So, I was the invited keynote debater at this year's EdMedia conference in Lisbon. I had ten minutes to put my case in favour of the following motion:
"This house believes that in the next decade, digital scholarship (in open journals, blogs, and social media) will achieve the same status in academic settings as traditional scholarship"
My (poor quality, one take audio) slidecast is below.
My argument was that there are a number of converging pressures which will make recognition inevitable. These were:
5) Institutional benefit
7) Human factors
Antonio Figueiredo put the opposing motion, and Paulo Simoes captured it in everyone's (well AJ Cann's anyway) new favourite tool, ScoopIt. We ended up kind of agreeing that it would happen, but Antonio suggested it would take longer than ten years. He pulled a nice trick here inviting the audience to close their eyes and picture their university ten years ago, 'was it really so different?' he asked. He must have struck a chord with this as the no vote won the day.
Chatting to people afterwards the sentiment seemed to be that they thought it would happen, and indeed, should happen, but they were generally pessimistic about the ability of universities to change to accommodate it. I've got to say I find this kind of depressing if it turns out to be true. I'd have preferred it to be rejected because people felt it abandoned core scholarly principles or something. But to think that despite us all thinking it's a good idea, an entire decade is still not long enough to bring about a modest change in university recognition processes? If true, one wonders how displaced from society unis will look in ten years' time.
Or is that just sour grapes because I lost?