In “Digital scholarship”, Weller (2011) explores many ways that digital technologies are transforming scholarship, i.e., allowing scholars to network, socialize, collaborate, make their ideas known efficiently and in finer granularity, removing the filters establishing by traditional authority, and ultimately democratizing knowledge.
And yet, one of the questions hanging over the establishing digital scholarship remains the difficulty of establishing the process of peer review.
Yet, participating in #change11 MOOC, I couldn’t help but notice that our blogosphere or twitter space is somewhat analogous to the scientific community, which recognizes knowledge, not authority; and that the tweeting, retweeting, and bookmarking are somewhat analogous to the blind review process in the spirit of communalism in science. For instance, many blog posts, wikis, and tweets by participants in #change11 have undergone a sort of blind review process, where the participants first scan the content of the post and when they find value, they tweet or bookmark the post; the same way that a scholarly article is reviewed with the name of the author of a scholarly article removed. Only when the blog readers find the content valuable, they would go to the “about” page to find out more about the author.
But as Weller may remind us at this point that the analogy between the peer review process in academia that the use of webometric on the web perhaps should stop here. Citing Stephen Heppell (2001) and Fitzpatrick (2009), Weller (2011) points out that the attempt to mold digital scholarship in form of traditional scholarship can limit the possibility of digital scholarship. A further analogy here can be that digital text we have today would not have been possible if the focus had had been to measure the readability of a computer screen against that of a paper.