The digital scholar
The digital scholar

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End-of-course conclusion

In this course you have used the book The Digital Scholar to examine aspects of change to scholarly practice; a change brought about by the advent of digital, networked and open technology. The impact on research, interdisciplinarity, public engagement and teaching has been considered. Issues relating to how such work is recognised have been addressed. You have also looked at some of the negative aspects of this push to online identity and discourse.

The course has used the Boyer framework as a means of examining the changes to scholarly practice. Boyer used the four categories of discovery, application, integration and teaching. For each of these categories we have only considered some possible interpretations (e.g. public engagement for application) but this can be realised in other ways also.

The Boyer framework provides us with a useful means of examining changes in existing practice. There is a downside, however, in using a framework that covers current and past scholarship; it may constrain our thinking or miss new elements that are not covered under this framework. Do you feel that the Boyer approach covered all aspects of digital scholarship, or were there some that felt like an awkward fit or missed altogether?

My feeling about this is that the categories are broad enough to include new approaches, but there may be a point that the practice is so different from the original intention that it might become meaningless. For now at least though, it provides a useful way of framing the transformation in many aspects of practice.

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