As paper-centric modes of production become digitized, authorship becomes an important consideration for the future of academic production. What is the future of the scholarly identity? And how does identity impact the production of scholarship?
There is a push-pull relationship between print and digital culture: on the one hand, open access supporters see the benefits of a multifaceted means of reproducing and disseminating research, where readers have a “richer context for reading” (Willinsky, Altering the Material, 132) by enabling them “to check their reading of a piece, with a click or two, against what is being said in related work, to gather background on the author, as well as view other works, and to trace the ideas presented through other forms, whether among media databases, government policies or historical archives” (Willinsky , Altering the Material, 129). On the other hand, although the medium inherently dislocates the author, in order to maintain academic identity, conditions, authenticity, and institutional control over works, archives, databases, and search engines the link to print culture reifies what otherwise might be a more rhizomatic method of production.