I’m interested in ways reading and writing tools could be enhanced to better represent the transfer and interplay of knowledge between texts. My work on theory use, big questions, and citation function all orbit around this theme of knowledge transfer and interplay. The intertextual writer project is an effort to examine different ways of amplifying intertextuality into the writing process. It will focus primarily on how authors work with cited materials as they write and what sorts of tools might help enhance the act of citing (and thus engaging with) others. More details to come on this project later…
[Update 7.20.2017] I’m thinking that it would be possible to use something like Zotero or Mendeley as a starting point here since I use both to manage reference material. For example, what would it take create an additional step in the Zotero citation process? Right now when I want to add a citation, I click the Zotero plug-in in Word and find the relevant text in my Zotero library. In some cases, Zotero stores (I think) a PDF of the text I want to cite.
So, what if when I find the relevant text, Zotero opens the PDF and I highlight a few lines of text that I want to link to the citation? Then, when I hover over the citation in my document a small text box appears containing the quoted text. This strengthens the tie between my writing and the cited material. And, of course, it’s not a necessary step. I can opt out of identifying relevant text and continue to produce ‘weak tie’ citations if I wish..
[Update 11.26.2017] Well there has been some good writing done since the last update. We managed to draft a full paper for the upcoming DRS conference about critical citations in design research publications. Writing this text has also provided a new sort of design brief for this project: supporting more effective scholarly critique (in the form of critical citations) in design research. Starting from the assumption that critique is an important part of intellectual community-building and a generally good thing to do, we want to support researchers in their efforts to be better at criticizing other scholarship.