Network of Excellence in Internet Science

Peer-reviewed digital scholarship

Provocative (peer-reviewed) article: Risam, R. (2013) Rethinking Peer Review in the Age of Digital Humanities. Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology, No.4. doi:10.7264/N3WQ0220

"digital scholarship threatens to displace a benign sort of academic discourse that does not trouble the value and status of print knowledge. What we must guard against in the creation and evaluation of digital scholarship, however, is reproduction of the fetishism of print that undergirds academic disciplines. We cannot assume that the standards of traditional scholarship can be easily translated for digital scholarship. Scholars in arts and media have been raising related issues of evaluation for decades. Those of us invested in digital scholarship must build on historically radical moves to continue troubling the relationship between print scholarship and academic status and value.

"Digital scholarship... is best understood as part of an ongoing trend in academic discourse prevalent enough to require rethinking the production of academic value. Yet, we must be wary of fetishizing the digital as well. As the work of scholars in conversation with communities like #transformDH, Global Outlook::Digital Humanities, and Postcolonial Digital Humanities have argued, digital humanities risks reproducing gaps and silences in knowledge production around issues of difference and is not inherently free from biases. Even among traditional funding streams for digital humanities, such as the National Endowment for the Humanities, digital projects on canonical topics tend to receive greater sanction. Therefore, we need to attend to the ways that digital scholarship itself risks perpetuating more conservative elements of disciplinarity and canon as we look for ways to evaluate digital projects."