Edward Vanhoutte
Director of Research & Publications, Royal Academy of Dutch Language & Literature
Hon. Research Associate...
No edition is more social than the full blown
conventional printed scholarly edition
No edition is more social than the full blown
conventional printed scholarly edition
1. Accessible
2. Clearly targeted aud...
1. Accessible
● Well known technology
● Book shops
● Libraries
Myth 1
Digital editions are more accessible
Nuances
Digital editions are more accessible
● may provide faster accessibility
Nuances
Digital editions are more accessible
● may provide faster accessibility
● may provide better & direct accessibilit...
Nuances
Digital editions are more accessible.
● may provide faster accessibility
● may provide better & direct accessibili...
More accessible?
Only when the digital edition overcomes the
problems connected with the technology of
reading
Conclusion
Digital editions do not provide a quantitative higher
accessibility than printed editions
but a qualitative dif...
Myth 1
Digital editions are more accessible.
2. Clearly Targeted Audience
[implied]
● Domain specialists:
● Fellow textual critics
● Fellow textual/literary scholars
●...
2. Clearly Targeted Audience
● Different audience = Different type
● Different intent = Different type
● Student edition
●...
2. Clearly Targeted Audience
Problem 1:
Digital edition is not a type of edition
→ 'Most digital scholarly editions were j...
2. Clearly Targeted Audience
Problem 2:
Exploration of technological possibilities
replaced
Clear articulation of intent a...
Nuance
Digital editions reach a wider audience
than printed editions
● may potentially reach a wider audience
Nuance
Digital editions reach a wider audience
than printed editions
● may potentially reach a wider audience
● Audience ≠...
Conclusion
Digital editions reach/attract a different audience
And pagehits don't prove anything!
Myth 2
Digital editions reach a wider audience
3. Explicit
● Editorial principles
● Citeable text
● Critical apparatus / Record of variants
3. Explicit
● Editorial principles
● Citeable text
● Critical apparatus / Record of variants
3. Explicit
Critical apparatus / Record of variants
● Formalized
● Formulized
● Representation of research data
● Account ...
3. Explicit
Critical apparatus / Record of variants
● explicit invitation for engagement with
● The edition
● The editoria...
3. Explicit
2 Problems:
● Economics
● Emotion
3. Explicit
Central aim of textual scholarship:
Provide the humanities with the foundational data
for any sensible stateme...
3. Explicit
Problem 1: Economics
● Reduction to meaningful variants only
● Stripping out all scholarly apparatus
3. Explicit
Problem 1: Economics
● Reduction to meaningful variants
● Stripping out all scholarly apparatus
'Scholarly edi...
3. Explicit
Problem 2: Emotion
● Barbed wire [Mumford]
● Cemetery of variants [Friedhofen – Koopmann]
3. Explicit
Cemetery
● Historical function: testimonies of our past
● Social function: places to mourn
● Cultural function...
3. Explicit
Cemetery
● Historical function: testimonies of our past
● Social function: places to mourn
● Cultural function...
3. Explicit
Cemetery
● Confrontational place to engage with life
Cemetery of variants
● Confrontational place to engage wi...
Myth 3
Communicative and transmissional
function is best fulfilled by the clear best
text edition
Myth 3
Communicative and transmissional
function is best fulfilled by the clear best
text edition
[Social] Digital Edition
● Engaging researchers
● Engaging readers / general public
Teleurgang van den Waterhoek
[2000]
● User choice of orientation text
● User text/image annotation
● User text/image links...
SGML [TEI] / HyTime
● Hard to produce
● Hard to deliver
● Hard to engage researchers / readers
Targeted audience: research...
In Oorlogsnood [2005]
● Calender driven
● No further dynamic user interaction
Targeted audience: general public
Huge succe...
De trein der traagheid [2012]
● Dynamic views on textual archive
● Dynamically generated scholarly
● Full record of varian...
Correspondence of Stijn Streuvels [2013]
2,500 letters
● Archive: extension to catalogue
● Edition: fully annotated / imag...
Correspondence of Stijn Streuvels [2013]
→ Failed attempt at crowd sourcing
● Profound distrust of amateur editors
● Overv...
Correspondence of Stijn Streuvels [2013]
A bag of words
● Corpus of ego-documents
● Exportable subcorpora
● XML files → An...
De Leeuw van Vlaenderen [2012]
● Text-critical reading edition
● Genetic essay
● Selective scholarly apparatus
Targeted au...
