Do visitors to the websites of professional scholarly associations and communities actually find any scholarship? This report by Caitlin Wolters, a George Mason MA Student and intern at PressForward, assesses the scholarly communication available on the websites of twelve professional associations and communities from the sciences and the humanities.
Both scientific associations and communities make peer-reviewed journal articles available to the public, whereas humanities journal articles are difficult to find on the open web. Moreover, scientific professional associations distributed gray literature in the form of podcasts, blogs, videos, and multimedia. In contrast, the scholarly communities in the humanities disseminate gray literature; professional humanities associations publish very little scholarly communication beyond editorial literature on the websites.
Overall the sciences provide a more diverse and complete range of scholarly material for the public. Without the gray literature disseminated by scholarly communities within the humanities, very little humanities scholarly communication would be accessible on the open web.
Read the Report Here.
PressForward is pleased to announce the release of the inaugural issue of Spatial Demography [ISSN: 2164-7070 (online)], a new publication focused on the spatial analysis of demographic processes. This cross-disciplinary work involves modern demographic data visualization, enhanced geo-referenced data availability, and spatial statistics, facilitated through full color graphics, motion video tools, and a quick time-to-publication.
The journal publishes research articles, essays, research reports, data sources, computing software, teaching notes, and book reviews on a wide range of topics of interest to the social demographer. In addition to being an online journal, Spatial Demography also hosts a Forum to encourage topical conversation in general and on specific articles featured in Spatial Demography.
Edited by Frank M. Howell and Jeremy Porter, along with an impressive Editoral Board, the site was developed by Sasha Hoffman of the PressForward team. The journal is available online at http://spatialdemography.org
This report by computer scientist Xin Guan details how he used the Active Learning method of Machine Learning to train a classifier program to filter content for Digital Humanities Now.
The fifth issue of the Journal of Digital Humanities is now available online, with options to download as epub, PDF, or iBook.
The advancement of scholarship relies on the timely communication of questions, methods, results, and reflections. The iterative publications Digital Humanities Now and the Journal of Digital Humanities are intended to facilitate this process. DHNow surfaces and distributes the conversations weekly in order to invite participation and feedback. The Journal of Digital Humanities then identifies the conversations that need a stable landing on which to pause and reflect before continuing onward.
In the past year the scholarly conversation about the practice of topic modeling has taken place in workshops and through extended conversations online. This issue of the Journal of Digital Humanities draws from that gray literature of presentations, blog posts, and unpublished papers. Under the guidance of our guest editors Elijah Meeks and Scott B. Weingart, several new pieces were solicited for this special issue, and two were greatly expanded from ongoing research projects.
This issue reflects the expertise and investment in topic modeling from a wide range of disciplines and practitioners, including historians, literary scholars, archaeologists, technologists, and information scientists. We think you will agree that topic modeling is a practice within digital humanities that is ready for a moment of serious engagement with questions and methods before taking another leap forward.
Daniel J. Cohen and Joan Fragaszy Troyano, Editors
Read the rest of the fifth issue of the Journal of Digital Humanities.
This report by PressForward Director Joan Fragaszy Troyano outlines the current state of the aggregation, curation, evaluation, and distribution of scholarship on the open web. It is available on our Research Reports page in HTML or as PDF.
An archived version of PressForward’s webinar for Educause is now available. More than 65 leaders in information technology and higher education logged in for the live webinar.
The audio, slides, and chat transcript are still available for this overview of current efforts to distribute and evaluate scholarly work available on the open web. The webinar also includes an explanation of the experimental methods behind PressForward’s Digital Humanities Now and Journal of Digital Humanities. Finally, it previews some of the open source adaptations to WordPress software that PressForward is developing to enable scholarly communities to easily aggregate, select, and credit work published on the open web.
Digital Humanities Now, a PressForward publication experimenting with the aggregation and curation of scholarly communication on the open web, has won an inaugural DH Award. The award was determined by a public vote, and DHNow won in the “Best Blog, Article, or Short Publication” Category. Thanks to all our supporters!
Sixteen months after the relaunch of Digital Humanities Now, it is time again to offer a glimpse behind the scenes. While many of the trends we identified in our six month report remain stable, there have been two significant changes in our editorial process.
First, we have reduced our publication cycle from daily to twice weekly.
Second, we have expanded our editorial team to include 121 Editors-at-Large from the digital humanities community.
These changes have been productive and positive. Our readership has grown over the last six months and we have been more selective in the pieces we highlight. We have also had a very enthusiastic response to our calls for Editors-at-Large. These volunteers have expanded the range of items reviewed for Digital Humanities Now and are bringing Digital Humanities Now one step closer to being a community edited journal.
The Current State of Digital Humanities Now
- From June to December 2012, we published 90 Editors’ Choice pieces and 358 News items, the majority of which were job announcements, calls for papers, and resources. These pieces were chosen from the approximately 4000 items received each month from the blogs of the Compendium, the aggregated tweets of those we follow on Twitter, and an automated Google search. At this rate, we are publishing 0.5% of the content we see as Editors’ Choice and 2% as News.
- Our readership is growing steadily. Our twitter account, which functions as the primary distribution source for many readers, now has over 7000 followers. The links we publish, currently about 70 per month, are generating roughly 2500 clicks. In addition, there are now nearly 500 people who use RSS readers to follow our Editors’ Choice selections.
- Our calls for Editors-at-Large have been very successful. We received 43 volunteers in the Summer, 39 in the Fall, and 44 in the Spring, many of whom signed up for multiple weeks. From the large stream of 4000 items per month, the Editors-at-Large recommend roughly 650 items per month, 16% of the items they review. This initial filtering by the Editors-at-Large has reduced the editorial time from 15-20 hours across four editors to approximately 10 hours by a single editor each week.
- While the majority of the blogs in our Compendium are produced by male authors (53% to 27%), the inclusion of Editors-at-Large has introduced a new gender variable. Of our 121 volunteers to date, the split between men and women is 45% to 55%. Although women represent less than 1/3 of those who are publishing their work on the web and directing our attention to that work, they represent the majority of those volunteering their time to evaluate digital humanities scholarship. At the same time, the percentage of pieces highlighted in Digital Humanities Now by female authors has remained stable at 30%.
The Future of Digital Humanities Now
Looking forward, we are beginning to use an alpha version of our PressForward plugin for WordPress. This plugin will enable a more streamlined aggregation and nomination process, and will make it possible to open the role of weekly editor to members of the digital humanities community.
We are very pleased with the ways Digital Humanities Now is continuing to develop in this second year of publication and are very grateful for the community support we have received.
If you have not already done so, please add your blog to our Compendium and continue to publish your research on the web. In addition, please join our team of Editors-at-Large and help us continue to find and highlight the best of digital humanities scholarship on the web.
PressForward’s experimental publication Digital Humanities Now is in the running for an inaugural Digital Humanities Award: Recognizing Excellence in Digital Humanities. Both nominations and final award decisions are open for a public vote, and overseen by an international nominations committee.
Voting is open to all through February 17 and we’d appreciate your vote!
This presentation provides an overview of current efforts to distribute and evaluate scholarly work available on the open web, and an explanation of the experimental methods behind PressForward’s Digital Humanities Now and Journal of Digital Humanities. It also includes a preview of the open source adaptations to WordPress software that PressForward is developing to enable scholarly communities to easily aggregate, select, and credit work published on the open web.
The project briefing was presented to the Coalition for Networked Information 2012 fall membership meeting by Dan Cohen and Joan Fragaszy Troyano from the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History & New Media at George Mason University, and is now available on CNI’s two video channels: