Julianne Nyhan

Published On


Page Range

pp. 163-182

Print Length

19 pages

7. The Evaluation and Peer Review of Digital Scholarship in the Humanities

Experiences, Discussions, and Histories

In this chapter, Nyhan explores the history of evaluative assessment methods for digital scholarship in the humanities. Starting from the origin of humanities computing in 1949, Nyhan surveys recorded conversations of the humanities computing community concerning peer review and evaluation, adopting a broad definition of digital scholarship as including not only digital or digitally-derived scholarship but also scholarship that has been published digitally. Her findings highlight an overall mixed experience of, and attitude towards, peer review and formal evaluation. Not only was the use of computer for research as well as publishing work on a digital platform considered problematic before the 1990s, there were also concerns about the implementation of peer review and how it could be organised. Nyhan views the eventual consensus that emerged on the importance of formal evaluation as having been accelerated by the gradual acceptance of digital publication, digital humanities and institutionalisation itself. Nyhan concludes that the inauspicious reception digital scholarship has received is linked to the ambivalence towards the evaluation of digital scholarship; she suggests that our approaches towards the latter can reveal the evolving disciplinary identity of the digital humanities.