we can not know how to map the opportunities fully until we explore the territory.

I am therefore a proponent of the facilitated evolution (Engelbart, 2009) model where the human system and the tool system co-evolves through trial and error towards a continuously re-defined and refined future of ever deeper literacies (my term, I did not get a chance to discuss that term with Doug but I have a feeling he would have appreciated it).

This is why I have engaged in dialog with academics to work to uncover how to provide augmentations to remove impediments to the scholarly communications process, to make tasks smoother and thus more likely to be carried out, and by providing advanced functions to go beyond anything we have been able to do before.



Here is the above mapped onto potential future work/features for Author:


Published inAnnotationDeep LiteracyPhDRich PDF

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