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The digital scholar
The digital scholar

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2 Best of both worlds

An image of two toy monkeys inside the pocket on the back of an aeroplane seat.
Figure 9 Both together

Digital and traditional scholarship are often spoken about as if they are in competition with one another – the suggestion being that an individual can focus on one or the other, but not both. This need not necessarily be the case, as the two can be seen as complementary. For instance, there is evidence that publishing articles in open access journal leads to higher citations, which is termed the Open Access Citation Advantage (a list of publications reporting this can be found at SPARC Europe, The Open Access Citation Advantage: Summary of results of studies [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] ).

Similarly, the use of Twitter to disseminate articles can predict, and maybe lead to, higher citations (Journal of Medical Internet Research). Increasingly, the development of an online identity by academics, through blogs, social media or other means, is becoming as important, if not more so, as their ‘traditional’ identity. This online identity can lead to ‘real world’ impacts such as collaborations on research projects, invites to give talks at conferences, recruitment of participants for research, teaching collaborations and so on.

Even if the traditional measures of reward are adhered to, there are digital scholarship effects on these. However, many scholars feel they are required to play ‘both games’ in order to be recognised. This article at Vitae (Dunn, 2014) sets out how scholars in digital humanities feel they have to do twice the work.