Watch 2015 Worldviews Lecture on Media and Higher Education

On April 21, 2015 the the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education hosted the first annual lecture.  The keynote lecturer was Dr. Simon Marginson, Professor of International Education at the Institute of Education, University of London.

Social media is inherently a system of peer evaluation and is changing the way scholars disseminate their research, raising questions about the way we evaluate academic authority

Harzing’s Publish or  Perish is the prevailing mantra in universities, with academic authority derived from a solid publication record in peer-reviewed journals. It is a tried and tested approach to evaluate scholars, which has changed little despite the advent of networked, digital communication technologies commonly referred to as social media. Arguably, social media is inherently a system of peer evaluation, where participation and engagement are recognised and rewarded through dynamic social interactions.

In a recent presentation at the Toronto WorldViews conference on higher education and the media, I explored the implications of social media for evaluating academic authority. Leading scholars such as Mitchell Stephens and Jane Singer have raised questions about how we assign academic authority, in essays published in Journalism Studies in 2008. They considered how the participatory and networked capabilities of new media could be applied to the scholarly world. They did not suggest abandoning the traditional academic peer-review process, and neither am I. Rather, we need to consider the implications of these networked, open and distributed technologies, and associated social practices, on teaching, research and service.