Display JPG2000 Images

JPG2000 holds the promise of lower storage costs for large collections of scanned documents. It can also minimize the bandwidth requirements for display the image details.

One limitation is that most web browsers do not support this format and thus would require a viewer.  Omeka does a good job of creating thumbnails from JPG2000 images, but you would still want to view the image at the full resolution.

Any suggestions on a good JPG2000 viewer / plugin that is able to handle multiple pages documents.

Desiderata for Digital Scholarly Publications/Digital University Presses and Imprints

Following up on the proposal by William Deal and perhaps combinable with it. Stockton is considering setting up its own digital press/imprint.  I’m interested in brainstorming/hacking a set of features/services that scholars producing digital materials not directly connected to their home institutions ought to expect from the publishers of their digital work. In traditional print publications, scholars were rarely expected to have input on the production side, but born digital projects often must specify the form that the final project will take as part of the development process. If production/coding/design expertise must be built into the project team from the outset, does that imply that the publishing site must also be agreed upon before the work is started? Or is the role of digital publisher merely editing/peer review/quality control? Or even further, are we reaching a point where the coding/design of sites is becoming sufficiently standardized that a form of “production handoff” similar to print is coming soon? (Unlikely, I think) As part of this session, I would propose generating a census of effective digital scholarly publications with information on the “publishers” and when and how they became involved in the project. My suspicion is that they are overwhelming published at digital centers by people directly associated with those centers. If that is the case, will the expansion of digital publications come from an increase in the number of digital centers, an increase in the affiliation of outside scholars with current digital centers, or some other institutions assuming the role that digital centers currently handle?

Whither Academic Publishing?

It seems to me that most DH-ers are suspicious of — if not completely hostile to — traditional academic publishing structures and requirements. So am I. Unlike some of you, I no longer have to worry about postponing the real projects I want to do in favor of the monograph that will get me through the tenure and promotion process. But even this bastion of what counts for credible, peer-reviewed, and in other ways vetted scholarship is showing significant signs of decay. Given my position and interests, I think I have a responsibility to hasten the fall of the academic monograph — or at least promote alternatives that count for as much as a book in the T&P system. But how to do this? How can I convince my doubting colleagues that peer-review can be something other than two or three senior manuscript reviewers? Or that a well-written, well-argued, often read and cited blog posting has real impact outside of the closed world of peer-reviewed journals, and that reflection on such a post by others in one’s field has significant scholarly impact? Or that collaborative work is a good thing?

Anyway, if you’ve read this far, you know the drill. I am proposing a session — a workshop really — in which we brainstorm the many possible ways of publishing and peer-reviewing academic work that accounts for the digital, the blogged, the tweeted, the whatever-many-forms-that-scholarship-might-take. This has many resonances with the sessions already proposed that seek a common ground between journalism and academic writing. I assume, too, that there are many multiple viable models for writing and publishing and peer-review. The session I am proposing would consider as many of these as possible, and discuss what works, what doesn’t, and maybe stuff we haven’t even tried.

Digital Journalism and Digital Humanities, United

As I blogged a few months ago, it has become increasingly clear that digital humanities has a kindred spirit in digital journalism—perhaps a stronger potential relationship than humanities computing and computer science. We have discovered the same needs in terms of tools and infrastructure, and find ourselves engaging the public with similar genres of online writing and communication.

Just some of the products of digital journalism we could discuss or adopt at THATCamp: the 20 open source Knight Apps, which include DocumentCloud; what’s coming out of Mozilla OpenNews; and the developer challenges and tool reviews from Duke’s Reporters’ Lab.

Comic Books + Playing with Scholarship

A few weeks ago, I finished rereading Mary Talbot and Bryan Talbot’s graphic novel Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes. The work combines memoir with a serious examination of not only James Joyce’s daughter Lucia but also of the very act of literary biographical scholarship itself. I grew up on lessons learned in comic books, from Larry Gonick’s epic Cartoon History of the Universe (among other indispensable guides and histories) to Scott McCloud’s metaworks.

Taking the graphic novel as a scholarly text and transforming it into digital can make things even more interesting. The digital editions of graphic novels, including the CD version (with animations, billed as “interactive literature”) of Cartoon History of the Universe and the many layers of Art Spiegelman’s Meta Maus, add another dimension to the form. Comic books evolving online are already texts of study for the digitally-minded humanities, but can they also offer inspiration for rethinking our own forms of communication?

Often, the comic form is still associated with simplicity or beginners. Series of graphic scholarship spawn titles like McLuhan for Beginners that suggest comics are only a tool for transitioning to the “real” monographs. But of course, McLuhan himself used experimental forms in his scholarship–The Medium is the Massage has more more in common with graphic novels than it does with his text-heavier volumes.

These forms offer a starting point for experimenting with public, accessible scholarship that launches away from the confines of the traditional monograph. I propose a session for THATCamp brainstorming ideas for future forms of scholarship inspired by these types of experiments and comic books.

open peer review in practice

This is really a selfish proposal: I want to take advantage of Jack Doughtery being at THATCamp by having a conversation in which we rigorously analyze and critique the experience of conducting open peer reviews. Jack, with Kristen Nawrotzki, co-edited Writing History in the Digital Age, a volume of essays that was open peer-reviewed and that will be published by Univeristy of Michigan Press. I’ve guest-edited an issue of Shakespeare Quarterly on Shakespeare and Performance that went through an open peer review and, as an Associate Editor of SQ, have been involved with our earlier open peer review of an issue on Shakespeare and New Media and am currently involved with a soon-to-be-announced open-peer-reviewed issue. As far as I know, Jack and I are among the very very few people to have edited open peer review projects in the humanities (we are all, of course, indebted to Kathleen Fitzpatrick’s Planned Obsolesence, and maybe if the session happens and we tweet loudly enough, she’ll be able to be part of the conversation too).

I’d like to take a hard look at the actual practice of open peer review. What worked well and what didn’t? What changes would we make to the model we used? Is it sustainable, or under what conditions might it be sustainable? I’ve written about my experience, but I would benefit from a conversations with others about the nitty-gritty details and the larger questions about the value and use of open peer review in the humanities.

For some analysis that’s already out there, I recommend Jack et al’s recent post “Conclusions: What We Learned from Writing History in the Digital Age.” There’s also a cluster of essays at the Postmedieval Forum on “The State(s) of peer review.”

Technology and International Scholarly Partnerships Across the Digital Divide

As a THATCamp newbie, rather than propose a session I would like to discuss with other participants some questions and issues related to content produced online by international networks of scholars and practitioners. I have some experience in this area as an academic involved in various Africa-related digital projects, including the Africa Past and Present podcast (see my recent journal article here), the Overcoming Apartheid web curriculum, and the Football Scholars Forum. Generally, I am interested in knowledge production and circulation; costs and accessibility; and the challenges posed by “digital imperialism.” A bit more specifically, how can technology generate and enhance international scholarly collaborations in the humanities and social sciences? What are the advantages and disadvantages of using Skype, Zotero, WordPress and other tools to create and disseminate knowledge in and about the Global South? What are the principles and/or models more likely to bring about long-term sustainable access to information resources in mutually beneficial ways across the digital divide?