Scaling Vectors: Thoughts on the Future of Scholarly Communication
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This essay proposes that bold new forms of experimentation and bookishness are necessary if we are to advance (and perhaps save) scholarly publishing in the humanities. Possible issues facing presses are considered through consideration of two examples in scholarly publishing that involve the author. The first example, the experimental journal Vectors, highlights the advantages and limits of certain types of multimodal scholarly communication for the humanities. The second example, the new Alliance for Networking Visual Culture, points toward new methods of workflow and publishing that link archives, scholars, and presses. The essay ends with a list of key questions that presses will need to address as various stakeholders collectively expand what we understand humanities publishing to be.
Lessons from Vectors
As an editor of a journal, Vectors, that only publishes work that “cannot exist in print,” I have a pronounced interest in the multimedia affordances of digital platforms for scholarly communication. I believe that electronic publishing should not merely aim to port the printed page directly to the web (even in searchable form), but should, rather, investigate new publication practices that take advantage of the capacities for rich multimedia and networked communication that the Internet offers. Thus, Vectors has functioned largely as an experimental space, publishing work that is formally challenging and that explores the boundaries of what might count as scholarly argument. Pairing interactive designers and technologists with humanities scholars, we aim to limn the boundaries between creative expression and scholarship, more seamlessly wedding scholarly form and content.
The journal also exists outside the mainstream of scholarly publishing networks. Open access since our launch in 2005, our scholars publish with Creative Commons licenses, and Vectors is available free of charge on the web. Further, Vectors has affiliated with the Open Humanities Press, an “open access publishing collective whose mission is to make leading works of critical theory freely available worldwide.” The experimental space we are creating extends to the ownership and distribution of scholarly research. In short, Vectors is not your typical journal.
When the core Vectors team (originally comprised of co-editor Steve Anderson, Creative Directors Reagan Kelly and Erik Loyer, and Information Designer Craig Dietrich) conceived and launched the journal, we were not much concerned with our relationship to academic presses or with the dissemination practices of traditional journals. While we were committed both to open access publishing and to some form of peer review, we were primarily interested in what we might learn about new directions for multimedia authoring and argument from structuring close collaborations between scholars, designers, and technologists. We very much imagined (and continue to imagine) our work as a kind of laboratory for emerging genres of scholarly practice. The eventual affiliation with Open Humanities Press (OHP) made sense to our team, as we shared many of the same ethical allegiances regarding open access to scholarship and the need for collaborative efforts in publishing. Furthermore, OHP and Vectors share an intellectual terrain, as each focuses on contemporary critical and cultural theory.
Working with the team at Vectors in our fairly atypical laboratory setting has been intellectually exciting and rigorous. Much as with the experimental ethos described by Johanna Drucker in SpecLab, collaborating closely across skill sets in the creation of digital humanities projects is a very rewarding, if sometimes challenging, endeavor. When we began Vectors, very few “traditional” humanities scholars were producing richly multimedia scholarship, so we created a fellowship model that allowed scholars to work with our production team in sustained collaborations. This process always began from the scholar’s own desires and needs, that is, from the scholar’s own perceptions about how technology and media might serve his or her research and its expression.
These collaborations have, on the whole, largely proven successful. Former fellows who came to our residencies with little technological know-how have gone on to win ACLS Digital Innovation Grants, NEH Digital Start-Up Grants, and even Webby nominations. Many continue to work with digital platforms as well as in print. For instance, Sharon Daniel, Caren Kaplan, Jon Ippolito, and Kim Christen have all completed subsequent projects by pursuing outside funding to work again with members of the Vectors’ team. But our fellowship model, while invigorating, is hard to sustain and harder to scale. In fact, we never meant for the fellowship process to last forever. When we began, we imagined that the fellowships would gradually prove less and less necessary as authoring platforms improved, as “mainstream” academic presses moved toward inventive forms of electronic publishing, and as distinctions between the “digital” and the “traditional” humanities began to wane. We seriously underestimated the pace of change within academe.
