Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A vital part of scholarship is getting the data out there

Figshare Scholarly method or scholarship is the body of principles and practices used by scholars to make their claims about the world as valid and trustworthy as possible, and to make them known to the scholarly public.

With roles in education changing so rapidly, what defines "scholarship" is a hot topic. Academic roles now involve so much mundane administrative activity that much effort is seemingly lost. But academic publication is changing to adapt to new technologies and new patterns of activity. One of the bright spots on the horizon of the education researcher is the development of new scholarly publication channels. The foremost of these is arXiv. But arXiv does not accept papers describing education research, beyond a small subset in computer science (and neither will Peer-J). Enter Figshare, which offers education researchers vital opportunities to get their data out there and engage in scholarly communication with others in their field.

I have recently written about my first experience with Figshare. Now I have used the site for the first time to publish results from my current research activity:
Alan J. Cann (2012) A trial of the TurnitIn GradeMark system in a mixed information economy. figshare.

Why Figshare?
This report is the first part of work on the HEA grant on audio feedback I currently hold (Engaging by Talking: Audio Feedback; University of Leicester Ethical Approval Ref: nna-6053). There will be two subsequent interim reports and a final synoptic paper in a traditional journal (plus presentations at various conferences and my non-stop drip feed of information via social media). But I can't wait for years for a paper to be published in a journal, I need this data out there so it can feed into management decisions within this institution. And if the data is useful to others and they don't have to what years to see it, then that is what scholarship should be in 2012.

Shouldn't you be taking your scholarly responsibility of sharing your data with the scholarly community - all that grey stuff that's never going to make it to an Impact Factor - more seriously? 

1 comment:

  1. Interesting comments here on how to resist the hegemony of the Impact factor:
    "... how to resist? Somehow we have to change the policy of those who assess us, and dethrone the bureaucrats who determine so much of our scientific opportunities. These bureaucrats and politicians have fallen in love with meretricious bibliometrics and devalued our evaluations, which were based on knowledge and experience and not on phoney numbers."
    Publishing in the biomedical sciences: if it’s broken, fix it!