1-27-12: Will Social Media Crack Open the Ivory Tower?

January 27, 2012 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Credit: Flickr/Barbara L. Slavin


They say “information wants to be free.” Does knowledge want to be free, too? The controversy over the Stop Online Piracy Act had to do with intellectual property, mostly music and movies, moving freely—and for free—around the web.

But academic research is still dominated by expensive print journals. There is a growing pushback against this top-down dissemination. You can see it in attempts by researchers to boycott journals that refuse to go open access, and in the rise of “unconferences,” which are organized from the bottom-up by participants, not by prestigious committees.

Is a more open model possible for advancing knowledge? Our monthly social media analysts Nathan Jurgenson and P.J. Rey are joining us from academia to figure it out.

Nathan and P.J. are Ph.D. candidates in sociology at the University of Maryland, and they blog at Cyborgology. P.J. recently wrote a piece called, “Are Journals the Dinosaurs of Academia?“, and Nathan wrote a piece called “How Academics Can Become Relevant.”

Listen to the rest of the interview:


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