While innovative publishing efforts have emerged from a variety of spaces, including Rice University’s now-defunded electronic press, the University of Michigan Press and Library, certain experiments at the presses at MIT and California, and scholar-led initiatives like MediaCommons, it is safe to say that change has not broadly swept through the humanities. Despite the much-lamented crisis in scholarly publishing and the ever-shrinking budgets of libraries for scholarly monographs and many journals in humanities fields, presses are having a hard time figuring out how to navigate in the digital environment.
Much as in the music industry before them, the early reactions of presses often included an entrenched resistance to open access, as well as to revisions to peer review systems, and to more experimental forms of scholarly research and writing. Within the broader scholarly community, efforts aimed at shifting and extending academic publishing were frequently framed as heretical attempts to destroy the book or to reduce university presses to a mode of scholarly communication akin to vanity publishing. Such fears did not, of course, only surface from presses. The impulse to conserve the status quo emerges largely from humanities scholars themselves. Faced with a variety of threats (both real and perceived) to the humanities, scholars tend to hold on to established modes of working. As observed by Diane Harley et al., in a widely circulated study, “the lack of willingness of the faculty to change” is often seen “as a key barrier to moving toward” new publishing models. In particular, Harley and her colleagues detected a misfit between the reward structures within academe and more open or experimental forms of publishing. Put bluntly, they write, “There is no perceived reward for challenging the status quo.”
Even as sophisticated a thinker as William Germano hews fast to the notion that narrative form somehow demands the codex book (even if delivered on a screen). In a 2010 talk at the Association of American University Presses (later reworked for The Chronicle), he lamented that books have become “the enemy” and argued that “the two cultures of the contemporary world are the culture of data and the culture of narrative.” As lovely as his ode to the book might be (he argues eloquently that “books make the case for us”), this forced binary between the database and narrative is actually a false one, particularly in our digital era. It aligns narrative with bookishness, interpretation, and the humanities, while the database is implicitly assigned to the sciences and to information, a split that is reinforced by Germano’s reference to C. P. Snow’s “two cultures.”
This either/or thinking is ultimately not very useful in our collective efforts to save (in whatever manner) the book or the academic press. The book is unlikely to go away anytime soon. Just as vinyl records have seen a resurgence in popularity even as music circulates primarily in digital form, the book will persist. It will continue to circulate in its revered tangible form, easy to take to the beach, the bed, or the bath. But it will increasingly change, yielding in many instances its fixed physicality to the more mutable forms of digital data. The mixed pleasures of portability, changeability, searchability, and sociability will certainly lead us to new forms of “bookishness.” Some of these forms will feel familiar to the book lover. Already my Kindle feels a good approximation, and the broad experiments in e-publication afoot even at university presses suggest that we are already a good way down this path.
In other modes, new forms of writing and, yes, of narrative, will strain hard against the notion of the book. These emerging forms of argument will incorporate rich media, networked collaboration, algorithmic processing, and even the possibility of remix. Some will continue to privilege linearity and the single author. Others will explore multivocality and collaborative authoring. As the capacity to unfold narrative in new ways is honed, we will also discover that the relationship between database and narrative (or, one might say evidence and analysis) will also shift. This second order of the future book exists today in a variety of experiments. Some will fail, and others will become increasingly familiar. Some of those leading this experimentation will suffer for their innovations, riding ahead of the curve of their home disciplines and accepted practice. (Today, we see universities willing to hire the junior faculty to lead who are leading many of these changes but less willing to tenure them. Other universities set change into play but, impatient with the results, prematurely retreat.)