A Bag of Words. Social Perspectives on Scholarly Editing - paper @ Social, Digital, Scholarly Editing, Saskatoon, 12/07/2013
A Bag of Words. Social Perspectives on Scholarly Editing - paper @ Social, Digital, Scholarly Editing, Saskatoon, 12/07/2013
A Bag of Words. Social Perspectives on Scholarly Editing - paper @ Social, Digital, Scholarly Editing, Saskatoon, 12/07/2013
A Bag of Words. Social Perspectives on Scholarly Editing - paper @ Social, Digital, Scholarly Editing, Saskatoon, 12/07/2013
A Bag of Words. Social Perspectives on Scholarly Editing - paper @ Social, Digital, Scholarly Editing, Saskatoon, 12/07/2013
A Bag of Words. Social Perspectives on Scholarly Editing - paper @ Social, Digital, Scholarly Editing, Saskatoon, 12/07/2013
A Bag of Words. Social Perspectives on Scholarly Editing - paper @ Social, Digital, Scholarly Editing, Saskatoon, 12/07/2013
A Bag of Words. Social Perspectives on Scholarly Editing - paper @ Social, Digital, Scholarly Editing, Saskatoon, 12/07/2013
A Bag of Words. Social Perspectives on Scholarly Editing - paper @ Social, Digital, Scholarly Editing, Saskatoon, 12/07/2013
A Bag of Words. Social Perspectives on Scholarly Editing - paper @ Social, Digital, Scholarly Editing, Saskatoon, 12/07/2013
A Bag of Words. Social Perspectives on Scholarly Editing - paper @ Social, Digital, Scholarly Editing, Saskatoon, 12/07/2013
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A Bag of Words. Social Perspectives on Scholarly Editing - paper @ Social, Digital, Scholarly Editing, Saskatoon, 12/07/2013

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The text has long been the nucleus of scholarly editing which, in their print or digital products, serves two goals: establishing the best possible text for transmission and making sure it reaches as many people as possible. This transmissional and communcative function of the scholarly edition is joined by a third one when digital and social editing is applied: engaging. Not the authoritative fixed text of the scholary edition, but the social proces of textual interaction by its participants becomes the centre of social digital editing. This social function challenges the activities of experimental modelling, and reshapes the edition in a multifunctional and multidisciplinary bag of words to be explored by students and scholars.

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A Bag of Words. Social Perspectives on Scholarly Editing - paper @ Social, Digital, Scholarly Editing, Saskatoon, 12/07/2013

  1. 1. Edward Vanhoutte Director of Research & Publications, Royal Academy of Dutch Language & Literature Hon. Research Associate, UCL Centre for Digital Humanities Editor-in-Chief, LLC: The Journal of Digital Scholarship in the Humanities (OUP) edward.vanhoutte@kantl.be @evanhoutte Social, Digital, Scholarly Editing – Saskatoon – 12/07/2013 A Bag of Words Social Perspectives on Scholary Editing
  2. 2. No edition is more social than the full blown conventional printed scholarly edition
  3. 3. No edition is more social than the full blown conventional printed scholarly edition 1. Accessible 2. Clearly targeted audience 3. Explicit
  4. 4. 1. Accessible ● Well known technology ● Book shops ● Libraries
  5. 5. Myth 1 Digital editions are more accessible
  6. 6. Nuances Digital editions are more accessible ● may provide faster accessibility
  7. 7. Nuances Digital editions are more accessible ● may provide faster accessibility ● may provide better & direct accessibility to representations of source materials
  8. 8. Nuances Digital editions are more accessible. ● may provide faster accessibility ● may provide better & direct accessibility to representations of source materials ● may provide better accessibility for analytical tools
  9. 9. More accessible? Only when the digital edition overcomes the problems connected with the technology of reading
  10. 10. Conclusion Digital editions do not provide a quantitative higher accessibility than printed editions but a qualitative different accessibility
  11. 11. Myth 1 Digital editions are more accessible.
  12. 12. 2. Clearly Targeted Audience [implied] ● Domain specialists: ● Fellow textual critics ● Fellow textual/literary scholars ● Students ● Publishing professionals
  13. 13. 2. Clearly Targeted Audience ● Different audience = Different type ● Different intent = Different type ● Student edition ● Reading edition ● Facsimile edition → Typologies → Formal orientations of editing
  14. 14. 2. Clearly Targeted Audience Problem 1: Digital edition is not a type of edition → 'Most digital scholarly editions were just souped up books' [O'Donnel] [Descriptive Classification Generator – 2007]
  15. 15. 2. Clearly Targeted Audience Problem 2: Exploration of technological possibilities replaced Clear articulation of intent and audience → Everything for everyone
  16. 16. Nuance Digital editions reach a wider audience than printed editions ● may potentially reach a wider audience
  17. 17. Nuance Digital editions reach a wider audience than printed editions ● may potentially reach a wider audience ● Audience ≠ online world ● Audience ≠ pagehits ● Audience ≠ crowd sourcers
  18. 18. Conclusion Digital editions reach/attract a different audience And pagehits don't prove anything!
