Impact of ICT research methods on scholarly publishing

This Working Group will seek to assemble an authoritative body of knowledge regarding best practice as defined to date in the evaluation of digital scholarship and its outputs, and through this, advance knowledge, a policy position, and/or at least a best practice resource for institutions to use in supporting scholars seeking to include digital outputs in their portfolio of scholarship.

Chair: Jennifer Edmond, edmondj@tcd.ie

Core members: Susan Screibman, NUI Maynooth, Ireland; Claudine Moulin, University of Trier; Marin Dacos, CNRS/Revues.org; Linda Bree, Cambridge University Press; Franjo Pehar, University of Zadar, Prof. Joaquim de Carvalho - Portugal, Dr Andreea Popa - Romania, Dr Enrico Natale - Switzerland

While it is clear that many of the barriers to more widespread acceptance and proliferation of digital methods in humanities research are internal to the community, many others are not.  Scholars must make a calculated decision when choosing to embark on a digital project, not just about their research questions and how best to address them, but about their careers, their institutions and their scholarly record.  In spite of a long recognition of the value of digital scholarly outputs, many institutions and national systems still struggle to judge the merit of such outputs and credit their creators accordingly.  This Working Group will seek to assemble an authoritative body of knowledge regarding best practice as defined to date in the evaluation of digital scholarship and its outputs, and through this, advance knowledge, a policy position, and/or at least a best practice resource for institutions to use in supporting scholars seeking to include digital outputs in their portfolio of scholarship.

Activities of the Working Group have included a Scholarly Publishing Planning Workshop in July 2012, in Dublin, Ireland.  The primary activity of the Working Group in the 2014 was the successful hosting of the Downstream from the Digital Humanities event in Zadar, Croatia.  The event was very successful, and resulted in both a taxonomy of digital outputs (including their dissemination and validation methods) and a longer position paper, building on the report of the first working group but adding substantially to it in terms of the issues and perspectives it covered. 

December 2014 saw the joint NeDiMAH/Europeana Cloud event, So, we've built it, but did they come? Investigating barriers and opportunities for API usage among the AHSS Community at The Hague, Netherlands.  The aim of this workshop was to deliver and event to demonstrate the potential for API usage to non-technical members of the eCloud and NeDiMAH key researcher cohorts and to gather further  detail on perceived barriers and possible soulutions.  We invited researchers and developers to talk about their research practices; and non-technical researchers in humanities and Social Sciences to tell s whether they find the potential interesting and/or the skills required too difficult.  There are plenty of researchers using cultural data, and it may well be that in some cases their systems of data capture do make use, wholly or in part, of an API service. But in our initial studies of digital workflow practices, most of the researchers we were able to identify really only cared about the data, and had no specific opinions about how that data was accessed: they cared about the electricity (data) and the lightbulb (results enabled by the data), but not the plug socket (API or other data transfer service).

Another, related event, Downstream from the Digital Humanities II in February 2015 brought together researchers from across many of the NeDiMAH network countries as well as international experts to discuss, debate, and find synergies between perspectives that will be further articulated in a published collection of essays. The event, Downstream from the Digital Humanities, which will also be the title of the collection, brought together leading practitioners in the field of digital humanities, digital libraries, and digital preservation to focus on the area of how to evaluate, give credit for, and assess digital scholarship, particularly within a European context.

Publications

All of the NeDiMAH working groups will produce publications related to their activities.

Workgroup Reports

The Working Group on Scholarly Publications of the NeDiMAH Network has been gradually refining its perspective over the course of the network’s activities.

The meeting ‘Downstream from the Digital Humanities’ was convened in Zadar, Croatia to discuss pre-circulated papers on a number of aspects of the topic of scholarly publishing and communication in