But the signs of change are already afoot, even in the humanities. Scholarly societies are increasingly calling for tenure and promotion committees to recognize electronic forms of publication, leading foundations and the NEH are supporting digital scholarship, and venerable print journals are experimenting with new forms of open peer review and multimedia authorship. The vernacular forms of digital communication—from Wikipedia to YouTube to blogs—are yielding lessons for scholarly writing. Vectors is part and parcel of this broader culture of experimentation and change, but it has largely (and purposefully) existed on the edges of traditional forms of scholarly communication. This edge status is multiple: the “journal” pushes beyond print into challenging aesthetic design; it is multimodal and largely nonlinear; it merges the database with narrative; and it privileges deep collaboration in its fellowship model, destabilizing the single author mode of much humanities scholarship.
This culture of experimentation has produced valuable lessons for both the fellows we have worked with and for the Vectors’ team, but such experimentation is unlikely in and of itself to produce broad changes in the larger structure of scholarly communication in the humanities. Humanities scholarship is a large ecosystem, and change within (and the survival of) that ecosystem will require movement in several spheres at once. We need momentum within several sectors, and we need multiple forms of experimentation. We also need methods of feeding the lessons derived from edge test cases back into the mainstream, as well as ways of understanding where specific disciplines require unique platforms and models and what might scale across multiple disciplines. In this moment of transition, we should encourage broad experimentation and hybrid models, things bookish and things not. In what follows, I describe one path of experimentation that attempts to scale the lessons learned at Vectors over several years to broader scholarly communities. While Vectors operates on the margins of traditional scholarly publication, I now believe that the time is ripe to engage university presses more directly and to create new human and technological infrastructures for scholarly communication that, in effect, are likely to change the very shape and core practices of the presses over time.
Moving to Scale
In their research into the impact of academic values on publishing, Diane Harley and her collaborators discovered that hybrid publishing models may have particular value in our transitional moment. Scholars in many fields were much more likely to see value in electronic publishing as a companion rather than as a substitute to print publication. Thus, scholars might share “in progress” research electronically in a variety of forms (and build reputation), while also continuing to produce print work (gaining promotion). Similar patterns emerged among the Vectors’ fellows. Many of our scholars were interested in multiple forms of publication; often their Vectors’ pieces reimagined the argument of a print book or article for new purposes. These purposes included the desire to incorporate multimedia, to include additional evidence or data, to pursue nonlinear structures, to engage multiple senses, and to reach new audiences. The digital piece had its own integrity, but it also related to other works in print.
The digital pieces pushed the scholars’ research in new directions and offered new possibilities for analysis and interpretation. While we worked with scholars from a variety of humanities disciplines, they shared a strong interest in new forms of the visual. A substantial subset also sought to work directly with visual and aural media, incorporating images, video, and sound into their pieces. They brought with them a variety of media assets and evidence, materials they hoped to “animate” within digital environments. We quickly realized the need for a flexible database tool that would allow scholars to work with these materials in new ways, interweaving narrative argument and database, and most of our scholars authored their work using our in-house database platform (if in collaboration with a design and technology team).
Through this process, we began to recognize certain genres or types of scholarship well suited to database platforms. These included the animated archive, the experiential argument, the interactive documentary, and the spatialized essay, as well as various forms of simulation or visualization. These distinctions are not fixed and fast; they can overlap in a single project drawing on the multiple capacities of digital media. In this inchoate period of multimodal scholarship, there are advantages to such mutability, and it is important to continue to test and experiment. At the same time, we need to evolve more “standardized” structures and interfaces that will allow us to delineate more stable genres and to scale multimodal scholarship. Such stability will also lessen the “learning curve” for readers of experimental work, often an issue with the more challenging formats utilized in Vectors.
To detail just one of these emergent genres, take the case of the animated archive. Many of our projects begin with the scholar’s desire to interpret or curate a personal archive or collection of materials in richer ways. While these archives can vary considerably in size, they typically constitute the core resources from which scholars are honing their arguments. As they work, they often find that their engagements with these materials exceed the affordances of print. They long to “animate” or, in the words of one scholar, “volatilize,” the materials. They find themselves chafing against the constraints of linear text. They sense other possibilities that arise almost organically from the materials they study. They have begun to realize that they are interested in something beyond illustration. That is, it is not simply that their press would only allow 30 images in the hard copy book, and they have 75 on hand. Rather, they come to understand that the visual (or aural) communicate differently. Working more organically with these forms allows them both to present their argument differently and understand their materials differently. They can filter materials in new ways to structure multiple lines of argument or experience.
