Paper Session 2: Social Networks In Digital Scholarship

Logistics

When:

Thursday, September 18, 2014 -
2:30pm to 3:45pm

Where:

About This Session

Paper Session 2: Social Networks In Digital Scholarship

Stacy Chen

New Media in Electoral Politics

Electoral politics always use the technology of their time to spread information, share issues and concerns, and rally support behind a candidate. Known as the first true television president, John F. Kennedy grasped the potential of using television to reach American voters. Political and media scholars commonly discuss and agree that the Nixon/Kennedy debates, which played out simultaneously within two different mediums, resulted in differing responses. Those listening to the radio debates felt that Nixon won, whereas those watching the television broadcasts felt that Kennedy won. After Kennedy, presidential candidates and their strategists seemed more intent than ever on creating ­­­favorable images, as personality began to overcome policy in our increasingly celebrity-driven culture.[1] Although television is still the dominant place for political content, it is being supplemented by an increasing role of other media forms. Digital media further alters political landscapes by allowing individuals to freely associate online without the boundaries of physical space, to create interactive webs of exchanges that surpass the power of traditional media as a unidirectional messaging channel. This paper focuses on tracing the shift from older to newer media technologies and analyzing how media has helped or hindered political campaigns in the twenty-first century.

Nathan Hall

Sociotechnical Affects in Digital Library Use

Digital libraries create many opportunities in science, art, and humanities.  A number of issues however inhibit the full adoption of digital libraries by academic communities.  Several authors note that academic digital libraries are not performing as well as early proponents hoped, and the state of research in scholarly communication remains mostly unchanged.  Some authors suggest that libraries do not sufficiently understand faculty stakeholders.

In order to address these problems, Diane Harley (2013) asserts that interventions or recommendations for addressing the state of research without understanding faculty are likely to fail.  While a number of studies set in academic libraries have identified faculty attitudes in scholarly communication, few studies identify root causes for these issues.  This research explores the causes behind faculty attitudes in scholarly communication.

Sociotechnical theory is useful for understanding how technologies perform within social, economic, organizational, and political contexts. This study gathered qualitative data from interviews at two large research universities. The findings describe the sociotechnical affects preventing wider use of digital libraries in education and research.

One of the findings of this study is that while tenure-track faculty are interested in maximizing the impact of their research, cultural norms and economic incentives prevent them from devoting more time to non-traditional research such as digital humanities projects.  This study concludes that digital libraries cannot reach their full potential in education and research until either they are designed to operate within current sociotechnical contexts, or until the sociotechnical environment changes.

Rachel Noel Marie Cantrell

Teacher Student Pinteresting Collaboration: Utilizing Pinterest Collections to teach Media Literacy as a Vehicle for Critical Pedagogy

Pinterest can be a vital tool for instructors and students to collaborate on digital collections that can be utilized within the classroom. By bringing digital literacies into these classroom spaces, including the use of popular culture, we can make lessons relevant to students’ lives while getting them to think critically about their online agency and the platforms they frequently use. Media literacy can be utilized to show students how they can use media to open up dialogues within their communities in order to enact social change and to illustrate the opposing forces trying to regulate the internet to shut down this dialogue as it threatens authoritarianism while breeding democracy. Critical pedagogy calls for an education that liberates and creates dialogues in order to produce democratic citizens. Media literacy can bring this approach into the classroom by raising student awareness of the potential for dialogue and community building on the internet, the authoritarian tendencies of corporations and governments trying to regulate online spaces, and students own power and agency to engage in dialogue and action towards social change through utilizing media to improve both their own community and the global community.

Kristen Mapes

Scholarly Social Media Adoption: Locating Medieval Studies Scholars Online

The growth of digital humanities as a transformational approach to scholarship is often associated with the rise of social media adoption among scholars. This paper asks: are Medieval Studies scholars using social media, and if so, which platforms are they adopting? Medievalists were chosen as a test case for the scholarly community because they represent an interdisciplinary field and have been early adopters of digital technologies.

I collected data on 146 scholars who published in three Medieval Studies journals (Speculum, Digital Medievalist, Comitatus) during the period 2008-2013 and examined their adoption (or lack thereof) of Academia.edu, Linkedin, Twitter, and ResearchGate. 52% of these scholars have created public profiles on at least one of the four social media sites examined. These findings indicate a clear preference among the examined scholars for Academia.edu and Linkedin as tools for creating a web presence. Younger scholars and non-faculty authors especially prefer these two platforms, often adopting both of them. This trend (seen among 10% of all adopters) may reflect a job searching strategy, as doctoral candidates and non-tenure track faculty pursue both traditional academic jobs as well as “alt-ac” careers.

This study shows that in Medieval Studies, about half of scholars have adopted some public social media platform. As the digital humanities continue to influence conversations within more traditional disciplines, those conversations will likely occur in part on social media platforms. For scholars to ensure they are part of the conversation there must be an awareness of where it is happening. For now, the conversation in Medieval Studies is primarily one of personal broadcasting through the use of social media platforms standing in for personal websites.

Moderator

Maristella Feustle

Maristella Feustle is the Music Special Collections Librarian at the University of North Texas. A native of Toledo, Ohio, she holds master's degrees in jazz guitar and library science from UNT, and remains active as a guitarist in addition to her work as a librarian.

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Presenters

Nathan Hall

Nathan Hall is the VTechWorks institutional repository librarian at the Virginia Tech University Library’s Center for Digital Research and Scholarship.  In 2008-2011, he was a librarian in UNT Libraries’ Digital Projects Unit.  He completed his MIS at University of North Texas in 2006 and his Ph.D.

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Stacy Chen

Stacy Chen attended Baylor University where she completed her B.A. in Film & Digital Media and M.A. in Communication Studies. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Texas at Dallas studying Humanities.

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Kristen Mapes

Kristen Mapes completed an MLIS from Rutgers University in May 2014 and an MA in Medieval Studies from Fordham University in June 2014. Also in June, she began work at Michigan State University as the Digital Humanities Specialist in the College of Arts and Letters.

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Rachel Noel Marie Cantrell

Rachel Cantrell is a doctoral student and Freshmen Year Composition (FYC) instructor at Texas A&M University-Commerce.

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