New digital technologies have enormous potential to enhance a researcher’s work, engage audiences with research, and generally make life easier. However, navigating the fast moving world of digital media and communications -and marrying it with the established best practices in academia -can be a challenge.
This is a challenge increasing numbers of academics are rising to. They are using digital tools to collect, analyse and explore data and information. They are collaborating with participants in research. They are optimising the painstaking work necessary as they conduct research, and engaging new and diverse audience with findings once it is done.
For many this sounds like a dream, but with the pace and demands of academic life it is one that can be difficult to make reality.
‘The Digitally Agile Researcher’ will bring together the thinking, approaches, and knowledge of a range of researchers and academics who are making the most of the opportunities provided by digital technology. Edited by Dr Natalia Kucirkova and Oliver Quinlan, the book will feature contributions from a range of fields, helping researchers keen to develop their use of digital media and communications to do so. It will provide discussion of the complex nature of digital engagement, practical advice as to how to both get started and develop use of digital tools, and analysis of the likely future directions such work will take. Balancing practical advice with more scholarly exploration, the book will be a starting point for developing a considered approach to digital tools as well as the practical activities. It will provide the starting points for digital agility for any researcher or academic.
As the project develops, we will be sharing influences and developing thinking on this blog. True to the spirit of the connected, digital world, we want to invite discussion, critique and collaboration as we go.
Digital technologies can create tensions when interacting with the well established world of academia. Where these tensions are addressed and the challenges met, there are huge possibilities for engagement, research practice and new ways of conducting academic work.