This genre of digital scholarship complements the equally important urge to digitize, search, and catalog the human record undertaken by large-scale digitization and archival efforts. While its impulse is to move beyond the encyclopedic toward new interpretive possibilities, it also represents a rich area for new collaborative and infrastructural possibilities for scholarly communication. The last twenty years have given rise to substantial digital archives, making available a wealth of materials for humanities scholars. Today, scholars often utilize these digital archives in their research but typically publish this research in traditional print journals and monographs. However, our experience at Vectors suggests that there are qualitative benefits to engaging archival materials more directly in digital scholarly practice, particularly within certain fields. Furthermore, for these digital practices to be accepted broadly and to foment change, they will also need to engage traditional infrastructures within academe, including the academic press and scholarly societies, even as these very institutions themselves undergo change.
One can begin to imagine new models for scholarly workflow in the humanities that engage a variety of stakeholders: archives and libraries, scholars and their professional societies, and university presses. The boundaries between these stakeholders will also begin to blur. Here, the archive emerges as a form of virtual research community, not dissimilar from the virtual communities now forming around shared scientific datasets. The infrastructures supporting and the relationships of stakeholders within these new forms of workflow are likely to take slightly different shapes in different fields within the humanities, drawing on differing traditions in research and publication. One size fits all workflow models will likely face great resistance. In particular, scholars will need to feel that emerging infrastructures are actually relevant to the research they aim to undertake, affording them new possibilities while also respecting their traditional methodologies and practices.
Following a Scholarly Communication Institute meeting at the University of Virginia in 2007, a small group of scholars working in the fields of visual and media studies began to think through what types of new research and publishing practices might best serve their disciplines. This group included me, digital theorist Wendy Chun of Brown, media scholar Brian Goldfarb of U.C. San Diego, art historian Joan Saab of Rochester, and visual studies scholar Nick Mirzoeff. With support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Scholarly Communication Institute’s Richard Lucier and Abby Smith Rumsey, our group spoke with scholars in our fields, librarians, technologists, archivists, and others. Based on the work of this planning group, we began a prototyping phase to explore new paradigms for workflow from archive to publication through the creation of the Alliance for Networking Visual Culture.
In the context of specific research questions in visual studies and related fields, this new research Alliance investigates the requirements for analyzing primary source materials available in online archives and publishing the results of these analyses online in appropriate ways. We are focusing in the first instance on video materials but with an eye toward working models adaptable to other media as well. Strategic partnerships with four archives (the Shoah Foundation, the bottom-up Critical Commons, the Hemispheric Institute’s Digital Video Library (HIDVL), and the Internet Archive) and three university presses (MIT, California, and Duke) provide the testing ground for the investigation of new publishing technologies to be developed by the Vectors’ team.
The Alliance aims to close the gap between carefully created digital visual archives and scholarly publication by enabling scholars to work more organically with archival materials, creating interpretive pathways through the materials and enabling new forms of analysis. In particular, we aim to draw out more general lessons about the relationship of scholarly analysis to emerging digital typologies or genres; about how best to organize the digital archive to facilitate scholarly analysis; and about efficient and meaningful work flows between primary evidence, research, and publication. We are identifying emerging genres of scholarly communication for visual and media studies and producing working demonstration projects with each press to illustrate these types. This goal necessarily requires not only a deeper understanding of the functionalities needed in and the creation of new analysis and publication platforms but also the formation of a scholarly network that will shape and guide future developments in this arena.
