The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities is proud to sponsor a public lecture, "Scholarly Social Machines" by Professor Dave De Roure, Wolfson College, 10 July 2013, 7:30pm. Delegates from the Digital.Humanities @ Oxford Summer School will be attending, but the event is free and open to the public.
Academic papers have successfully supported scholarly communication since the Royal Society’s introduction of this revolutionary open science model some 350 years ago. However, research practice is changing dramatically, particularly with the advent of digital techniques and data sources. This raises an important question: are papers still fit for purpose as we move forwards? At the same time it is important to understand why the current model has worked so well for so long. We can already see the sharing of new digital artefacts, and also the creation of new socio-technical knowledge infrastructure in the form of the many social websites that are being created to provide different services within the scholarly communication ecosystem. These are examples of "Scholarly Social Machines" and range from social media sites, Wikipedia, software and data repositories to citizen science and MOOCs. In extremis research itself can be viewed as a form of social computation. The notion of Research Objects, and the emerging theory and practice of Social Machines, will help us understand the ecosystem and design new machines, and is a perspective that may inform the future of scholarly publishing.