Digital Badges: An Annotated Research Bibliography v1


Digital Badges: An Annotated Research Bibliography selected and annotated by Sheryl Grant and Kristan E. Shawgo and published on HASTAC on February 27, 2013. 

This bibliography has been curated by Sheryl Grant, Director of Social Networking for the HASTAC/MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Competition, and PhD student at the School of Information and Library Science (SILS) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) and annotated by Kristan Shawgo, HASTAC Special Projects Manager and Ci-BER Library Liaison, and recent MSLS graduate from SILS at UNC-CH. 

Why a Badges Bibliography? Following the  flood of response to the HASTAC/MacArthur Foundation’s Badges for Lifelong Learning initiative in 2011, and the release of Mozilla’s Open Badges Infrastructure, HASTAC decided to assemble this Badges Bibliography v.1 as a humble attempt to organize the universe of knowledge about digital badges. More importantly, we hope this bibliography will come to represent a cross-disciplinary approach that inspires questions, perspectives, and approaches to badges that reflect the inherently collaborative nature of badge systems. 

This annotated bibliography is a first step toward organizing literature about digital badges, open badges and badge systems. This domain involves multiple streams of literature from education, learning sciences, library and information science, reputation systems, and systems design. The bibliography includes peer-reviewed and non peer-reviewed articles, blog posts, news articles, white papers, videos, wikis and FAQs. We acknowledge that digital badges are an emerging topic and we have attempted to include a full spectrum of viewpoints. In light of this, we have chosen to provide descriptive rather than evaluative annotations.

Currently, the bibliography is heavy on certain theoretical perspectives and certain approaches to this topic. We intend for this to be a collaborative bibliography and welcome submissions. If you have sources or streams of literature you would like to add to this bibliography, please send an e-mail to Kristan Shawgo at kristan (dot) shawgo (at) duke (dot) edu or Sheryl Grant at sheryl (dot) grant (at) duke (dot) edu. Please provide the citation(s) in APA format. As of February 2013, the bibliography currently contains more than 160 references.

How to cite: Grant, S. & Shawgo, K.E. (2013). Digital Badges: An Annotated Research Bibliography. Retrieved from

Sheryl Grant and Kristan E. Shawgo
Publication Date
Monday, March 11, 2013