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The division of our digital world english language essay

Jobs are scarce, resources are stretched, and institutions of tertiary education are facing untold challenges.

  • In traditional print scholarship, faculty face peer review much later in the trajectory of their research;
  • As we struggle with shrinking resources and other changes to our academic environment, her words demand careful consideration.

Those of us fortunate enough to hold tenured positions at financially stable colleges and universities may be the last faculty to enjoy such comparative privilege.

The future shape of the academy is hard to predict, except to acknowledge that it is unlikely to remain static. Our profession is being rapidly reconfigured, but many changes are not happening quickly enough.

  1. Enough said that the Internet, social media to be specific, is a powerful tool to empower, enlighten, and provoke the public.
  2. In the end I chose a hotel with a decent review that came with a great hotel location. Although the sense of influencing others is such a rush to me, I have never tried to influence the public.
  3. According to conventional wisdom, moreover, scholars are often best situated to receive such grant support if they apply after their work is largely completed.
  4. Nevertheless, our understanding of peer review could use some reconsideration in light of the distinctive qualities and conditions associated with digital humanities. The reason behind it is because, as a good friend I believe that it is a good deed to recommend something nice to bring them a smile to their faces, when they are also satisfied with my recommendation.
  5. In traditional print scholarship, faculty face peer review much later in the trajectory of their research. This kind of intellectual risk-taking leads to lively and productive humanistic research.

In the realm of the digital, for example, entrenched traditional standards of assessment, support, and recognition still fail to encourage the kind of exciting new research that keeps our disciplines vibrant. While some organizations, such as the Modern Language Association MLA and the National Endowment for the Humanities NEHhave made significant efforts to address the need for national dialogues about germane topics, numerous faculty members, department chairs, deans, and others involved in the faculty reward system continue not to understand the shifting parameters of research, teaching, and service that have been instigated by the digital revolution.

Many of these individuals, in fact, remain unaware of their ignorance. Those who do not work in digital realms themselves often unwittingly contribute to an environment that impedes intellectual innovation. Despite the pressing need for reconfigured standards of evaluation and new approaches to mentoring, many of those holding the power to address this situation do not recognize the issues at stake. Failure to redress current circumstances would have serious consequences for the humanities.

Fields such as those promoted by this journal are especially vulnerable, since they often do not attract the widespread attention needed to survive in difficult times. It is important, therefore, for administrators and faculty at all levels to respond to the particular ways that conventional academic evaluative and mentoring models often inadvertently impede important new work.

As we struggle with shrinking resources and other changes to our academic environment, her words demand careful consideration. As a tenured, full professor, however, my career is not unduly influenced by the status of my digital work. During previous promotion deliberations, my digital contributions — predominantly focused on the study of early modern women — were ignored.

At this point, I enjoy the opportunity to pursue such avenues without worrying about employment security. While my professional reputation and compensation are still influenced by my scholarly productivity, whether digital or in print, such pressures are obviously less critical than those facing graduate students and junior scholars. As collaborator and mentor to several such members of the academic community, I would like to draw from my experience with their projects to illustrate some of the ways that scholarship is changing and to suggest the kinds of concurrent alterations needed in our assessment and mentoring practices.

Even though some scholars, such as Kathleen Fitzpatrick, are addressing the need for new models of peer review, recognition of the ways the division of our digital world english language essay this process has already been transformed in the digital realm remains limited.

Among the reasons peer review persists to such a degree in the academy is that, when tied to the venue of a publication, it is an efficient indicator of the quality, relevance, and likely impact of a piece of scholarship.

Peer review strongly influences reputation and opportunities. Harley, et al 21 These observations, like many of those presented in this document, contain considerable wisdom. Nevertheless, our understanding of peer review could use some reconsideration in light of the distinctive qualities and conditions associated with digital humanities. The status of peer review has shifted, but there have not been sufficient conversations about the implications of those changes.

While there is some understanding that digital work demands new configurations of review, there is still insufficient awareness that these processes have already been changed in substantial ways. Nevertheless, some scholars, such as Steve Anderson and Tara McPherson, emphasize the dangers accompanying such shortsightedness: Yet we resist such change at our peril. In a moment when universities and governments in the United States and abroad seem intent on shrinking the humanities and on interrogating their value, digital media offer an avenue to reinvigorate our scholarship and to communicate it in compelling new ways.

This capacity of the digital to present work to a broader audience means that our work can circulate in many forms, in different affective registers, and in richer dialogues.

