Author, Editor, Engineer — Code & the Rewriting of Authorship in Scholarly Editing

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This article examines the relation of software creation to scholarship, particularly within the domain of textual scholarship and the creation of (digital) scholarly editions. To this end, both scholarly editing and the creation of software are considered with regard to the individual relationship they have to the concept of authorship. I argue that both are in fact forms of revisionary authorship, and that they are scholarly in so far as they serve to present an expression of a text that can be taken as an argument about the interpretation of that text. In addition software's performative aspect allows it to rewrite itself and other textual expressions; its application rewrites the very process of textual scholarship. Because of its scholarly ramifications the creation of scholarly argument and expressions of editions by means of code should be claimed as scholarly work by its authors, i.e. programmers. Without proper appropriation the accountability for scholarly process becomes problematic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-375
Number of pages27
JournalInterdisciplinary Science Reviews
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 07 Jun 2016


  • code
  • software
  • programming
  • authorship
  • scholarly editing
  • digital scholarly editions
  • scholarly process


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