RECOMMENDED: Is There a Text in These Data?

Dorothea Salo (University of Wisconsin at Madison) recently published an open access chapter, “Is There a Text in These Data? The Digital Humanities and Preserving the Evidence.” Part of the edited volume, Reassembling Scholarly Communications: Histories, Infrastructures, and Global Politics of Open Access, eds. Martin Paul Eve and Jonathan Gray (MIT Press, 2020), this chapter explores digital humanities scholarship and the challenges it faces in being preserved – in libraries, museums, and archives – in a scholarly communication system structured around print.

Salo closes by succinctly summarizing the key factors in how digital humanities scholarly communication is still being hampered by traditional models:

Publisher intransigence, library unpreparedness, and unshakable humanist allegiance to print forms of research communication distort scholarly communication systems in ways that disadvantage digital humanists and prevent migration to opener and likely more sustainable digital modes of publication and dissemination. This, in turn, isolates and disadvantages the humanities both within and outside the academy. Exactly how the humanities in general and the digital humanities specifically will break out of this untenable box remains unclear. Until they do, however, the monograph crisis will intensify, digital humanists will continue fleeing the academy for fairer, greener pastures, and the humanities will impoverish their own future.

The chapter, along with the entire book, is accessible as a PDF: The chapter will be of interest to DH library folks interested in digital publishing, the open access movement, and transforming scholarship more broadly.

dh+lib Review

This post was produced through a cooperation between Tierney Gleason, Jennifer Matthews, Rebekah Walker (Editors-at-large for the week), Pamella Lach and Nickoal Eichmann-Kalwara (Editors for the week), Caitlin Christian-Lamb, Alasdair Ekpenyong, and Linsey Ford (dh+lib Review Editors).