Over the two years since we first announced our Mellon-funded initiative to develop a publishing program for born-digital scholarly projects, we have learned and achieved quite a bit. And while we might have been a bit quiet on the blog about our progress during that time, we’ve been busy developing our program and we’re now eager to begin sharing our experiences. As we continue to meet the challenges of pioneering a unique and unrivaled approach to digital publishing, we’ve recognized that what we’re learning can not only benefit other future publishers of digital projects but also those projects’ authors, reviewers, editors, and audiences.
The increasing number of academic authors undertaking the challenges and opportunities of employing digital modes in their scholarship demands that more publishers take on the challenges of adding digital formats, beyond simple epubs, to their existing programs. We hope by highlighting our own experiences in such an exciting endeavor that we can serve as a model for others in the field of scholarly communications and initiate conversations that will advance publishing standards in the digital humanities and computational social sciences. If, as Abby Smith Rumsey has suggested, humanity’s position in technological development makes us “like adolescents in the throes of life’s most awkward age,” we hope that by making transparent our own awkward moments and developmental epiphanies, for better or worse, we can ease the growing pains and establish a support network for publishers and authors creating and publishing digital-only scholarship.
We hope that by making transparent our own awkward moments and developmental epiphanies, for better or worse, we can ease the growing pains and establish a support network for publishers and authors.
While the release of our first publication, Enchanting the Desert, has been a significant achievement, equally important has been the formation of a team of professionals whose credentials and diverse experience help to make this program one that is bold, curious, reflective, and dedicated to the rigorous standards of scholarly publishing. So as our first update after a productive start to our Mellon-funded initiative, we’d like to start by introducing our team:
Friederike Sundaram (@fssundaram) is SUP’s Acquisitions Editor for Digital Projects. She is responsible for developing the program by acquiring and commissioning our publications. She works closely with authors to develop projects from initial conception through to peer review and production. Her focus is on building a list that sits comfortably within SUP’s strengths while pushing into key areas beyond those, teasing out new formats of scholarly communication tailored to scholars’ evolving needs in the digital realm. She came to SUP in 2013 as Assistant Editor for the Humanities and took on her new role on the Mellon grant in 2015. Previously, she held positions at the J. Paul Getty Trust, working on the large-scale DH project The Getty Provenance Indexand on their backlist digitization effort. She started her career in publishing at Suhrkamp in Germany, where she helped bring to light a book written in collaboration with Suhrkamp’s Facebook followers. She holds a Master’s degree in Book Studies and English from the Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany.
Jasmine Mulliken (@jasminemulliken) is the Digital Production Associate, a role that primarily involves working with projects that have already been accepted for publication. With a PhD in English from the University of Texas and 5 years experience as an Assistant Professor teaching Literature and Composition at Oklahoma State University, she is the newest member of the program. Her responsibilities include evaluating the technology powering each project to ascertain its sustainability and its amenability to current and developing archiving and preservation methods. To guide authors and developers to such objectives, she produces the Press’s digital project guidelines and recommendations on platforms, coding standards, and documentation of development and labor contribution. She also coordinates the production workflow, which involves managing the projects’ hosting environments, consulting with contracted authors and developers on projects’ technical attributes, cataloging and registering projects with identifying metadata, advocating for improvement in classification vocabularies for born-digital work, and working with Stanford University Libraries to identify and establish archiving solutions for each project’s unique needs and formats.
Nicole Coleman is the Digital Research Architect for Stanford University Libraries. For the digital projects program, Nicole is working with both the Press and Digital Library Systems and Services to design the procedures and workflows for this new genre of publication that suit the needs of authoring, publishing, and preservation.
Alan Harvey (@alanpharvey) is the Director at Stanford University Press and the Program Manager for this initiative. Alan, a mathematician and computer scientist by training with thirty years of publishing experience, has spent much of his career with one foot in the digital publishing realm going back to the very early days of online journal publishing through the Red Sage project. He began his publishing career with Cambridge University Press, working in their offices in the UK, then New York, and finally on the west coast, before coming to Stanford University Press in 2002, where he was hired as Editor-in-Chief, before becoming Deputy Director, and then Director in 2012.
As we embark on a more regular blogging routine, we’ll each be sharing updates on conferences and meetings we’re attending, current stories and perspectives in the news surrounding digital publishing and humanities, and topics that we explore and ponder on a regular basis as we continue developing our program. These topics will range from sustainability in digital project development, to archiving methods, to indexing and cataloging digital material, to hosting considerations, to editorial and production workflow, and other philosophical ideas surrounding digital scholarly work.
Jasmine Mulliken is Production and Preservation Manager, Digital Projects, at Stanford University Press. She coordinates the production and preservation workflow of born-digital projects, including recommending platforms and coding standards to authors, consulting with authors on projects’ technical attributes, and evaluating best practices for archiving and preservation.