#KeyLIMEPodcast 78: Education Scholarship and DIY Publishing

I appreciate the irony in the debate about DIY publishing being featured on a blog.  Of course no one (i.e. rich IT venture capitalists) thought the blog format would go anywhere.  The argument at the time was that a lack of an intermediary (i.e. editor) between author and audience would result in poorly constructed and organized ideas and content.  Yep… that prediction didn’t work out too well.  In fact, the introduction of an authentic voice (more accurately voices, as there was no longer a external control determining who could be an author) led to a boom in blogging.

Like traditional publishers, academic journals are facing a similar challenge to the status quo.  Predatory digital journals are only part of the issue.  An emerging challenge to traditional journals is DIY academic publishing.  The Winnower is one example.  It provides a digital platform complete with DOI that allows authors to host their work in draft form, solicit open review (with reviews permanently linked to the publication) and immediately publish their scholarship when the review process is complete.  One (potential) downside to The Winnower is the lack of an editorial board to determine minimum standards and suitably of a submitted work.

The Key Literature in Medical Education podcast this week features a DIY scholarly publication that provides a taxonomy of digital health professions education scholarship.  Check out the “meta” podcast as both the content (i.e. digital scholarship) and the platform (i.e. DIY publication) is discussed.  As always, download the podcast for a richer discussion here.  For the quick version, read the abstract below

– Jonathan (@sherbino)


KeyLIME Session 78 – Article under review:

Fri post_Cynthia with dog

Listen to the podcast

View/download the abstract here.

Thoma B, Chan T, Benitez J, Lin M. Educational Scholarship in the Digital Age: A Scoping Review and Analysis of Scholarly Products. The Winnower, 1:e141827.77297 (2014). DOI:10.15200/winn.141827.77297

Reviewer: Jonathan Sherbino (@sherbino)

From the period of the last generation of CEs to today, the concept of education scholarship has greatly advanced to include more than research (i.e. discovery).

“Education Scholarship is an umbrella term which can encompass both research and innovation in health professions education. Quality in education scholarship is attained through work that is: peer-reviewed, publicly disseminated and provides a platform that others can build on.”

Yet, for the current generation of CEs a new problem has emerged. How do we incorporate (i.e. value) digital media into existing frameworks of scholarship?

“In this scoping review paper, we quantify the increasing prevalence of digital products in the medical literature, develop a taxonomy of digital products, and compare the products in the taxonomy to traditional forms of the scholarship of teaching and learning.”

Type of paper
Systematic review – (Actually a scoping review; there is no general definition, but scoping reviews are rapid (and transparent) reviews of (typically a high active/publishing) topic to identify gaps or trends in the literature. The methodology to identify and include studies is more rigorous than a narrative review, but does not meet the PRISMA guidelines required of a systematic review.)

Key Points on the Methods
A comprehensive search of Medline, EMBASE, ERIC and PsychINFO was performed. A Google Scholar search was performed. Articles were limited to English language with the context relating to medicine.

Two analyses were performed concurrently, but independently using a constant comparative approach.
1. A taxonomy of digital media was developed
2. Different forms of digital media were mapped to a framework of scholarship

Key Outcomes
7422 abstracts were identified. 524 abstracts were included. Intraclass correlations between raters were 0.65 with disagreements resolved by consensus.
There were minimal publications until 1998 with a rapid increase in the following years.

The digital media publications were categorized using the following taxonomy:
• Applications
• Blog
• E-mail
• Instructional video
• Multi-modal product
• Online course
• Online discussion board
• Online repository
• Online textbook
• Open access journal
• Podcast
• Search engine
• Serious game
• Social network
• Video podcast
• Virtual reality
• Web-based/computer-assisted learning
• Website
• Wiki

85% of digital media publications were mapped to the scholarship of teaching. (8% scholarship of integration, 6% scholarship of application, 2% scholarship of discovery)

Key Conclusions
The authors conclude “We found that digital products are well described in medical literature and fit into Boyer’s framework of scholarship and proposed a taxonomy of digital products that parallel traditional forms of the scholarship of teaching and learning.”

Spare Keys – other take home points for clinician educators
This manuscript was published on Winnower a DIY publication site that offers open access and free scientific publication. Manuscripts are (instantaneously) posted for open review. Reviews are visible and linked to the manuscript. Authors respond to the reviews and iteratively revise their manuscript. Authors decide when their manuscript is published and a DOI (digital object identifier) issued. There is no editorial oversight to ensure minimum standards for publication, only crowd sourced reviews.

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