As part of the creation of the Hack the Dissertation Collective last year, my co-conspirators and I set forth four core tenets of HtD:
- A dissertation should be useful.
- A dissertation should reach beyond the academy.
- A dissertation need not be bound by the printed word or the page.
- A dissertation is an opportunity for a conversation.
Moving forward, HtD started to encompass more than dissertations. Through conversations with various scholars, Ph.D.s and others inside the realm of academia, it became clear that academic scholarship beyond the student level needed to be re-envisioned if the threshold experiences of the diss had a hope of changing.
This is why efforts like the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media’s publication of “Discovering Scholarship on the Open Web: Communities and Methods” is so exciting. It points to the idea that there are institutions and individuals beginning to think on larger scales about how scholarship can expand and gain access to greater audiences.
Surely, as we ask pre-k through 12 students to bring their learning to more public spheres, an expectation will grow as they enter collegiate environments that their work will remain public and accessible. Efforts like this will help to make sure at least a section of the colleges they attend have thought about openness of ideas.