A Framework for Library Support of Expansive Digital Publishing

I’m very pleased to announce a new report, A Framework for Library Support of Expansive Digital Publishing, released today by the team here at Duke University Libraries. The report is about how libraries can more fully embrace their role in the evolving space of digital humanities publishing. This is the summary:

This report offers a framework for how libraries can begin to embrace their role in the maturing space of digital humanities publishing, particularly as they seek to support what we call “expansive digital publishing” — challenging digital publications that can span disciplinary and institutional boundaries; use many different technologies; have multiple scholarly outputs; grow over time; operate over the long-term or are multi-phase; aim to engage with multiple audiences; and, in general, use digital tools and methods to explore or enable scholarship that would be more difficult to achieve through traditional publishing.

This report is the result of an ambitious project, generously funded by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, that aims to address how libraries engage with scholars, publishers, humanities institutes, promotion and tenure committees, and many others on expansive digital publishing projects. We covered everything, from financing to producing, evaluating, and preserving some of the most complicated and gnarly digital projects that scholars are now exploring. In our view, these types of publications embody many of the best characteristics of networked digital scholarship. They open new possibilities for engaging in conversation with a broad set of readers — both peer scholars and publics — and, simultaneously, revise and expand knowledge based on this engagement. They are also, for the same reasons, some of the most challenging to truly “publish” as scholarly works within the full meaning of that term.

For readers of this blog who typically look here for a discussion of legal challenges,  I hope you’ll indulge me by reading this report, as it grapples with the significant cultural and organizational challenges that face scholars of new, more broadly accessible forms of digital scholarship. For many areas of scholarship, I think these challenges are far more significant than the legal and financial ones that I typically write about.

One of the best parts of studying for and writing this report was receiving the generous, thoughtful and diverse comments that the digital publishing community contributed. You’ll find an impressive list of contributors who have already added their thoughts to this effort in one way or another here. To help further that conversation, we’re pleased to be able to share the report with the world through PubPub (thank you, MIT Press!), which will allow you to add your own comments or suggestions as you read.

Full citation:

Full citation:  Hansen, D., Milewicz, L., Mangiafico, P., Shaw, W., Begali, M., & McGurrin, V. (2018). A Framework for Library Support of Expansive Digital Publishing. A Framework for Library Support of Expansive Digital Publishing. https://doi.org/10.21428/680f3353