Peer review and evaluation of digital resources for the Arts and Humanities

Here is a report done in the UK to help advance peer review processes for digital work in the arts and humanities. Peer review is a problematic issue, especially in Australia, in that many academics who don’t invest any intellectual energy into advancing digital work for humanistic purposes are (ironically) rewarded more than those academics that do advance it (ie. only peer-reviewed journal articles and books are quantifiable as ‘research’ whilst digital scholarship is marginalised). Another related problem is that many academics ‘critically’ understand popular and commercial software at the expense of a more scholarly appreciation of academic software. Let’s hope that these emerging peer-review processes can foster more well-rounded research. Peer processes not only need to recognise digital-scholarly-output, but they also need to make sure that academics are not unduly rewarded (through promotion, tenure, and other rewards) for not investing in digital technology.

The mechanisms for the evaluation and peer review of the traditional print outputs of scholarly research in the arts and humanities are well established, but no equivalent exists for assessing the value of digital resources and of the scholarly work which leads to their creation. This project proposes to establish a framework for evaluating the quality, sustainability and impact over time of digital resources for the arts and humanities, using History, in its broadest sense, as a case study (link).

Also, check out the criteria for promotion and tenure guidelines developed by the University of Maine, in the US:

Recognition and achievement in the field of new media must be measured by standards as high as but different from those in established artistic or scientific disciplines. As the reports from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Modern Language Association, and the University of Maine recommend, promotion and tenure guidelines must be revised to encourage the creative and innovative use of technology if universities are to remain competitive in the 21st century (link).

What is TAPor?

I haven’t played with this tool as yet but I would be intereted to hear your ideas…

TAPoR is a gateway to tools for sophisticated analysis and retrieval, along with representative texts for experimentation (link).