  19. 19. Myth 2 Digital editions reach a wider audience
  20. 20. 3. Explicit ● Editorial principles ● Citeable text ● Critical apparatus / Record of variants
  21. 21. 3. Explicit ● Editorial principles ● Citeable text ● Critical apparatus / Record of variants
  22. 22. 3. Explicit Critical apparatus / Record of variants ● Formalized ● Formulized ● Representation of research data ● Account for editorial choices
  23. 23. 3. Explicit Critical apparatus / Record of variants ● explicit invitation for engagement with ● The edition ● The editorial choices / the editor ● The text/work ● Peers → Scholarly debate / publications
  24. 24. 3. Explicit 2 Problems: ● Economics ● Emotion
  25. 25. 3. Explicit Central aim of textual scholarship: Provide the humanities with the foundational data for any sensible statement about texts/works Scholarly edition [functions]: ● Transmissional: establishing the best possible text for transmission over time ● Communicative: make sure it reaches as many people as possible
  26. 26. 3. Explicit Problem 1: Economics ● Reduction to meaningful variants only ● Stripping out all scholarly apparatus
  27. 27. 3. Explicit Problem 1: Economics ● Reduction to meaningful variants ● Stripping out all scholarly apparatus 'Scholarly editing is a transaction between editor & reader' [Eggert] → taking out the evidence of this transactional act removes the main instrument for engagement
  28. 28. 3. Explicit Problem 2: Emotion ● Barbed wire [Mumford] ● Cemetery of variants [Friedhofen – Koopmann]
  29. 29. 3. Explicit Cemetery ● Historical function: testimonies of our past ● Social function: places to mourn ● Cultural function: record of meaningful lives ● Esthetic function: place for monumental art
  30. 30. 3. Explicit Cemetery ● Historical function: testimonies of our past ● Social function: places to mourn ● Cultural function: record of meaningful lives ● Esthetic function: place for monumental art ● Freely accessible ● Very well organised layout ● Tools: find any tombstone within walking distance
  31. 31. 3. Explicit Cemetery ● Confrontational place to engage with life Cemetery of variants ● Confrontational place to engage with the text → But people fear confrontation → Clear best text editions were preferred model for publishers whose main goal is to sell books
  32. 32. Myth 3 Communicative and transmissional function is best fulfilled by the clear best text edition
  33. 33. Myth 3 Communicative and transmissional function is best fulfilled by the clear best text edition
  34. 34. [Social] Digital Edition ● Engaging researchers ● Engaging readers / general public
  35. 35. Teleurgang van den Waterhoek [2000] ● User choice of orientation text ● User text/image annotation ● User text/image links ● User link annotation ● Reading paths → Exchangeable between users
  36. 36. SGML [TEI] / HyTime ● Hard to produce ● Hard to deliver ● Hard to engage researchers / readers Targeted audience: researchers → False presumption: there is a readership that wants to engage with the edition/text in a social way
  37. 37. In Oorlogsnood [2005] ● Calender driven ● No further dynamic user interaction Targeted audience: general public Huge success → 2 editions in print ● Theme: WW I ● Looking up birthday
  38. 38. De trein der traagheid [2012] ● Dynamic views on textual archive ● Dynamically generated scholarly ● Full record of variants ● Fully annotated ● Stable citeable edition included Targeted audience: researchers → Request for clear text print edition for general public
  39. 39. Correspondence of Stijn Streuvels [2013] 2,500 letters ● Archive: extension to catalogue ● Edition: fully annotated / images / indexed ● Text-base Targeted audience: researchers / general public
  40. 40. Correspondence of Stijn Streuvels [2013] → Failed attempt at crowd sourcing ● Profound distrust of amateur editors ● Overvaluation of professional editors
  41. 41. Correspondence of Stijn Streuvels [2013] A bag of words ● Corpus of ego-documents ● Exportable subcorpora ● XML files → Analytical tools
  42. 42. De Leeuw van Vlaenderen [2012] ● Text-critical reading edition ● Genetic essay ● Selective scholarly apparatus Targeted audience: specialized readers / researchers → Engagement: citations / scholarly debate

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