Re-modeling the ‘project’: escaping project-based culture in digital scholarship

Anna-Maria Sichani

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan conferentiePaperWetenschappelijkpeer review


Typically bound to a project-based logic (Burdick et al. 2012), digital humanities projects are often confined within development models that privilege stringent funding cycles of limited budget, strict timelines, and extended and interdisciplinary collaboration among partners. The product is usually evaluated on the basis of concrete and end-loaded deliverables. This constant pressure to “complete” and so “end” projects – inextricably linked with enduring issues of attribution of credit and professional reward – places an emphasis on the finished product that undercuts the very nature of digital data as open-ended and endlessly extendable - what Flanders calls the “culture of the perpetual prototype” (Flanders 2007). The structures within which current digital projects are developed leave little room for experimentation, margins for failure, risk-taking or interim accomplishments. Finally, the anxiety to meet the standard of ‘publication-ready’ in digital scholarship often limits planning in the production phase, staving off concerns for long-term maintenance and sustainability, while dismissing any discussion surrounding the output’s actual (re)use and afterlife.
By adopting McCarty’s approach to the ‘model’ as “either a representation of something for purposes of study, or a design for realizing something new” (McCarty 2004), this paper attempts to challenge the conventions surrounding ways of thinking of and building digital humanities projects as finished products. How can we radically remodel our design, development and management strategies such as to draw emphasis away from dominant notions of the project-as-product and towards a concern for the project-as-process, introducing more diverse, modular, reproductive and reflexive components of knowledge as outputs? How does such an effort unsettle dominant social concepts and professional conventions – from funding structures and financial planning to measures of prestige and credit – and how does it demand their renewal? Using digital scholarly editions and research infrastructures as exemplary case studies, this paper attempts to imagine and theorise the means towards and features of such a project model.
Originele taal-2Engels
StatusGepubliceerd - 11 jun. 2016


Duik in de onderzoeksthema's van 'Re-modeling the ‘project’: escaping project-based culture in digital scholarship'. Samen vormen ze een unieke vingerafdruk.

Citeer dit