For instance, we might imagine the scholar’s role as providing an “analytical slice”—a kind of guided tour—of a selection from an archive that allows a more seamless integration of research materials and scholarly analysis. Several scholars might work together on a single database of materials, providing their own interpretative analyses, narratives, and annotations, and creating new forms of the scholarly edition that presses could peer review and electronically distribute. Other communities of users (students, archivists, and an interested public) might also provide valuable commentary or add new slices. Such an approach would require coordination between the scholar, the archive, and the press, as well as a lightweight authoring and publication platform that can serve as a technological infrastructure joining the stakeholders.
Or consider the scholar who wants to demonstrate the power of the visual and the aural to communicate in very particular ways. He might desire to show the impact of facial expression or of gesture on the spoken word, illustrating levels of meaning that exceed the lifeless contours of a transcript. Such a scholar might embed his analysis alongside particular videos. Such a project would point toward new possibilities for visual scholarly analysis. Such endeavors would also illuminate key issues about the most useful ways to organize archives and primary evidence in support of scholarly practice, and about the infrastructures needed to link scholar, archive, and press. In the parlance of contemporary technological developments, archives could be “layered” with multiple APIs, and these various points of entry might utilize a variety of mechanisms for peer review, warranting, and publication. Visual archives like those maintained by the Hemispheric Institute or the Shoah Foundation are eager for scholars to engage their holdings as visual material, but very little support exists for scholars to undertake such work. Even if they are able to produce projects that deploy the visual in rich, interactive ways, publication venues for such work are in woefully short supply, creating yet another disincentive for the scholar.
We are currently mid-way through the prototyping grant. Demonstration projects are underway, and a lightweight abstraction layer and authoring platform, Scalar, is moving toward beta. This authoring platform, under the leadership of Vectors’ veterans Craig Dietrich and Erik Loyer, remakes the database tool previously used by the journal by incorporating semantic technology and providing templates for multimedia scholarship. Much as with templates for blogs, Scalar templates direct the layout and style of a set of pages, but these templates are much more flexible than the typical blog platforms. They support multiple views on the project’s data—including media-centric views, text-centric views, graph views, grid views, etc.—that can be changed by both the author and reader as well as remix and collaboration capacities and the production of nonlinear content. As we undertake this work, interesting issues are emerging for each set of stakeholders. It is useful to briefly consider both the archival and scholarly collaborators before turning more sustained attention to our press partners.
Our archival partners are beginning to reimagine the archive as a type of virtual research community. In the past, physical archives often served as a form of research center at the moment of scholarly investigation, but scholars typically returned to their home institutions to produce their analyses of archival holdings. Their publications often circulated without any real feedback loop into the archive itself. New research infrastructures and publishing platforms might accelerate collaborative forms of research in and through the archive while also allowing interpretative frameworks to coexist with archival materials. A scholar might quite literally embed her analysis within the archive. Digital archives are also willing to push toward new degrees of openness and circulation, moving beyond the controlled access that dominates in physical archives. They recognize that scholars and presses can be vital partners in these goals.
Scholars are excited to engage archival materials in new ways, and those scholars committed to analyzing video or still images see particular advantages to being able to work “close up” with these materials, allowing annotation and detailed interpretation. They see distinct gains to be had from being able to “pull” these materials directly into new authoring platforms, but they also often want to draw material from multiple sources. Our initial research with scholars suggests that Scalar’s incorporation of multiple views is particularly valuable for the analysis of primary archival and media materials. Scholars also responded quite positively to the ability to create branched analyses that push beyond the linearity of a typical webpage or blog. Nonetheless, they are understandably concerned about how this work with archival materials will circulate and how it will “count.” For the most part, they still view university presses as the best disseminator of their scholarship, and each recognizes that certain presses “register” within their fields in very particular ways, imparting both prestige and credibility while also managing peer review. Phil Pochoda has observed that the value of the book is “overdetermined” for most humanities scholars. The role of the press may be even more laden with meaning for them.
Our partner presses are vital collaborators in the Alliance. By working with a small set of presses who each have expertise in visual and media studies, we are beginning to identify a shared set of concerns that they hold in common. Each of the presses is increasingly hearing from authors who would like to create companion websites or other digital material in relation to their books. Many of their journals would like to have more robust electronic presences. In the current economic environment, the resources available for such endeavors are few and far between. There are distinct advantages to moving toward a shared technological platform for authoring and publishing, particularly one that might support a wide variety of authors and publication formats.
