We are now two and a half years into our four-year experiment in digital publishing. Our goal, to establish a program for the formal, peer-reviewed publication of scholarly works that are truly interactive, with no print counterpart, was an ambitious one, and the learning curve has been incredibly steep. But we’re now at the point where the lessons learned can be discussed in context and shared with the broader community.
We stepped into this experiment with the expectation that the primary difficulties would be technology-driven. Little did we know that much of the infrastructure we take for granted in the print world simply doesn’t exist within the digital. From the mechanics and processes of peer review, through the mundane aspects of copyright registration and library cataloguing, and on to the incredibly thorny issue of preservation, each step has been a challenge. And the challenge has been met across the Press, not simply by the four core team members of our Mellon-funded program.
The supDigital blog, established last month by our Digital Production Associate, Jasmine Mulliken, as a subtopic of our main Press blog and now spun off here in its new home, will be the primary forum for these discussions. We’re leading off this month with a video placing the program in context, and allowing four of our authors to elaborate on why this program is important to them.
We have a few more (shorter) videos up our sleeve that we will roll out over the coming months, and we invite you to watch out for regular postings, musings, and updates on the supDigital blog as our program accelerates.
Alan Harvey (@alanpharvey) is the Director of Stanford University Press. Arriving at the Press in 2002 as Deputy Director and Editor-in-Chief, Harvey oversaw much of the Press’s evolution toward digital formats and print-on-demand delivery.