Yahoo! Seminar Series: Christine Borgman

Big Data, Little Data, No Data: Scholarship in the Networked World

Christine Borgman Christine Borgman
The enthusiasm for “big data” is obscuring the complexity and diversity of data in scholarship. Inside the black box of “data” is a plethora of behavioral, technological, and policy issues. Publish or perish remains the clarion call of today’s scholars. Now they are being asked to release their data as well, which marks a fundamental transition in scholarly communication. Data are not shiny objects that are easily exchanged. Rather, they are fuzzy and poorly bounded entities. Data flows are uneven – abundant in some areas and sparse in others, either easily or rarely shared.

Open access and open data are contested concepts that are often conflated. Data practices are local, varying from field to field, individual to individual, and country to country. Data can serve as a lens to observe the rapidly changing landscape of scholarly practice in the sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. Many stakeholders are taking up the challenges and opportunities of managing this deluge of data: libraries, archives, private companies, and the scholars themselves. This talk is a preview of the book by this title.