Born-digital scholarship

June 12, 2009

The College Art Association has an interesting post in CAA News — on its website — about a new collaborative effort between the MLA and HASTAC to create guidelines to evaluate born-digital work for tenure — since born-digital scholarship is becoming increasingly common among younger scholars and there is currently a lack of attention paid to this output from tenure committees. Christopher Howard writes about it here:

“Even as the use of electronic media has become common across fields for research and teaching,” reports Scott Jaschik at Insider Higher Ed, “what is taken for granted among young scholars is still foreign to many of those who sit on tenure and promotion committees.”

While junior professors lament the exclusion or diminution from tenure reviews of their born-digital work, whether publication or project, the Modern Language Association (MLA) and a group called the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory (HASTAC) are tackling the issue head on with new guides that offer tenure committees help in properly evaluating digital scholarship. MLA’s Information Technology Committee is developing these guides through a wiki, which publishes both finished and in-progress work.

In his article, “Tenure in a Digital Era,” Jaschik examines the many perceptions and problems at issue, including peer review; digital and print publications; and work that crosses traditional categories of research, teaching, and service.

The MLA wiki is here. Very cool.

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