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Make Room For DH: The Results of an Investigation

February 4, 2019

Duke University Libraries have published a report on their investigation into the surprisingly still immature space for Digital Humanities publishing, A Framework for Library Support of Expansive Digital Publishing.


Diagram from the Introduction of “A Framework for Library Support of Expansive Digital Publishing”
showing how 2 Duke publications relate to their publishing environment.

The report advocates adopting an “expansive digital publishing” model and proposes “a cohesive framework of support.” What do they mean by expansive digital publishing? “Online publications that challenge current systems and expectations of publishing, primarily because they push against and beyond the limits we typically use to successfully manage publications.” Why should we care? “Libraries have the capacity to drive positive change in several dimensions of digital publishing, including infrastructure, resource allocation, assessment, and long-term sustainability.” In fact, the report makes the case that it is already in the veins of library’s at colleges and universities. “Situating expansive digital publishing programs within scholarly environments provides the best way to ensure that they are guided by scholarly and academic values.”

It’s well written, not very long, realistic in it tone but exceptionally substantive and comprehensive, so it is highly recommended reading for any librarian interested in scholarly communication and library publishing as well as the future of DH.

Here is a Table of Contents for the Report:

1. Planning for Expansive Digital Publications
2. Allocating Resources
3. Making Expansive Digital Publications Discoverable
4. Evaluating and Understanding Impact
5. Preserving and Sustaining Expansive Digital Publications

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