Recently I have been reading quite a lot about eLearning. I know it is one of those words with an ‘e’ in front of it, but rather than simply existing on the superficial level of language, the sub-field of eLearning is a vibrant one with numerous scholarly contributions, journals, associations, and software. One of the most active associations is ASCILITE , or the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education, that runs an annual conference, professional development activities , and a journal.
I received quite a few tweets after my last post about locating the theoretical base of eResearch. One tweet particularly stated that Library and Information science is a very active research area; which of course it is, but I am not sure if this is what I had in mind by attempting to locate eResearch’s theoretical base (and I perhaps needed to define my terms a little better). Library and Information science rarely use the term ‘eResearch’ and are perhaps a lot closer to what we understand as the Digital Humanities than eResearch (again these terms have meaning to those of us that understand that computing is not one thing and exists in various institutional setting and research concerns and isn’t simply about words with an ‘e’ in front of them).
I have been thinking a little more about this the relationship between ‘eResearch’ and the ‘Digital Humanities’ of late; partly because it is the subject of my talk at the Digital Humanities conference in Hamburg in July, and I want to do justice to what I see as a very important topic that hasn’t been particularly well handled in the past.
There are certain unique challenges in Australia in that the eResearch agenda is quite established but the digital humanities aren’t. And this has caused quite a lot of conflict in the past in that many in the humanities have seen themselves as being locked out of the eResearch agenda by Science and many in eResearch have viewed the humanities as high-risk and being ill-prepared to lead large infrastructural developments in their disciplines.