Mark D. White
I'm fascinated by the recent trend of academic bloggers reflecting on what it is they do, and the latest comes from linguist Lynne Murphy of the Separated by a Common Language blog, writing in the Impact of Social Sciences blog run by the London School of Economics. (Thanks to Andrea Doucet for the link.)
Her post there is titled "I’m having a blogsistential crisis! I am a blogger. And I am an academic. But am I an academic blogger?", and in similar way to Doucet's examination of blogging versus academic research discussed earlier here, Murphy ponders the relationship between her blogging and her university position and responsibilities:
This has been an issue for me since I started the blog while on research leave in 2006. It served me then as a limbering-up exercise before writing the “hard” stuff that would be subjected to peer review. At the start, I was meticulously careful about keeping blog and work separate. I acknowledged my qualifications and title, but only in order to give readers some reason to think I knew what I was talking about. I don’t blog at the office. And I still defensively refer to blogging as my ‘hobby’ on my Blogger profile. But when I became aware that my blogging was (being acknowledged as) a selling point for the University and the programmes I teach on, I started being less meticulous about separating blogging/tweeting activities from my academic life. A few months ago, I added mention of my employer to my Twitter profile and I’ve started asking media contacts to mention the University when the introduce me, because otherwise I can’t be listed among the staff ‘in the news’. But it is still a constant question for me: Am I working for the University when I blog? Should I be?
To get her answer, read the rest of her post here.