As we move forward developing prototype projects with each press, we are finding that innovative digital publishing raises a number of questions from the mundane to the philosophical. Some of the questions we are collectively thinking through include the following:
- How is the acquisition process changed if scholars are creating their work within multimedia authoring platforms? Does an acquisition editor play a special role in routing projects toward digital publication, thinking through which make sense to push toward this format? How might acquisition editors work closely with professional societies, archives, or humanities centers to identify such work? Is there value to creating special “series” or partnerships that center on digital publication?
- How will editorial functions and their temporalities shift if scholars are working in digital platforms to create their work? Review and editing will likely need to happen in incremental stages with more ongoing connection between scholars and editors. A press would likely support production of digital work from earlier on, and the author would help “produce” the piece by authoring in the platform.
- How will the design and production staff at a press need to adapt in order to support these new modes of working? How will copyediting change for interactive narratives or database platforms? How will presses evolve practices akin to “user testing”?
- If presses utilize a shared authoring platform, will each press create its own “look and feel” to brand their content or would a more universal look be preferable? How will this platform be sustained and disseminated? How might partnerships with humanities centers, scholarly societies, archives, or libraries be useful in this regard?
- How best to handle versioning? Does it matter (and, if so, how) that a digital publication will morph and change over time as comments are added and updates are undertaken? Do presses want a “locked” version as well as mutable ones? Who will be responsible for updating and sustaining digital publications? What relationships might evolve between presses, libraries, and archives?
- What changes for peer review are necessary? Reviewers will likely be needed for both “form” and “content,” and at earlier stages than is now typical, in order to offer timely input on design and functionality during the production process. What are the potentials for more open forms of peer review?
- How will the relationship to archives shift, resolve, or complicate intellectual property issues? How will contracts need to shift? Can presses learn from one another as they move forward on these fronts?
- How might these emerging genres best be marketed and distributed? What’s the role of the catalog here or of traditional booksellers or libraries? Might digital publications actually help support the sales and circulation of companion print projects?
- How will each of these issues differ for journals vs. books?
Of course, all of these questions relate to and impact perhaps the central issue at hand for presses: What are the viable business models and systems that can sustain scholarly publishing, particularly in the digital environment? I would be foolish to suggest that we have any foolproof answers to this larger question, but we are rapidly refining answers to the series of queries outlined above. Without tackling this web of issues, it is hard to imagine that a viable business model might evolve in the abstract. And the questions unique to presses are only one part of the larger infrastructure that must shift and evolve as a system. Presses cannot run far ahead of the scholars who are their authors and readers, but neither will many scholars embrace digital publication if presses are not prepared to attend to this work with the care they have long given print books. Archives cannot become rich environments for virtual collaboration and experimentation if scholars cannot actually publish the work they might produce in these spaces and receive appropriate credit for their efforts. Reward structures within academe a university must also change if we are to create momentum for new kinds of work. This is not simply a matter of supporting “new fangled” modes of scholarship for the sake of technological glitz. Rather, it is a key element in the battle to save the humanities from potential obsolescence. In an environment when universities simply close humanities departments—at my own university, German; in the United Kingdom perhaps all of the humanities if Lord Browne has his way—humanities scholars and the systems they work within must change if they are to survive. In the process, we may even find that these emerging modes of working produce rich insights and new analytical models for the humanities.
As we push toward these forms of digital publishing, we will continue to require bold experimentation, but we will also need to fold the insights gleaned from these experiments back into more mainstream scholarly communication. Some fields will change more quickly than others, and some presses will move more nimbly toward supporting networked communities of scholars who publish in multiple forms and who collaborate in new ways. If future forms of bookishness will likely blur the very contours of the book, making a book feel more like a community or a network, we can only hope that the future press will follow suit.
