As we begin to discuss alternate formats to a traditional 5-chapter dissertation, we can turn to other academics who are publishing digitally for their experience and knowledge. Elizabeth Cornell-Goldwitz, PhD, the IT communications specialist here at Fordham, has some experience in this area. One site she recommends is Scalar:
Scalar is an open source, online publishing platform especially developed for scholars and researchers. Whereas traditional research papers and longer works, such as dissertations and books, limit the way research can be disseminated, Scalar allows authors to gather media from multiple resources and easily combine it with their own written work. The platform also allows integration of metadata, annotations, data visualizations, and more within the project.A Scalar book is more robust than a blog or wiki. It can have a nested, recursive, or nonlinear navigation structure. The book’s customizable design and layout can be shaped to support and complement the project’s arguments. It is easy to integrate media from other sources. A Scalar book may be developed independently or collaboratively, and readers can comment on the work in progress and the finished product.Scalar is developed and supported by The Alliance for Networking Visual Culture, based at the University of Southern California.