EXPLORING RESEARCHERS’ DISCOURSES ABOUT PRODUCING, DISSEMINATING AND EVALUATING SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION ON THE WEB. THE CASE OF BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES
1 National Research Council of Italy (ITALY)
2 University of Parma (ITALY)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN14 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Conference name: 6th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 7-9 July, 2014
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:The development of the Web and the interest in promoting openness in education and science are leading to new professional practices and ways of fulfilling the academic profession, a phenomenon that has been denominated “Digital Scholarship”. However, research in the field is still at its infancy. At this stage, research studies that narrow down the focus on individual disciplines as well as phases of professional life may contribute to build the bigger picture of how digital scholarship is interpreted by academics in different countries, fields and stages of professional life. This paper aims to shed some light onto the meaning of digital scholarship in a field of science that deserves great attention for its crucial role in society: the bio-medical sector. With the aim of elaborating a preliminary study on the training needs to adopt web-tools for research activities, we collected qualitative data through a set of non-structured interviews with a group of 7 researchers and 3 librarians working in the field of the Life Sciences and Medicine in Italy. In order to explore how the main dimensions of the Digital Scholarship - defined as the production, dissemination and evaluation of scientific information with the adoption of web tools - are experienced in this group. The results show that the considered group of researchers and librarians only make partial use of the web-tools available for the different activities of a fully-fledged digital scholar. Their professional discourses are mostly linked to traditional practices and concepts rather than to the idea of Digital Scholarship. We conclude with some remarks regarding the reasons preventing the engagement of researchers in this sector to participate in professional practices aligned with the concept of Digital Scholarship, aiming at opening to further debate on the training needs and research.
Keywords: Digital Scholarship, scientific information, professional practices, web tools.