Tara McPherson is Associate Professor of Critical and Gender Studies in the School of Cinematic Arts at USC. She is founding editor of Vectors and co-editor of the International Journal of Learning and Media. She is the author of Reconstructing Dixie: Race, Gender and Nostalgia in the Imagined South, editor of Digital Youth, Innovation and the Unexpected, and co-editor of Hop on Pop: The Politics and Pleasures of Popular Culture.
http://www.vectorsjournal.org. While most Vectors’ pieces illustrate the journal’s commitment to rich media, see in particular the following pieces as indicative of the journal’s commitments to experimentation: “Public Secrets” (2, no. 2) by Sharon Daniel and Erik Loyer for its extensive use of sound and an interesting deployment of algorithms; “The Stolen Time Archive” (1, no. 1) by Alice Gambrell and Reagan Loyer for a lively remapping of the archive and an imaginative interface design; Jon Ippolito and Craig Dietrich’s “Thoughtmesh” (3, no. 1) for an exploration of networked writing; and Jennifer Terry and Raegan Kelly’s “Killer Entertainments” (3, no. 1) for its video triptychs.
See the Open Humanities Press website for more information on the interesting work they are undertaking (http://openhumanitiespress.org/goals.html).
For another view of Vectors as a sustained space for experimentation, see Patrik Svensson, “The Landscape of the Digital Humanities,” Digital Humanities Quarterly 4, no. 1 (Summer 2010) retrieved August 20, 2010, http://www.digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/4/1/000080/000080.html.
Diane Harley et al., “The Influence of Academic Values on Scholarly Publication and Communication Practices,” Journal of Electronic Publishing 10, no. 2 (Spring 2007) retrieved September 12, 2010, from http://dx.doi.org/10.3998/3336451.0010.204.
William Germano, “What Are Books Good For?” Chronicle of Higher Education September 26, 2010, retrieved September 30, 2010, from http://chronicle.com/article/What-Are-Books-Good-For-/124563/?sid=at8utm_source=at8utm_medium=en.
Based on a fall 2009 survey of its membership, the Association of American University Presses reported that over 88 percent of those responding are providing e-books through aggregators and 91.5 percent are making backlists available via print on demand strategies. The report was retrieved on September 1, 2020, from http://www.aaupnet.org/resources/reports/0910digitalsurvey.pdf.
Scholarly societies such as the MLA, CAA, OAH, and AHA have issued statements on the need to credit digital scholarship in tenure and promotion decisions. In particular, the MLA has increasingly championed such efforts and prominently featured digital humanities work in its annual conference and newsletters. The Shakespeare Quarterly recently conducted an “open” peer review experiment under the leadership of Kathleen Rowe, an initiative that garnered broad coverage in the popular press.
For instance, see DataOne (https://www.dataone.org/).
Phil Pochoda, “UP 2.0: Some Theses on the Future of Academic Publishing,” Journal of Electronic Publishing 13, no. 1 (Winter 2010) retrieved September 16, 2010 from http://dx.doi.org/10.3998/3336451.0013.102.
On October 12, 2010, a British committee on higher education chaired by ex-British Petroleum chief John Browne released the report, “Independent Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance.” Among other things, the report called for a complete reduction of teaching grants to universities for the arts, humanities, and social sciences. For coverage of the report, see Jeevan Vasagar and Jessica Shepherd, “Browne review: Universities must set their own tuition fees,” Guardian.co.uk (10/12/2010) retrieved October 18, 2010 from http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2010/oct/12/browne-review-universities-set-fees?intcmp=239. Also see Martin McQuillan’s response to the cuts on the London Graduate School blog, “If you tolerate this... Lord Browne and the Privatisation of the Humanities” (Oct. 2010) retrieved October 18, 2010 from http://www.thelondongraduateschool.co.uk/thoughtpiece/if-you-tolerate-this%E2%80%A6-lord-browne-and-the-privatisation-of-the-humanities/.