Of the many projects that are part of the PressForward Initiative, Digital Humanities Now holds the distinguished role of being our flagship publication. With a large and ever-growing readership, DHNow serves the digital humanities community by highlighting significant pieces of scholarship, drawing attention to projects and resources, and sharing information about job and presentation opportunities. To do so, DHNow relies on the tireless efforts of a rotating team of volunteers who read through curated RSS feeds and nominate items of interest for publication.
One of the ongoing challenges for managing DHNow has been coordinating the efforts of these volunteers. While the PressForward Plugin provides an excellent interface for nominating content, there is still a significant amount of administrative work involved in creating user accounts, explaining processes, and communicating selection criteria. With the expansion of our editorial team during this last year, it became necessary to rethink our system for organizing and communicating with our editors-at-large.
The largest update has been the creation of the “Editors-at-Large Corner,” linked to from the main page of DHNow. Where before information was made available to editors on an individual basis, all of our instructions are now easy to locate on the main site. Our goal is to make our process more transparent to our editors-at-large, to our readers, and to the community at large. Within the Editors-at-Large corner, editors and others can find instructions for using the PressForward plugin, along with detailed descriptions of the types of content we look to publish. We have also posted the schedule of Editors-at-Large, both to enable editors to easily confirm their weeks and to provide readers a more stable picture of who is nominating content on any given week.
In addition to opening up our editorial processes, these features support large structural changes to our use of Google Forms for managing the Editor-at-Large information. We have automated our confirmation emails and created Google Apps Scripts to streamline the process of sending reminder and follow-up emails, allowing us to reduce the amount of work required for weekly maintenance. Additionally, in order to make it easier to share our system with others interested in running a crowdsourced publication, we have made our forms and scripts available as templates.
If you are interested in seeing these changes in action or have questions about the types of content we publish on Digital Humanities Now, please visit our new Editors-at-Large corner. And while you’re there, help us continue to improve by signing up to nominate content and providing feedback on your experiences.
We look forward to continuing to work with you to improve this model of a community-run, aggregation-based publication.