David Crotty posted a fascinating article on Scholarly Kitchen last week, highlighting a fundamental difference between scientific and humanities academic publishing. His argument related to open-access publishing, but this simply highlights the distinction between the two kinds of activity. Is that distinction justified?
Europeana, the EU-funded digital “library” (although it is more a discovery service than a library), has released its business plan for the next five years. The document is excellently designed and produced, but contains little in the way of a business plan. The section “why this is good for you” is placed before the section “how we are going to finance this”. Unfortunately, the section on how we are going to finance it states little. So where will the revenue come from?
A recent book by Matthew Jockers, Macroanalysis, outlines an approach to digital humanities based on what is usually referred to as text mining. I can't help feeling that the "macroanalysis" approach, which is very similar to that of Franco Moretti's "distant reading" (from his book of the same title), looks at only one aspect of digital humanites, which seems to get all the attention while another important aspect is ignored.
Glancing vaguely at a mildly interesting book on the shelf: 50 literature ideas you really need to know, by John Sutherland, I started to think about what has changed in the last 30 years or so of studying literature. Judging by Sutherland's book, terms like "epic", "irony", "lyric" are still around, as they were years ago, but what has changed as a result of digital texts? The only reference to digital publishing in Sutherland's book (published 2010) is "The e-Book".