Comments by Commenter
It’s not clear how the recommended training here would translate into changes in the dissertation requirements. That needs to be considered and spelled out in more detail. Are we recommending a move towards the acceptance of digital scholarly projects as dissertation equivalents, or just providing training in methods (which may relate only tangentially or not at all to the dissertation)?
It would be good if we could generate a more detailed list of such opportunities, including specific examples of collaborative development efforts or resource-sharing arrangements that have proved beneficial.
A lot more is needed on this important aspect of the issue. “Servers” and “server space” is doubly redundant, given that many projects (including NINES) are moving to the cloud. Perhaps we should divide this into a section on hardware/space and a section on IT collaborations.
I don’t think we should call this “PR and Education”; maybe just “Speakers and Workshops.” I think some specific examples of topics that would attract large numbers of faculty would be helpful. Otherwise, you just get digital speakers presenting to digital-friendlies. How about things like “The Future of Textuality,” or “Evidence and Interpretation,” etc. with a specifically-digital orientation? The idea is NOT just to expose colleagues to “the digital” as if it is some new species or contagion, but to demonstrate the interest and value of digital modalities and methods to the questions and procedures we all hold in common.
Perhaps this section should be headed “Communication and Mentoring”?
We use the word “clear” too many times in this section; and how does that square with Tara McPherson and Steve Anderson’s recommendation (in Profession 2011) that “Now is not the time for rigid or highly quantified standards”? They stress flexibility and openness to change and experimentation. The problem is not simply that we are not being clear enough with expectations. Rather, it seems that too much clarity may be both impossible and undesirable in the evaluation of digital scholarship.
See Geoffrey Rockwell in Profession 2011, the section headed “Developing a Dialogue,” pp. 162 -5.
Begs the question: how to be “clear” about these new genres, modes of collaboration, research practices, modes of scholarly communication a) without knowing them fully in advance and b) given that they change each year as technology changes?
Excellent point. As someone whose project depends on qualified collaborators, this paragraph foregrounds one of the fundamental problems for faculty (esp. faculty without funds for graduate assistants) developing digital projects. Until the project is a fully developed prototype, or until it is at a stage suitable for writing a grant proposal for seed money, many faculty are intimidated and stalled by a lack of IT or library support to help with core issues outside their discpline -e.g. metadata, IT infrastructure, costs, etc.
This begs the question of what to negotiate when the hiring institution/department has not yet allocated resources for these types of collaborative services in the general budget. Many libraries and IT departments would love to collaborate, but are already stretched to the limit. Hence, there is nothing for the potential DH candidate to negotiate.
My recommendation is to add another sentence to this paragraph that would serve as a reminder that before designing and advertising a DH cluster hire, the institution must somehow have already allocated the resources to support DH initiatives. This should probably segue into the Infrastructure paragraph which could then be further developed to include how a department without resources can guarantee access to . . .
Is it possible to also add some language about the fact that these dh projects might never be done in the sense that a book is printed and perhaps “closed” (though us textual scholars say that a text is never closed to reinterpretation). Can the article about a dh project never being done be included here? (http://digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/3/2/000040/000040.html)
Instead of sticking the publishing criteria, could you also include a category about presentations at conferences significant to the field? Also, how has the resource been integrated into courses/pedagogy?
With the sciences, writing a grant counts toward scholarship. Can you include something about how many grants have been submitted and to what funding agencies. What are the reader’s reports (effectively peer review) of the resource?
Ah, nevermind about my other comment on the publishing…covered here
This entry is somewhat confusing. The previous recommendations highlight the fact that “authorship” is not singular with digital projects. Would a better term be the project manager? or primary scholar? (I’m assuming that “author” in this sense is the person who’s submitting for tenure/promotion evaluation?) Just requesting clarification.
Should this also include use studies? For instance, evidence that the digital resource/project has been/is being used in teaching and scholarship?
If these are recommendations for chairs in language and literature departments, then “English” in the second sentence ought to be replaced with “language and literature.”
Possibly include the American Philological Association in the parenthesis?
Perhaps “negotiate” would be better than “articulate.” It should be a conversation, anyway.
There’s a difference between clarity and specificity. Tenure and promotion guidelines must be as clear as possible, yet flexible enough to accommodate a range of projects and media. That’s an achievable goal. The key is not to lock everyone into a specific set of criteria that apply only to a particular kind of scholarship or outlet for that scholarship.
I think this whole document is thoughtful and practical. Thanks for putting it together.
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