As an example of important alterations already silently occurring in the peer review process, I would like to draw attention to the work of Dr. Melanie Doherty, a junior humanist at The division of our digital world english language essay College in Macon, Georgia, a college serving a socioeconomically diverse population of women.

A few months ago, Dr. Her message offered an overview of this endeavor: As Wesleyan College celebrates its 175th anniversary this year as the first college in the world chartered to grant degrees to women, our library has begun to digitally archive student writings and artifacts from the mid-19th through 20th century. Your collection has already featured work from some notable Wesleyan alums, including Loula Kendall Rogers, and we have much more material that would be relevant to the Emory archive.

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As sister college to Emory, and as your institution also celebrates its 175th anniversary this year, we thought this might present a great opportunity to collaborate. Intrigued by the project, I met with Dr. Doherty several times in person and over Skype. As these conversations evolved, several key issues emerged regarding the atypical nature of peer review and collaboration in digital humanities. The academic review aspect of this undertaking illustrates a noteworthy, but under-recognized shift in the professional trajectories of junior scholars involved in digital humanities.

Doherty approached me, in part, because Wesleyan does not have sufficient server capacity to house any archives that she and McNeil are able to produce. In the division of our digital world english language essay, Emory and Georgia Tech, another potential partner possesses a range of technological equipment and expertise that Wesleyan cannot replicate.

Facing such obstacles is a standard feature in modern digital scholarship, as the Berkeley Report makes clear: Libraries are often on the front lines of supporting these faculty with their research and publication needs. For example, the library is assumed, in many cases, to be the locus of support for archiving, curation, and dissemination of scholarly output.

This prospect made immediate sense to me. In this instance, however, while I could fulfill the crucial role of facilitator, I could not provide the level of authorization that Dr. Doherty would need in order to submit the strong grant proposal she was trying to create. I work closely with colleagues in Academic Technology and the Woodruff Library, but I make no decisions regarding the allocation of their time, expertise, or priorities.

At the same time, these colleagues typically have some ability to determine where to devote their attention, but generally lack the authority to decide independently what kinds of projects they will support in their capacity as Emory employees. In the mid-nineties a lifetime ago in digital chronologyfaculty and librarians at Emory faced comparatively few similar constraints.

Living in a Digital World: Rethinking Peer Review, Collaboration, and Open Access

It was an era of fledgling digital exploration. Those of us experimenting in these realms formed partnerships with limited official interference. We were not required to justify our efforts very often, in part because relatively few people were paying much attention. Chuck Spornick and Dr. Alice Hickcox in the Lewis H. Fortunately for me, they were eager to become engaged with the EWWRP and have remained valuable collaborators ever since.

Today, however, there are a number of competing needs and priorities that potential Emory partners, such as Dr. Like other units of the university, Woodruff Library has its own Strategic Plan detailing its official ambitions, goals, and priorities. Within the Library and in various divisions of Information Technology, numerous business plans and other germane documents identify the kinds of endeavors that will further these aims.

There may or may not be active opposition to this kind of academic focus, but faculty in these fields cannot presume that everyone will recognize the value of such projects. The individuals making decisions about technological resourcesare often not scholars themselves, while even those who offer both scholarly and technical expertise are likely to come from disparate fields.

This common situation leads to the largely unseen shift in the kind of review current digital scholars encounter. In traditional print scholarship, faculty face peer review much later in the trajectory of their research. They might, at some point, apply for a grant, but many humanistic scholars complete their projects successfully with appropriate access to relevant library collections and sufficient time to devote to their research. According to conventional wisdom, moreover, scholars are often best situated to receive such grant support if they apply after their work is largely completed.

Applications written when the relevant research has already been done are said to provide more compelling accounts indicating the worthiness of the project.

I have never seen non-anecdotal evidence confirming this common belief, but the premise carries considerable logical merit. Digital work, such as Dr. As detailed above, the successful implementation of her plans for a digital archive requires a significantly different review process.

She cannot present a finished or nearly completed project for evaluation; she needs approval from varied sources before she can even proceed past the conceptual stage of her endeavor. Numerous people from several institutions need to agree that her idea holds merit and fits within existing, non-scholarly priorities, before she can move forward with it.

Humanists are not only adopting new technologies but are also actively collaborating with technical experts in fields such as image processing, document encoding, and information science. Academic work in digital media should be evaluated in the light of these rapidly changing institutional and professional contexts, and departments should recognize that some traditional notions of scholarship, teaching, and service are being redefined.

