Looking at the books in the exhibit area in the front of the library, The Digital Scholar, by Martin Weller immediately caught my attention. I’ve made no secret on this blog of my fascination with technology, so it’s fitting that I would see a book like this in the front of the library. While technology is rapidly evolving, and our lives are dominated by these technological advances, there very interesting ways in which scholars can be positively and negatively affected by these extraordinary changes in our society on the part of technology.
A particularly interesting, and applicable chapter I came across was “Researchers and New Technology.” This chapter focused on scholarly researchers and the way they view new technologies that theoretically will help to streamline the researching process. Interestingly, Weller found that many researchers are hesitant to use new researching methods that are being revolutionized by technology. In other words, peer – reviewed journals are the most preferred way of researching as this method has been integral in the researching process for decades. When these new research methods complement the current practices, researchers are more apt to use the newer innovations. However, social networking and other “informal” types of researching has been slow to catch on in scholarly circles.
What’s even better about this book for this blog post is its clear connection to what we have been doing in class all semester. We’ve read cases and articles that have been taken and found from the Internet, from databases, and some likely from unorthodox researching methods that have been facilitated by technological advances. Especially now, as we delve deeper into our research for our white papers, technology is empowering us to search from a vast database of knowledge that is the Internet. Using Bucknell’s databases, Brody’s expertise, and Jordi’s guidance, we’re able to attempt to navigate this vast knowledge bank. With technological advances that we’ve seen in social networking and database searching, there are an infinite about of directions we can take these white papers.
From the first page, Weller continually mentions blogs as an important way to communicate and research. He explains the importance of using blog posts, using social media – yes, like Twitter – to gain feedback and ideas on one’s own writing. I really think that Jordi would get along with him… But in seriousness, Weller is solidifying many of the things that our generation has been able to take advantage of; new technologies that are connecting us as a community serve to make us more knowledgable, and perhaps even help to make us want more. We can search for an answer we want instantly on the Internet, and we can ask a question we might have instantly on Facebook or Twitter. Our social networks are becoming social media networks, and our knowledge is increasingly coming from sources our parents weren’t fortunate to have as students.