New Media Conventions and Digital Citation: a #digped Discussion

The conversation curated and archived via Storify.

This Friday, November 2 from 1:00 – 2:00pm Eastern (10:00 – 11:00am Pacific), Hybrid Pedagogy will host a Twitter discussion under the hashtag #digped to question whether current systems of academic citation are appropriate for new media environments. During a recent exchange on Twitter, Mark Sample and Joshua Eyler remarked on a recurrent problem presented by traditional citation styles and conventions for those of us who work with new media.

Whether it’s Chicago, MLA, or APA style, finding the right format for citing things like blogs, crowdsourced texts, tweets, and video is a challenge. And the question is not only how do we cite new media work, but how do we cite within scholarly new media projects?

At THATCamp Hybrid Pedagogy, during a workshop on Publishing Outside the Academy, Audrey Watters addressed a question about the conventions digital writers follow — whether we’re citing traditional or new media — for citation in new form scholarship. The conversation spilled out into the the need for a new practice for attribution compatible with open and hyperlinked content on the web. These questions of attribution also relate to the accessibility of published research. A related initiative in the UK, the Joint Information Systems Committee’s Open Citations Project, recently received funding to continue its work on making more publications in the sciences “freely available for download and reuse.”

On Hybrid Pedagogy, Pete and Jesse have previously discussed the “Four Noble Virtues of Digital Media Citation,” boiling them down to attributiondeference,curation, and engagement. We argue that building a new ethic of citation can create a new academic landscape where “each citation and each hyperlink preempts the peer review process by inviting other scholars and pedagogues into the conversation. We don’t cite because someone has written the ‘best thing’; rather, we cite to offer feedback and to invite dialogue.” Similarly, in “Bright Lines and Golden Rules: Copyright, Fair Use, and Critical Pedagogy,” Robin suggests that classrooms be transformed by a new relationship to scholarly sources. She recommends that, in teaching the method of academic citation, “we should do everything we can to demonstrate the scholarly and educational value of open access work.” We should start thinking about a uniform method(s) of academic citation consistent with these lines of inquiry.

Our #digped discussion on Friday will begin with two connected questions:

  • Does new media require that we modify existing scholarly practices, or do we need to start from scratch by building a new system, or systems, for citation?
  • In your current work, what articles, practices, or initiatives provide the most innovative approach to balance citation of digital and print sources? What practices do you use to cite within new media forms? How do we (or should we) cite in scholarly tweets, blog posts, videos, etc.?

If you are interested in these and related questions, join us on November 2, at 1:00pm EST (10:00am PST). For those unable to join the conversation this week, Hybrid Pedagogy’s #digped has shifted to a once-a-month format, on the first Friday of every month. If you have suggestions for future topics, feel free to add them to the comments on this entry or tweet them to @hybridped.

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