This blog is a platform for discussing topics in the Digital Humanities, focusing on the implementation of an experimental framework for close collaboration of a worldwide network of scholars contributing to the Virtual Humanities Lab at Brown University and currently at work on the creation of significant digital resources for the study of various facets of humanist culture.
In the age of data mining, “distant reading” and cultural analytics, we increasingly rely upon automated, algorithm-based procedures in order to parse the exponentially growing database of digitized textual and visual resources. Yet, within this deeply networked and massively interactive environment, it is crucial to preserve the “expert logic” of primary and secondary sources, expert opinions, textual stability, citations, and so on which forms the heritage and legacy of humanities scholarship. Scholarly collaboration cannot be limited to the developing of tools or the application of tools developed by others but must envision “a disciplined set of practices that problematizes methodology, tools and interpretation at the same time” (Stefan Sinclair, Introduction: Correcting Methods).
We want to develop “strategies for Scholarsourcing” (D’Iorio-Barbera), as opposed to crowdsourcing, because we believe that comprehensive research protocols for open collaborative work would advance the agenda of networked communities of practice similar to the one envisioned here.