11 thoughts on “is this blog damaging my academic reputation?

  1. The other day I took the kids to a museum and had to explain what the typewrite on display was. It felt odd that I’d used one as an undergraduate 25 years previously, but things change.

    Claire – you’re fine. In 5-10 years’ time the rest of academia will know what you already do – that the internet and its various tools are only a way of extending the principle of collegiate discussion.

    1. Lets hope your right, perhaps in ten years time we will all be in the musuem oogling at the the funny looking things called a ‘pc’ and a ‘desk’ and wondering what all the fuss was about.

  2. In general, I agree with Donald’s concept that academia will catch up. However, occasionally I see dark shadows of reactionary responses, hints that some academics are keen to man the barricades and try to undermine those of us who believe that sharing openly furthers research and understanding at a much greater pace than the dusty, hide-bound mechanisms of traditional peer-reviewed journals ever could.
    The REF might give a glimmer of hope, but I suspect it will turn out more like the RAE and continue to under-value the dynamically assessed body of work on blogs and other Web2.0 services. As long as I have to turn in reports and papers on paper, in a linear format, it will be hard to see things changing. Education and research are, to my mind, oddly conservative beasts; and economic pressures are unlikely to change that around, even though times of stress are probably the best opportunities to adapt and take up new ways of working.

    1. This where instiutional repositories could come into their own – allowing them to become the only place for records of academic publications for the REF, uploading papers in a digital form, incorportaing that into a the research practice of academics, avoiding the paper based copy. But i dont really want to suggest that we do away with the traditional peer reviewed journals all together, i think there should be a balance between the two.

  3. You’re doing the right thing! As a researcher, it’s great to be seen to be writing and commenting, blogging and publishing, tweeting and reviewing. As Ross Parry [Leicester University] says, it’s about being seen to be ‘research active.’

    I’m writing one of the modules for the Digital Heritage Research Training Initiative project [for Leicester University, who are one of the partners] and the project is all about how research is slowly mixing real with virtual.

    Importantly, innovations in digital research practice are currently mostly coming across from the sciences towards the humanities. It’s slow, but clearly happening.

    The influencing factor that really makes change happen more quickly, might be the more connected web we use now. Linked data systems and service orientated architecture are driving collaborative data processing and comparison projects. In the sciences digital workbenches like MyExperiment [www.myexperiment.org] are really taking root compared to older, more institution-based ‘walled knowledge gardens.’

    Already, some interesting heritage and humanities-based partnerships based on shared, real-time digital exchange are happening [Oxford University and partners are doing some great work with old texts and translations].

    The more this sort of thing happens, the more that digital research practice will become accepted in the cultural sector. Implicit [and embedded] in these more digital workspaces are associated systems for messaging, blogging and intra-project exchanges of files and comms stuff. See MyExperiment for the directions this is going in.

    While it might seem like some parts of academia are rather slow to take up these ideas, once the possibilities of co-operation [and cost/grant sharing!] become obvious, then digital research forms will become the norm, not the exception.

    So keep blogging and twittering!

  4. A few things to say.
    – I started blogging and tweeting way after my academic career was established, so in a way all I can do is ruin my reputation, rather than create it, if I’m not careful! You are in a different ballgame.
    – But the fact that you are aware of your digital identity, and the longevity of your postings, and the fact that people could be reading this that one day may hire you, means you are unlikely to post things that would put people off you.
    – As a result you are doing the right thing – making yourself visible, encouraging people to think, and joining in the conversation. Showing that you are au fait with new developments in tech, and adaptable. Whilst getting the job done of writing journal papers at the same time. This is all good, and most folk will realise this, so I wouldnt worry if I was you.
    – I think time has a lot to do with other academics not using these technologies, too. It takes time to write a blog post and make sure its what you want it to say, and are comfortable posting it to the world. Why would you do that, if you could write 500 words of an article, if you have limited research time or writing time, inbetween your marking and admin and lecturing? The modern academic has a lot on their plates and tends to work very long hours – at least if they want to stay in a job, these days. Shall we think about our digital identity, or work on that grant proposal? I think other people would get more involved, but just dont see the benefit, or have the headspace to deal with it, or can commit to regularly coming up with something interesting to say. I struggle to do so in my really busy periods – I’m doing lots of interesting things, but dont have the time to blog about them!

    Just my tuppence!

    1. thanks linking to my post, its an interesting subject. my pingbacks are configured that i approve them, and I wasnt able to do that until this morning. apologies.

      Claire

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