On “Publications,” by Steven E. Jones

On “Publications,” by Steven E. Jones

A chapter on publications in Steven E. Jones’s 2014 book The Emergence of the Digital Humanities” might seem out of place at first. (As in, “Hey, this is a DH book, why are we talking about scholarly communication?!”) But Jones is quick to point out the close ties between the digital humanities and publishing, which he frames under the conception of publishing as a means of the academy’s own production. Digital humanists, Jones argues, “are in a good position to serve as subjects in their own experiments in publishing, and especially when it comes to exploring the relationship between print and digital forms” (147). To support this claim Jones details DH activities directly related to scholarly communication: digitization, editing, metadata generation, and content management system design and / or use.

But DH isn’t just well positioned to be involved in publishing because of the skills and activities of its practitioners. Current digital publishing practices–both within and outside of academia–are inherently networked, and therefore provide the opportunity for a sociality at a scale hitherto untenable. As Jones writes, “We’re often in denial about the fact that what we make as scholars is always inherently social” (166), insofar as it is created with the intention of sharing it with a broader community and contributing knowledge to the common pool. Jones advocates for an increase in the uptake, use, creation, or repurposing of digital publishing platforms for humanities knowledge mobilization, in no small part because this can remind and reinforce the value of the social in academic work.

Work cited

Jones, Steven E. 2014. “Publications.” In The Emergence of the Digital Humanities, 147–77. New York: Routledge.

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