Where Credit Is Due: Preconditions for the Evaluation of Collaborative Digital Scholarship

Author:Nowviskie, Bethany, University of Virginia LibraryUniversity of Virginia ORCID icon orcid.org/0000-0002-1788-5154

Our instinct is to evaluate the products of digital scholarship as if they can be mapped neatly to unary objects and established categories, such as journal articles or monographs. But a search for equivalency in product can lead us to overlook those incommensurate collaborative processes by which digital scholarship is created: systems of production that require closer partnership than ever before among scholars and the technologists, student and postdoctoral researchers, content creators, designers, faculty colleagues, archivists, and cultural heritage professionals who work collectively to generate, assemble, disseminate, and preserve new knowledge and new interpretations. We neglect, too, to consider the systems of reception in which digital archives and interpretive works are situated—including, increasingly, the degree to which products of digital methodology are continually refactored, remade, and extended by the expert communities that generate and take them up, and the manner in which such work can be placed simultaneously in many overlapping production and publication contexts. An essential first step to the proper evaluation of work in new media by tenured and tenure-track academics lies in appreciation of collaborative development practices in the digital humanities and in formal recognition of the collective modes of authorship this activity often implies. However, in too many cases, scholars and scholarly teams need to be reminded to negotiate the expression of shared credit at all -- credit articulated in legible and regularized forms and accepted in the differing professions and communities of practice from which close collaborators may be drawn.

peer review, tenure, promotion, collaboration, digital humanities
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Source Citation:

Nowviskie, Bethany. "Where Credit Is Due: Preconditions for the Evaluation of Collaborative Digital Scholarship." Profession 2011.1 (2011): 169-181. Available: ISSN:0740-6959, ["http://www.mlajournals.org/toc/prof/2011/1"].

Modern Language Association
Published Date:

From a special open-access cluster of Profession 2011, on "Evaluating Digital Scholarship."

This work has passed a peer-review process.