Living the Dream of Science Fiction Writers: Digital Scholarship

What is Digital Scholarship?

Academic learning through digital means can define the term “Digital Scholarship.”

With the employment of technological methods to conduct research, Digital Scholarship enters a different realm of learning than traditional methods as it can layer multiple variables to produce an end product. It can be as simple as a PDF, or grow into a complex virtual think tank capable of interacting with the user.

Digital research can produce faster results, proving and disproving hypotheses through rapid analytical software. The amount of information that has been made available through digital libraries, satellite mapping, etc. has placed millions of volumes of information at the fingertips of would-be scholars; the only challenge is sorting through it. Before the digital age, scholars studied the resources available to them – charts, maps, books, and lab studies. Now digital scholars can access information that may be housed in a museum half way around the world from the their sofa.

As a new breed of learner, digital scholars have the potential to produce even more eloquent and refined deduction from the mass amounts of information. So in a sense, digital scholarship is still an evolving field. The scholars who utilize technology to examine documents and sources have to be creative in the applications of their software tools. Sometimes the method is messy, a “meat and potatoes” style to temporarily explain a conundrum. Eventually though, with the right amount of creativity and further research, the final product is produced with more finesse than a science fiction writer from 1955 could have hoped for.