During our class on Monday, we were asked: how are we going to evaluate the value, the usefulness, the quality of projects carried out within the Digital Humanities? It is no longer a question of how many publications a researcher has, the number of sales of printed books, or subscriptions to journals. Some students were pointing at the number of visits on the web pages. I suggested the possibility of measuring them with the new questions they could raise regarding their object of study: authorship attribution, new connections between authors, literary influence, etc. We couldn’t get a correct answer. By all accounts, students in Prof. Ramsay’s class were not the only ones to talk about this problem.
Since the world of DH is constantly evolving , a new digital service was launched yesterday (and I am not talking about the Apple’s iOs7 or new iPhones): DHThis. A crowdsourcing platform that changes the way content is published and evaluated. It allows users to upvote and downvote articles, and only those with the most upvotes will get published in the front page of DHThis.
DHThis is built on an ethos of open access and open engagement and provides an ongoing forum for defining DH in the moment.
Pretty interesting, right? It is a good start to begin evaluating DH in a different way, as opposed to the editorial model to curate content. Following the non-ending discussions on the field about defining the DH or if it should become a discipline, etc. there has already been some criticism on the new platform, though: Towards a Front Page for the Digital Humanities #dhthis by Michael Widner, or A Gentle Critique of DHThis by @whitneytrettien.
Now, what do you think?