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Publishing Complexity in the Digital Humanities

Christian Wachter    Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Deutschland    



When we talk about characteristics of Digital Humanities (DH), digital publishing certainly is a prominent domain to mention. Open access papers and books, blogging, collaborative writing, and digital editions have become deeply rooted in the DH, reflecting a self-confident culture of Open Science. The rational constitution of our writings, however, has received far less attention: How can we design digital publications that mirror epistemological implications of DH methods and the composition of our arguments and narratives better than current publishing formats? In this paper, I argue that the DH need formats that exceed traditional texts and their rather linear design. Digital publishing that provides (meta) data or remarks on applied methods as mere supplements would not be enough, too. Those elements are integral parts of a scholarly demonstration and they should be presented as such. They must be visible as constituents of our sense-making. We need media that depict the complex nature of data-driven research. Interlinked and multimodal digital publishing seems to lead in the right direction. I elaborate on this matter from a theoretical point of view by building on research on hypertext. I will also point to first successful attempts of implementation. Refining these approaches promises to facilitate the presentation of intricate sense-making in the DH.

Subtags: Textual data Born digital artefacts Publication Epistemology Visualisation Documents Discourse Participation Institutions

June 30, 2021
May 8, 2021
Jan. 15, 2021

Keywords: VisualizationMultimodalityHypertextStructure of arguments and narrativesDigital publishing

Copyright: © 2021 Christian Wachter. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.