New scholarly practices and mindsets

Graduate students and junior faculty are bringing new scholarly practices and mindsets, even in an environment where traditional forms of scholarship are a requirement for hiring and tenure. The extent to which young scholars have concrete technical knowledge varies widely; while the examples given by workshop participants tended to disconfirm the impression that "Millennials" naturally take to new tools with little or no guidance, a few had worked with young scholars for whom that was true. Attitudes and expectations are bigger differentiating factor for younger scholars.

Younger scholars are increasingly turning to on-line resources first-- or even exclusively-- for their research. While the library still plays a role insofar as it is the organization that pays for subscriptions to databases, it is changing from the authoritative hub of resources to a silent partner for some younger scholars. Students take this to a greater extreme by overlooking the library's resources altogether and turning instead to Google. Correspondingly, there is an expectation among students and some younger scholars that all relevant data is, or should be, available electronically.

Workshop participants noted that younger scholars are increasingly inclined towards interdisciplinary work, through collaboration with peers in other fields. Disciplinary boundaries that older scholars see as fixed seem to appear more porous to younger scholars, who may develop connections even with scholars in the sciences. Workshop participants noted that younger scholars are less likely to be members of scholarly societies, and instead seek out a scholarly community via social networks or blogs. These young scholars are also more open to collaboration, at least initially-- the typical tenure requirement of publishing a monograph, presumably as an individual, may cause scholars to rethink their plans for collaboration.

Related to young scholars' willingness to collaborate is their openness about publishing their works in progress on-line. Younger scholars tend to be less protective of their primary data; instead of guarding materials to ensure that no one else uses them in a publication, these scholars are more likely to share the data and build on the results of others' analyses. Some workshop participants were skeptical that a community where collaboration is expected and materials and ideas accrue value through reuse would be enough to prevent the theft of intellectual property. To enforce community standards, they called for the development of tools that could date and track ideas, so that someone who publishes on a blog could still receive primary credit for an idea even if someone else beats them to the printed publication. Others felt that such concerns were overblown: "[It] used to be, "can't put unpublished documents on the web, people will steal them!" But [there] hasn't been one case where someone published something without asking permission first." (Ex 2, 1d-A).

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