The role of the internet in changing knowledge ecologies

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

To a greater extent than is often acknowledged, the modern scientific and university-based knowledge system is a creature of the society of the printing press. Until the turn of the twentyfirst century, print was the medium of scholarly communication. Then, quite suddenly at the turn of the twenty-first century, digital text begins to displace print as the primary means of access to the knowledge of academicians. This article explores some of the consequences of this change. To what extent do digital technologies of representation and communication reproduce the knowledge systems of the half-millennium long history of the modern university or do they disrupt and transform them? To answer this question, this article will explore key aspects of contemporary transformations, not just in the textual forms of digital representation, but the emerging social forms that digitisation reflects, affords and supports. This we call the "social web", a term we use to describe the kinds of relationships to knowledge and culture that are emerging in the era of pervasively interconnected computing. What, then, are the impacts and potentials of these changes on the processes of formation of new knowledge?

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)521-530
Number of pages10
JournalArbor
Volume185
Issue number737
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2009

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Keywords

  • Internet
  • Knowledge systems
  • Scholarly communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Cultural Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science

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