Defining The Digital Researcher (Part Two)
June 11, 2010
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KMb (Knowledge Mobilization)
In an earlier blog I explained how the term Digital Researcher is fairly new to describe an emerging style of research that exclusively uses the Internet for data collection and knowledge mobilization. I mentioned that I couldn’t even find a definition in one of the key Internet encyclopedic sources…Wikipedia, and asked if there were any takers up to the task of starting a new Wikipedia entry. As I use this title to describe my work, I decided it was time to submit my own Wikipedia entry to define what I do.
A Digital Researcher is a person who uses digital technology such as computers or a PDA and the Internet, especially the World Wide Web, to do research (see also internet research). A Digital Researcher seeks knowledge as part of a systematic investigation with the specific intent of publishing research findings in an online open access journal. The intent is also to acquire research knowledge exclusively from the Web while also using the Web to inform further research and knowledge mobilization. Although this research can be both quantitative and qualitative it does not necessarily follow strict internet research ethics using the formal scientific method as it involves collaboration using social media with public input to inform research and knowledge mobilization. There are a number of objections to this stance, which are all relevant to Wikipedia research.  and research ethics. The usual view is that private and public spaces become blurred on the Internet. .
Research may also be formally published in academia through peer-reviewed journals or through the further use of social media. Digital researchers are involved with Basic research or Applied research using data analysis software such as SPSS or JMP.
The term Digital Research was originally used to describe a now defunct company created by Dr. Gary Kildall to market and develop his CP/M operating system and related products. It was the first large software company in the microcomputer world.
In my earlier blog my definition was shorter, but was expanded in the Wikipedia definition for greater reference-linking and understanding. It’s my hope that other Digital Researchers or anyone wishing to provide input will contact me and contribute to improving or further informing the credibility of this Digital Researcher definition. Please also feel free to contribute to the Wikipedia definition. I look forward to hearing your views. Thanks.