In the current digital age it seems strange to think that scholarship isn’t in a hurry to join in on the excitement. In the article “Does Digital Scholarship Have a Future?” Edward Ayres discusses the delay in digital scholarship. His tone is set in his thesis “…the scholarship on which everything else is built – remains surprisingly unaltered. The articles and books that scholars produce today bear little mark of the digital age in which they are created” (2013). It seems strange that scholarship is moving at a turtle’s pace toward becoming digital.
What exactly is digital scholarship? Ayers’s definition of digital scholarship is “discipline-based scholarship produced with digital tools and presented in digital form” (2013). Digital scholarship doesn’t eliminate any of the value of traditional scholarship, instead it is believed to become more valuable with many added possibilities.
Scholarship is a long and involved process without adding the digital push. The purpose of any type of scholarship is to “define a problem within a meaningful conversation, it arrays evidence to address the problem, it makes the clearest case for a solution to the problem, and it conveys that case to every relevant audience” (2013). Digital scholarship not only includes digital abilities but must also incorporate all of these aspects. Digital scholarship will require scholars to think on a larger scale of possibilities and projects. There are agencies willing to fund digital scholarship they are just waiting on the scholarship to support.
So what is the problem with turning scholarship into digital scholarship? It’s the scholars. They don’t feel it’s worth the time, some don’t know how and don’t have the time needed to learn. Instead of making the time they stick with what they know. Scholars “advance a disciplined and meaningful conversation but not different enough to fall out of it…make contributions and fill gaps” in the conversation. The scholarship includes “research, evaluation and revision” before the public sees it. Once it is in print the scholarship is “widely read, reviewed, comprehended, absorbed and debated or built upon” (2013). They are protective of their research and take pride in it so they aren’t in any hurry to fully join the rest of the world on the world wide web. In time digital scholarship will become the norm.
Ayers, Edward. “Does Digital Scholarship Have a Future?” Educause Review Online. August 5 2013.Web. <http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/does-digital-scholarship-have-future>.