Bit-by-bit: Search Strategies, Resource Organization, Management & Sustainability; The Creation of Knowledge in the Digital Era
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session 01 - bibliographic
session 02 - more research within the browser
session 03 - the science of
session 04 - collaborative work and reproducible
session 05 - organizing knowledge and classification
session 06 - about OpenAccess, open peer review
session 07 - sustainable writing - publishing -
session 08 - licensing your
session 09 - data and data
session 10 - big data_social network
session 11 -
session 12 - where do we go from here?


Search Strategies, Resource Organization, Management & Sustainability; The Creation of Knowledge in the Digital Era

"Media are not pseudopods for extending the human body. They follow the logic of escalation that leaves us and written history behind it." Friedrich Kittler

Thanks to the groundbreaking works of historians, anthropologists, sociologists and researchers in related interdisciplinary fields (medium theory, cybernetics), it has by now become accepted wisdom that not only the amount, but also the nature of scientific knowledge is a function of the constraints and opportunities that are hard-wired into the communication technologies that contain it. We are nowadays experiencing yet another sea change in information production and dissemination, conveniently summarized as the ‘digital revolution’.

Exploring the disruptive impact of the latter on the production of scientific knowledge is the mainstay of this course and project. As this course does not believe in the usefulness of the traditional lecture (and neither should you), the approach is ‘hands-on’: through the concrete manipulation of a wide range of (scholarly) tools, students will gradually be made aware of how conceptual domains and knowledge categories are shifting and emerging, and what types of attention will be indispensable when doing research in the aftermath (and mirror) of the ‘Gutenberg Galaxy’....

This course will take students on a digital journey which includes the management of bibliographic sources, alternative methods of writing and publication, tools for integrating writing and data analysis, etcetera. We also look into contemporary debates on preservation, data visualization, the relevance of academic debate in modern society, and what else. At all times will we be reminded of the fact that the medium is the message. Eventually -and thereby even going against Marshall McLuhan's famous dictum, we discover that what we refer to as 'man' may well be the extension of technologies and communication media, rather than the other way around.

Introductory reading(s):

  • Hoover, Dave, and Adewale Oshineye. 2009. Apprenticeship Patterns: Guidance for the Aspiring Software Craftsman. 1 edition. Beijing ; Cambridge Mass.: O’Reilly Media.
  • Resnick, Mitchel, and Ken Robinson. 2017. Lifelong Kindergarten: Cultivating Creativity through Projects, Passion, Peers, and Play. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.
  • Sennett, Richard. 2009. The Craftsman. 1 edition. New Haven: Yale University Press.


Session 1: bibliographic management

Session 2: more research within the browser window

Session 3: the science of search

Session 4: collaborative work and reproducible research

Session 5: organizing knowledge and classification systems

Session 6: about OpenAccess

Session 7: sustainable writing -publishing - preservation

Session 8: licensing your work

Session 9: data and data visualization

Session 10: big data & social network analysis

Session 11: encryption - anonymity - safety - whistleblowing

Session 12: where do we go from here?