Online Publishing

Caleb McDaniel
Rice Digital Media Center
February 7, 2013

You can access these slides at

Press the Escape key to see all slides.

Why am I here?

What does online publishing have to do with the digital humanities?

"... the true power of the digital humanities ... has nothing to do with production of either tools or research. The heart of the digital humanities is not the production of knowledge; it's the reproduction of knowledge."

Mark Sample

Is there a distinctive DH approach to publishing?

As humanists, we already consume online publications ...

... and find ourselves published online.

Already ...

Publish or be published.

The question is ...

not whether we will publish online but how and on what terms.

Aaron Swartz (1986--2013)

Links: Washington Post; #PDFtribute

Online publishing raises questions about:

  1. Access and economics
  2. Gatekeeping and peer review
  3. Scholarly collaboration

Online publishing can be ...

open or closed, post-print or pre-print, reviewed before publication or reviewed after.

Reasons for Openness

... they're not just for DHers.

"The largest hidden cost is the invisibility of what you publish. When you publish somewhere that is behind gates, or in paper only, you are resigning all of that hard work to invisibility in the age of the open web. You may reach a few peers in your field, but you miss out on the broader dissemination of your work, including to potential other fans."

Dan Cohen

"The simplest analysis of the 'crisis in scholarly publishing' is that it’s a problem of audience ..."

John Unsworth

Policies may already be more open than you think.

Examples of online publishing in non-DH fields:

Reasons for Openness

... the DH Manifesto version.

"We call for open access to data and metadata, which must be documented and interoperable, both technically and conceptually. We support the dissemination, exchange and free modification of methods, code, formats and research findings."

Manifesto for the Digital Humanities

"Open is a willingness to share, not only resources, but processes, ideas, thoughts, ways of thinking and operating. Open means working in spaces and places that are transparent and allow others to see what you are doing and how you are doing it, giving rise to opportunities for people who could help you to connect with you, jump in and offer that help. And where you can reciprocate and do the same."

Clint Lalonde

"The digital humanities community embraces openness because of both self-interest and ethical aspirations. In order to create digital scholarship, researchers typically need access to data, tools, and dissemination platforms. ... Openness [also] supports related values such as transdisciplinarity, collaboration, and the democratization of knowledge."

Lisa Spiro

Is this Utopian?

"... the problem of open access isn’t just about the ethics of freeing and sharing scholarly information. It’s as much — if not more — about the psychology and incentives around scholarly publishing. We need to think these issues through much more deeply to make open access widespread."

Dan Cohen

Digital Humanists are Rethinking:

  • Peer review processes
  • Funding models
  • Discovery tools
  • Publishing platforms
  • Genre conventions

Where Do I Start?

Consider ...

  1. Posting work in the Rice Digital Scholarship Archive.
  2. Starting a blog about your research on Rice Blogs, or creating a webpage (here's mine).
  3. Contributing comments to a blog in your field.
  4. Adopting a Creative Commons license for online work.


Further Reading

  • Transforming Scholarly Publishing through Open Access: A Bibliography, by Charles W. Bailey, Jr., link
  • New Models and Modes for Scholarly Publishing in the Digital Age, by Lisa Spiro, link
  • "'A Large Amount of Good Second-Class Work': The Value of Graduate Students' Contributions to Scholarly Group Blogs," by Kirstyn Leuner, link
  • "Blogging, It's Academic," by Chad Black, link

Continuing Resources

How This Slideshow Was Made

This slideshow was made using a combination of reveal.js and Pandoc.