Scholarly communications via digital means

In the chapter 23 “Dissemination as Cultivation” of the book “Doing Digital Humanities. Practice, Training, Research”, James O’Sullivan, Christopher P. Long and Mark A. Mattson explore the underlying principles of scholarly communications and publishing in the digital age.

Web platforms, intuitive interfaces and content delivery systems have brought about shifts in the ways of communication between scholars. People now have “open access” (James O’Sullivan, Christopher P. Long & Mark A 2016: 384 ), which Martin Paul Eve notes, to online public scholarship. Against such background, scholars should think about cultivating the habits and practices of digital communication and collaborative network of research.

The great affordance of the digital humanities provides the chance of engaging the dynamic relationship between form and matter in a sophisticated way. Now there is emerging emphasis on design in the digital humanities. The advent of World Wide Web marked a great leap in performative scholarship. “Performative” here means publishing is a way of performing ideas effectively in the way that reflect on how the arguments and ideas are best set into action. And other dynamic modes of digital scholarly communications enable authors to tailor their content to the forms in which they appear in public.

New digital modes of communication also open unforeseen new opportunities for scholars to collaborate and to engage a wide public. Scholars need to cultivate abilities to accurately describe what animates the scholarship under review, and engage the community in ways that enrich the scholarship that are produced together, and have the willingness to invest expertise, experience, insight and ideas to improve the scholarship under review. These are called “hermeneutic empathy”, “transformation” and “generosity” in short respectively.

The virtues of the traditional aspects of scholarly communication, including publishing, peer-review, discovery, and professional networks, remain intact in the digital era. However, the mechanisms of scholarly publishing, such as journals, monographs, and published conference proceedings, truly have moved to the digital realm, which is the most intuitive transition into the digital world of scholarly communications. In addition, self-publishing platforms and services are readily available today. Each digital tool has its merits and demerits and no single tool can be applied as a solution for every project, so it is important to carefully choose and construct a platform. The proliferation of online digital repositories sponsored by institutions is an extra venue for self-publishing scholarly works and makes it possible to open access to traditionally published works.

There are several strategies scholars should follow for social media. Bear in mind that everything you disseminate should be a reflection of your identity as an academic. In this respect, content should be about taking control of your scholarly profile, building a network, practicing uniformity and monitoring yourself. Scholars should familiarize themselves with a variety of technologies and select a form appropriate to the content; which is also a way of recognizing the implementation potential of platforms. The chief concern on the flexible open-source platforms should be their usability and support.



Crompton, Constance, Richard J. Lane, and Ray Siemens, eds. Doing Digital Humanities. Practice, Training, Research. London, New York: Routledge, 2016.



Hi. I am Zhang Bei. I come from China. My major is English interpretation. I am now an exchange student in UiO for one semester.

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