Following the completion in July 2011 of our last planned summer session, SCI entered a new phase of work (1 January 2012 to 31 August 2013) focusing on the following program areas:
• Scholarly Production
• Graduate Education
• The Value of the Humanities in the Digital Age
SCI undertook concentrated work in these three areas, with continued generous support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Our goals for this period included fostering further development of new-model scholarly authoring and production processes; rethinking and redesigning the methodological training of humanities scholars and scholarly communication professionals for the digital age; and building support for the humanities by articulating their value in and for the digital age.
These program areas evolved from conversation at recent SCI institutes. Participants’ attention reflected a growing sense of urgency felt by scholars and their scholarly societies, by presses and academic publishers, and by research libraries. The urgency is not only to understand the rapidly evolving landscape of scholarly communication, but to shape it by enacting a clear vision for scholarly communication in and for the digital age, a vision that carries forward centuries-long traditions of humanities scholarship.
Modes of scholarly communication are undergoing rapid transformation in all domains of knowledge, none more so than the humanities. SCI convened three meetings to explore a trio of projects that are leading sites of experimentation in scholarly production and authoring: the Alliance for Networking Visual Culture, developing new models of multimedia scholarship; PressForward, aggregating and curating web-first scholarly publication to develop modes of assessment that work at scale; and the Modern Language Association’s new program in scholarly communication, focusing on moving formal publications and informal discourse into online environments. Each project explores a different model of scholarly production and authoring, iteratively and in the open, and are reconfiguring humanities discourse for a world in which culture is created and experienced online.
It is our belief that these and other projects, designed to take risks, learn from experience, and share results with the professional communities dedicated to scholarly communication, make invaluable contributions to the advancement of humanities knowledge in the digital age. We offer these reports to share both the knowledge exchanged among participants and the challenging questions posed by these provocative programs.