Scholarship in the Digital Age
Scholars in all fields now have access to an unprecedented wealth of online information, tools, and services. The Internet lies at the core of an information infrastructure for distributed, data-intensive, and collaborative research. Although much attention has been paid to the new technologies making this possible, from digitized books to sensor networks, it is the underlying social and policy changes that will have the most lasting effect on the scholarly enterprise. In Scholarship in the Digital Age, Christine Borgman explores the technical, social, legal, and economic aspects of the kind of infrastructure that we should be building for scholarly research in the twenty-first century.
Borgman describes the roles that information technology plays at every stage in the life cycle of a research project and contrasts these new capabilities with the relatively stable system of scholarly communication, which remains based on publishing in journals, books, and conference proceedings. No framework for the impending "data deluge" exists comparable to that for publishing. Analyzing scholarly practices in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities, Borgman compares each discipline's approach to infrastructure issues. In the process, she challenges the many stakeholders in the scholarly infrastructure—scholars, publishers, libraries, funding agencies, and others—to look beyond their own domains to address the interaction of technical, legal, economic, social, political, and disciplinary concerns. Scholarship in the Digital Age will provoke a stimulating conversation among all who depend on a rich and robust scholarly environment.
About the Author
Christine L. Borgman is Professor and Presidential Chair in Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is the author of From Gutenberg to the Global Information Infrastructure: Access to Information in the Networked World and Scholarship in a Digital Age: Information, Infrastructure, and the Internet, both from the MIT Press.
"Comprehensive, comprehensible and authoritative. . . . This book may be recommended to anyone—scholar or practitioner—involved in digital information infrastructures and provision.", David Bawden, Journal of Documentation
"In a world where scientific networks and communication are now increasingly visible and open, Borgman has illuminated the discussion of the scholarly communication system itself.", Richard Akerman, Nature
"There is no one better qualified than Christine Borgman to reflect on howscholarship is being affected by the emergence of digital technologies. Shebrings deep understanding about the practices of scholars, the historicaland social forces that shape them, and the characteristics of the emergingtechnologies. This book is required reading for all those interested in twenty-firstcentury scholarship."
—Gary M. Olson, Paul M. Fitts Professor of Human-Computer Interaction,School of Information, University of Michigan
"Advances in communication and information technologies are connectinglibrary, information, and computer sciences with subject matter disciplinesto e-enable a growing range of research practices—from data collection topublication and archiving. Professor Borgman is one of the few authoritiesin this emerging space who can speak clearly to all the relevant disciplinesabout the inter-related technical, social and institutional developmentsreconfiguring how scholars do what they do. This book will be of great valueto students, researchers, and policy-makers interested in the implicationsof the digital age on scholarly work."
—Professor William H. Dutton, Oxford Internet Institute, University ofOxford
"As Borgman asserts and illustrates, work is well underway to build an advanced information infrastructure to support scholarship and learning under many alternate rubrics. Lacking in much of this work, however, is an adequate appreciation of the intrinsic technical and social nature of infrastructure—cyber or otherwise. In Scholarship in the Digital Age, Borgman has made a significant contribution to such understanding in ways that will have practical payoff for both the creators and users of emerging information infrastructure. She has also linked many important threads of research and development for building and understanding contemporary platforms for knowledge communities. This is an excellent book."
—Daniel E. Atkins, Professor of Information, Computer Science and Engineering, and Founding Dean, School of Information, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Awarded 2008 "Best Information Science Book" by the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T).