Doherty needed to approach people openly and directly. She also required assistance in determining who to contact at potential partner institutions, since such information can be impossible to discern from university websites. Since a digital project demands support outside the faculty of a given institution, the work regularly requires authorization from those who do not typically engage in faculty peer review. The necessary evaluation, moreover, often includes serious consideration of factors that have nothing to do with scholarly quality.

At a large university, for example, the division of our digital world english language essay in the humanities may be competing for funding and attention with proposals from diverse professional schools. Resources might be allocated by individuals without a particular commitment to the humanities or by those holding any number of competing interests. A successful application may indicate scholarly value, but not necessarily, just as a failed proposal may stop a scholar in his or her tracks, the division of our digital world english language essay may not suggest that the idea was flawed.

Obviously, traditional scholarship also confronts the influence of chance, mistake, or other arbitrary roadblocks, but the distinctive situation facing scholars in digital humanities is not widely acknowledged.

  1. Electronic media have become pervasive in all of our lives, just as many institutions are facing severe financial constraints.
  2. And quite a shocking turn out for me, the reviews were very much useful to decide whether I should stay in that particular hotel or not. Clearly, collaborative work has a different history in the humanities than in the sciences and conventional reward structures in humanistic disciplines do not always easily accommodate mutual efforts.
  3. Despite the pressing need for reconfigured standards of evaluation and new approaches to mentoring, many of those holding the power to address this situation do not recognize the issues at stake.
  4. Alice Hickcox in the Lewis H. In digital humanities, however, it is a rare scholar who is able to actualize an entire project without substantial contributions by a host of technologists, librarians, and others whose knowledge complements that provided by the scholar s envisioning an electronic product.
  5. As everyone is connected to each other through the Internet, a virtual world is created.

While a scholar applying for a research grant from the Folger Shakespeare Library does not generally face an applicant pool containing faculty from Engineering, Business, or Law, faculty pursuing digital support often do.

Could an Aphra Behn scholar with no background in electronic media, for instance, provide appropriate evaluation of a digital Behn resource? Would a digital humanist with no familiarity with Behn be a more or less qualified assessor?

At what stage is peer review needed? In a hiring discussion at Emory recently, for example, a normally astute faculty member with little digital background remarked that since anyone can post anything on the web, departments should only evaluate items published electronically after standard peer review processes. While this perspective is understandable, it demonstrates a common inability to consider the need for revised evaluative guidelines if we are going to encourage innovative new scholarship.

The web certainly can serve as an electronic vanity press, but it can also facilitate rapid and revisable dissemination of important scholarly material. Not recognizing the differences between appropriate traditional and digital review is likely to hurt scholarship, as Kathleen Fitzpatrick notes: Imposing traditional methods of peer review on digital publishing might help a transition to digital publishing in the short term, enabling more traditionally-minded scholars to see electronic and print scholarship as equivalent in value, but it will hobble us in the long term, as we employ outdated methods in a public space that operates under radically different systems of authorization.

  • Concurrently, however, they highlight important changes in the shape of faculty work that require more widespread attention;
  • As digital options broaden the types of presentation models available to scholars, multimedia presentations also arouse both caution and suspicion;
  • While a scholar applying for a research grant from the Folger Shakespeare Library does not generally face an applicant pool containing faculty from Engineering, Business, or Law, faculty pursuing digital support often do;
  • It was an era of fledgling digital exploration;
  • In the meantime, both junior and senior faculty members continue to expand their digital projects;
  • Elkins is a talented literary scholar, whose graduate career shows great potential.

Traditional peer review often does not meet the needs of electronic production. Since Professor Rusche began his impressive archive long after he received tenure, he was not impeded by the paucity of evaluative bodies available to offer peer review for projects such as his that are created without grant funding. In the meantime, both junior and senior faculty members continue to expand their digital projects.

While Rusche — a full professor — can devote considerable attention to his acclaimed collection of Shakespearean postcards, however, an untenured scholar would be taking a significant risk by following this example. Although the quality of such work can be assessed through appropriate criteria, many institutions have not addressed what standards might be applicable for their hiring or promotion and tenure processes. Written guidelines for digital assessment rarely exist and many tenured faculty members remain unable, unwilling, or blind to the need to adapt current promotion criteria to digital scholarship.

Mentoring practices tend to reinforce this pattern. According to the Berkeley Report, for example: