Report: "Researchers of Tomorrow: The research behaviour of Generation Y doctoral students"

"The results are in: major study into the behavioural habits of the “Generation Y” PhD students released by JISC and the British Library.

Research students need more face-to-face and informal support tailored to their own subject area to help them embrace open web technologies and social media fully, according to the UK’s largest study of doctoral students commissioned by the technology consortium JISC and the British Library."

Read the press release (HTML): < http://pressandpolicy.bl.uk/Press-Releases/The-results-are-in-major-study-into-the-behavioural-habits-of-the-Generation-Y-PhD-students-released-by-JISC-and-the-British-Library-5ad.aspx >

To see the full Researchers of Tomorrow report, go to <http://www.jisc.ac.uk/publications/reports/2012/researchers-of-tomorrow>.

You can download the full report in PDF from <http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/publications/reports/2012/researchers-of-tomorrow.pdf>

For some of us at HASTAC this is a radical reality check. Some of the results literally made me feel like I am from an entirely different planet. Looking on the bright side of life, this report proves how badly-needed (but ignored) our skills are.

From a not-so-optimistic point of view, it provides quantitative and qualitative evidence of the challenges faced by those of us who have been insistently working  with and on digital technologies and advocating for the adoption of new paradigms in academia.

 

Cathy Davidson

Reality Check

I am constantly amazed, when I am on panels representing the "pro-Internet" side of things (a statement I find ludicrous, by the way:  you can be "against" the Internet?  really?) with quite renowned educators, how often I find that opponents of social media have never themselves used it in any significant way.   They are teaching their doctoral students its evils without understanding its affordances.   And our culture of the educated sanctions this as a permissible and even favored practice to such an extent that you can be considered an "authority" on digital media without having actually used it.   This is astonishing. When I said this to one recent interlocutor who could only talk about the evils of "technology," s/he responded, "you don't have to drive while drunk to pronounce on the evils of drunk driving."  No, of course not.  But you surely should not be talking about the subject without having experienced road travel to a sufficient degree to know what substance abuse might do to endanger others.  Plus, drunk driving has no upside.  Whereas given that virtually all we do now is mediated by online technologies, the analogy is closer to an Amish person who has never driven anything but a horse-and-bugging pronouncing on drunk driving.    But that one could even make such a mind-numbingly small and anti-intellectual argument underscores how slowly and reluctantly some have been to change. 

 

Thus, HASTAC, in 2002 and also in 2012. We have a mission.   And here's something positive to hold on to:  we now are having new members join at a rate of close to 300 a month.  Change takes time.  But we will win this one.   My other post today, about Crowdsourcing the Future of Higher Education is more directly addressed to this topic.