Defining our research agenda and our research culture in a digital age

Gregory Crane, University of Leipzig

Most of our research focuses on producing the best possible outputs and these outputs are normally conceived of as publications. But the form, as well as the content, of our publications reflects at least three other questions: (1) what knowledge do we wish to advance? (2) what values does our work advance? (3) what is the social contract by which we justify the research support that we receive (including our salaries)? The parameters constraining how we frame and answer each of these three questions are fundamentally different in a digital age than was the case when we depended solely upon printed materials. We must think through our decisions and then consider again the form and content of the research that we pursue. For semantic technologies the opportunities are considerable but only if we think through all three of these underlying questions as we frame our work.