Digital humanities pedagogy

“Academic institutions are starting to recognize the growing public interest in digital humanities research, and there is an increasing demand from students for formal training in its methods. Despite the pressure on practitioners to develop innovative courses, scholarship in this area has tended to focus on research methods, theories and results rather than critical pedagogy and the actual practice of teaching.

The essays in this collection offer a timely intervention in digital humanities scholarship, bringing together established and emerging scholars from a variety of humanities disciplines across the world. The first section offers views on the practical realities of teaching digital humanities at undergraduate and graduate levels, presenting case studies and snapshots of the authors’ experiences alongside models for future courses and reflections on pedagogical successes and failures. The next section proposes strategies for teaching foundational digital humanities methods across a variety of scholarly disciplines, and the book concludes with wider debates about the place of digital humanities in the academy, from the field’s cultural assumptions and social obligations to its political visions.

Digital Humanities pedagogy broadens the ways in which both scholars and practitioners can think about this emerging discipline, ensuring its ongoing development, vitality and long-term sustainability.”


Public Libraries: Essential Infrastructure for the Public Humanities

“Public libraries are a key component in the delivery of local humanities programs in Maine. Stephen Podgajny, executive director of the Portland (Maine) Public Library, outlines how public library infrastructure and resources support the humanities as collectors of humanities-related material, conveners and presenters of humanities programs, as collaborators with other humanities organizations, and as conservators of local historical collections. The author also discusses the future of public humanities and public libraries.”


Aligning Open Access Publication with the Research and Teaching Missions of the Public University: The Case of the Lethbridge Journal Incubator (If ‘if’s and ‘and’s were pots and pans)

“The Lethbridge Journal Incubator is a joint project of the University of Lethbridge Library, School of Graduate Studies, and Faculty of Arts and Science. Its goal is to address the issue of the sustainability of gold open access journals by aligning the publication process with the educational and research missions of the public University. In this way, the open access publication, which is more commonly understood as a cost center that draws resources away from a host university’s core missions, is transformed into a sustainable, high-impact resource that improves retention and recruitment. It does this by providing graduate students with early experience with scholarly publishing (a proven contributor to in- and post-program student satisfaction and career success), highly-sought after research and technical skills, and project management experience.

This article provides a background to the problem of financing gold open access publication and reports on the experience of the researchers responsible for establishing the incubator as it leaves its experimental phase and becomes a center of the University.”


The Changing Publication Practices in Academia: Inherent Uses and Issues in Open Access and Online Publishing and the Rise of Fraudulent Publications

“Open access and online publishing present significant changes to the Australian higher education sector in a climate demanding increasing research outputs from academic staff. Today’s researchers struggle to discern credible journals from a new wave of ‘low credibility,’ counterfeit, and predatory journals. A New York Times article on the issue resulted in hundreds of anonymous posts, having a whistleblower effect. An analysis of reader posts, examined in this paper, demonstrated that fear and cynicism were dominant, and that unscrupulous publishing practices were often rewarded.

A lack of quality control measures to assist researchers to choose reputable journals and avoid fraudulent ones is becoming evident as universities’ funding and workforce development become increasingly dependent on research outputs. Online publishing is also redefining traditional notions of academic prestige. Adapting to the twenty-first century online publishing landscape requires the higher education sector to meet these challenges with a combination of academic rigour and innovative tools that support researchers, so as to maintain quality and integrity within changing academic publishing practice.”


Donations as a Source of Income for Open Access Journals: An Option To Consider?

“Online open access journals allow readers to view scholarly articles without a subscription or other payment barrier. However, publishing costs must still be covered. Therefore, many of these publications rely on support from a variety of sources. One source of funds not commonly discussed is donations from readers.

This study investigated the prevalence of this practice and sought to learn about the motivation of journal editors to solicit donations, and also to gather input on the effectiveness of this strategy. Results show that very few open access journals solicit donations from readers, and for those that do, donations represent only a very small portion of all support received.”


The Users of Library Publishing Services: Readers and Access Beyond Open

“This article analyzes the discourse of library publishing, examining how the needs of library users have (or haven’t) been framed as core concerns in key collaborative documents from the 2007 Ithaka Report to the 2014 Library Publishing Directory. Access issues, including not only open access but format options, usability, accessibility, and general user experience, have most often been absent or sidelined in this discourse. Even open access has been less central than one might expect. Moreover, even in later documents where it is more commonly trumpeted as a value of libraries, open access is often not presented as a service to readers but to authors.

For these reasons, I argue the promotion of library publishing has missed a key opportunity to promote such services as offering a holistic approach that incorporates the needs of both authors and readers by drawing on the history of user studies in libraries. The absence of the user as information seeker, and especially reader, in this discourse should concern libraries lest library publishing services replicate existing access problems with commercial publishers beyond the question of openness. The opportunity exists for organizations such as the Library Publishing Coalition to foster discussion of reader needs for digital formats and, where feasible, promote a set of best practices.”


Interpreting “altmetrics”: viewing acts on social media through the lens of citation and social theories

“More than 30 years after Cronin’s seminal paper on “the need for a theory of citing” (Cronin, 1981), the metrics community is once again in need of a new theory, this time one for so-called “altmetrics”. Altmetrics, short for alternative (to citation) metrics — and as such a misnomer — refers to a new group of metrics based (largely) on social media events relating to scholarly communication. As current definitions of altmetrics are shaped and limited by active platforms, technical possibilities, and business models of aggregators such as, ImpactStory, PLOS, and Plum Analytics, and as such constantly changing, this work refrains from defining an umbrella term for these very heterogeneous new metrics. Instead a framework is presented that describes acts leading to (online) events on which the metrics are based. These activities occur in the context of social media, such as discussing on Twitter or saving to Mendeley, as well as downloading and citing. The framework groups various types of acts into three categories — accessing, appraising, and applying — and provides examples of actions that lead to visibility and traceability online. To improve the understanding of the acts, which result in online events from which metrics are collected, select citation and social theories are used to interpret the phenomena being measured. Citation theories are used because the new metrics based on these events are supposed to replace or complement citations as indicators of impact. Social theories, on the other hand, are discussed because there is an inherent social aspect to the measurements.”