Call for Submissions: Digital Selves in Research

Digital Selves in Research // Online Symposium // July 2016
Open for submissions now – 31st May 2016

Do you feel like a machine?
Do you feel like you can’t ‘see’ anymore, but instead ‘scan’?
Has too much scrolling on jstor sent your eyes permanently rolling?
Do you feel like your hands have fused with your keyboard?
When was the last time you went to the library without your laptop?
Can you touch your notes? [1]

Our research combines papers and screens, inks and apps, books and blogs. Our explorations go behind doors and hyperlinks. Our heads are in the clouds and the Cloud. We inhabit spaces digitally and IRL, but sometimes the line between these spaces seems blurred. This has got us thinking: what effect does environment, these processes, have on us as researchers? Are we living in a researcher’s utopia or dystopia?

We invite creative responses to the experience of researching across analogue and digital, between real and virtual worlds. In parallel to our forthcoming print Issue #2: The Researcher’s Notebook, we want to explore how digital spaces and tools shape our thoughts in surprising ways.

We are less interested in what your new data set tells us about the world than what it felt like to make it. We are more interested in how technology is shaping the researcher than the research.

the internet and research

Academics have long been discussing the internet and how researchers can engage with the digital world (see Dorothy Kim, who has written prolifically on Twitter ethics for researchers, and Twitter as a conference tool; Caitlin Gunn on the internet as a positive and negative space for marginalised voices; Mary Beard’s early adoption of using the blog form as public engagement, building her profile as a public intellectual via ‘A Don’s Life’. We’ve come such a long way since Routledge released their 1999 practical guide for ‘Researching on the Internet’).

But now we’d like to reflect upon how the tools we use affects us as students and educators: our thought patterns, our routines, our conclusions, yes, but the journeys we take to get there.

We’d like to explore how the next generation of researchers are shaping and being shaped by the blend of analogue and digital spaces we inhabit. What does it mean for us and our research that library catalogues, key texts, and our peers, can be carried in our pockets? How do we move between paper and pixels? Do we think differently when we browse our bookshelves, or swipe through Evernote? Between post-it notes, powerpoint slides, Zotero links, and hundreds and hundreds of tabs, how do our ideas emerge? Can we imagine writing a thesis in the 17th century, or even in the 1990s?

We invite submissions of creative non-fiction, short fiction, poetry, visual, audio, video or any other internet-ready format. We encourage creative and broad interpretations, and we especially encourage submissions that play with form. Collaborative work is welcomed.

We will publish successful submissions as part of an Online Symposium to be hosted on The Still Point Blog in July 2016. We will showcase the array of submissions over two weeks, which will be free and open to all for comment and response on the blog, Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere.

Like all the best symposiums, we will also have some form of liquid refreshment at the end of it, somewhere in central London. Keep an eye on the Online Symposium 2016 page for updates.

Submission Guidelines:

  • Non-fiction pieces should be between 500 and 1000 words
  • Short stories should be between 140 characters and 1000 words
  • Audio and video should be no more than 10 min
  • Please send between 1 and 3 poems
  • All visual submissions should be in a high quality digital file (scanned to 300 dpi)
  • No institutional affiliation is required

Please send submissions or questions to by the 31st May 2016.

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