Enhancing Scholarly Publishing in the Humanities and Social Sciences: Innovation through Hybrid Forms of Publication

Externally funded project

Enhancing Scholarly Publishing in the Humanities and Social Sciences: Innovation through Hybrid Forms of Publication

The first objective of this project is to develop hybrid forms of publications. These will consist of Web sites to complement four books originally or currently being prepared as printed volumes for commercial and university-based publishers. These Web sites will contain a broad range of features that are designed to enhance the printed versions of these books with regard to:
• supplementary resources (e.g., links, blogs, chapter appendices, author profiles);
• chapter visualizations (e.g., animations, figures, tables) in color;
• hyperlinks, both internal and external to the book texts;
• author updating of site materials;
• search features.

A provisional template with most of these Web site features is already available. The various functionalities will be explored and tested so that, once finalized, the template will serve as the general framework for each of the Web sites complementing the printed versions of the books.

The second objective is to develop a database allowing for aggregation of content attributes and associations across the individual book Web sites, such that topical relationships, intellectual underpinnings, and contextual factors can be made explicit. Together with a user interface, this aggregation database and related features will support ad-hoc queries and real-time visualizations of discursive threads on the Web sites. Fundamental to this approach is a focus on Web-based texts as dynamic and evolving discourses rather than completed works to be archived. While there is significant value in archiving Web-based texts and related repositories of scholarly work, this aspect is not accentuated. Instead, we focus on engagement with emerging new scholarly practices, particularly in the realm of informal scholarly communication. Given this, we aim to introduce book-related texts, and associated materials, as digital proxies in the realm of scholarship. It is common to find a wide variety of book reviews and associated commentary on the Web. However, it is still uncommon to find the full book content on the Web. From this perspective, scholarly work published in book format can be viewed as a less influential contribution to Web-based discourses. This objective of the proposal is designed to help rebalance this situation. The rationale underlying this objective is further elaborated in Section 2, and in the specific activities are noted in Work Package 5.

The third objective of the project is to disseminate the results of the experiences in preparing enhanced publications. This objective involves sharing experiences through the networks of the host institution and participating staff, and with the readership of the enhanced publications. This sharing will occur at various moments, but most concretely during two panels planned for an upcoming symposium organized by the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) and a workshop to be proposed for the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) conference. An anticipated result of one of the OII panels is a journal theme issue on scholarly publishing, and the participants in this project will be preparing contributions to that issue. This objective also involves extending previous instructional experiences (e.g., workshops, individual tutoring) in the use of VKS Web sites by institution personnel to a new target group: book editors and authors. One of the deliverables related to this objective will be Web-based instructional materials and a related video intended for this target group, particularly for editors and authors active in the humanities and social sciences. This material is designed to assist other scholars in preparing Web sites to complement traditionally published scholarly books, and constitutes the basis for the workshop to be proposed for the AoIR conference.

01/01/2011 - 30/06/2011
Locations: Amsterdam
URL http://ep-books.ehumanities.nl/