File /Humanist.vol22.txt, message 488


From: Humanist Discussion Group <willard.mccarty-AT-mccarty.org.uk>
To: humanist-AT-lists.digitalhumanities.org
Date: Tue,  3 Feb 2009 06:47:43 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: [Humanist] 22.499 academia.edu


                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 22, No. 499.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist-AT-lists.digitalhumanities.org



        Date: Mon, 2 Feb 2009 18:22:23 +0000
        From: "Lopez, Tamara" <tamara.lopez-AT-kcl.ac.uk>
        Subject: RE: [Humanist] 22.496 academia.edu
        In-Reply-To: <20090202062017.57F0D2CF09-AT-woodward.joyent.us>

Dear N Bobbitt,

I think the duplication in your last sentence of academia.edu was unintended.  Did you mean to write something like: 

"How does academia.edu fit into research in social networks, perception, or models of online communities to be found in Dr. Borner's research?"

I think academia.edu fits into the research of social networks, perception and models of online communities precisely because it forces the community to consider its values -what is important about how we identify each other and what makes us trust what we read?  

Though I was not at all clear, my post was intended to respond to the previous poster, who was largely in favour of the model employed at academia.edu, suggesting that the scholarly community needs to adjust to the "brave new world of user-based content production".  That thread seemed to argue that some simple refinements to this technology while we wait for the (inevitable) implementation of the 'single sign-on' will produce a global directory of scholarly resources.

However, citation analysis in its oldest and newest forms (as represented by Dr. Borner's research) has always depended upon user-based content production in the form of the references made in texts by authors and indexers to the work of other scholars.  A great many conventions for producing these references have arisen to try to ensure that they are unambiguous, authoritative and sufficiently attributive, and a large number of people along the scholarly communication chain are involved in checking and re-checking the references to make sure that they are "properly" expressed.  Even so, a great deal of machine-based citation analysis requires painstaking cleaning and refinement of these references (again mostly by humans).  This is so because the user-contributed content, even when produced using the clearest conventions and the best mechanisms, remains too messy too allow for accurate synthesis and analysis.  

I'm unconvinced that applying the control mechanisms of wikipedia to academia.edu will solve problems of data integrity that would be necessary to produce a comprehensive scholarly resource directory, or to produce a resource that adequately recreates current systems for conveying trust and authority in scholarly communication. 
 
Tamara

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From: humanist-bounces-AT-lists.digitalhumanities.org [humanist-bounces-AT-lists.digitalhumanities.org] On Behalf Of Humanist Discussion Group [willard.mccarty-AT-mccarty.org.uk]
Sent: Monday, February 02, 2009 6:20 AM
To: humanist-AT-lists.digitalhumanities.org

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 22, No. 496.
         Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist-AT-lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Sat, 31 Jan 2009 07:55:01 -0800
        From: Nathaniel Bobbitt <flautabaja-AT-hotmail.com>
        Subject: RE: [Humanist] 22.493 academia.edu not enough?
        In-Reply-To: <20090131092321.2AD082C03C-AT-woodward.joyent.us>

Hi Tamara,

Kathy is a well established researcher, active in information visualization. One can learn from her projects. Please let me know what is the research basis of academia.edu? How does academia.edu fit into research in social networks, perception, or models of online communities to be found in academia.edu?

N Bobbitt
http://www.nabslab.com

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