Six excerpted principles for The COVE that especially resonate with this dissertation’s objectives:
The COVE exists as an alternative to any press or commercial provider that seeks to earn profit from the work of Victorian academics. Our goal will be, instead, to facilitate scholarly and public access to our cultural heritage. We also wish to showcase to the world the value of humanities research, methods and innovations. The COVE is fully not-for-profit and embraces the expanded global nature of today’s research communities and changing dynamics of scholarly production.
The COVE rejects all avaricious business practices. It seeks to present an alternative, sustainable model for knowledge production that we hope can serve as a model that other field societies will follow.
The COVE acknowledges that teaching is an important part of our mission and will seek to support that mission through innovative tools and the publication of material that can be creatively used in the classroom.
All tools developed will be open source and open for use by other field and subject groups.
All material published by The COVE will follow Creative Commons 3.0 licensing protocols.
The digital revolution is opening up new ways of understanding the Victorian period. The COVE will seek to provide safe harbor for scholars looking to explore new ways of cultivating the possibilities of the digital medium.
The Victorian Web
The Victorian Web is a multidisciplinary site which emphasizes collaboration and public contribution. It appeals to a broad public (garnering 1.5 pageviews a month) and invites a wide range of participants. Especially of note, for my puposes is the way that its organizers emphasize the relationship between the project’s form and theoretical orientation. In its creators’ words, the Victorian Web project
presents its images and documents, including entire books, as nodes in a network of complex connections. In other words, it emphasizes the link rather than the search tool (though it has one) and presents information linked to other information rather than atomized and isolated.
(Networked Infrastructure for Nineteenth-Century Electronic Scholarship)
The organizers of NINES describe the project as
a scholarly organization devoted to forging links between the material archive of the nineteenth century and the digital research environment of the twenty-first. Our activities are driven by three primary goals:
to serve as a peer-reviewing body for digital work in the long 19th-century (1770-1920), British and American;
to support scholars’ priorities and best practices in the creation of digital research materials;
to develop software tools for new and traditional forms of research and critical analysis.
The NINES Collex interface is at the center of these efforts. It aims to gather the best scholarly resources in the field and make them fully searchable and interoperable; and to provide an online collecting and authoring space in which researchers can create and publish their own work.
NINES also is home to Juxta, a tool for comparing and collating multiple documentary instances of the same work; and to Ivanhoe, a collaborative game-space for interpreting textual and other cultural materials.
Here, I would like to emphasize the organization’s emphasis on creating tools or form that convey theoretical information and invite reader engagement. Also worthy of note is NINES’s investment in nontraditional academic publications, structures for peer review, and modes of distribution that exist outside of the for-profit scholarly publishing industry.
It also provides helpful resources for instructors. (I have taught with Juxta on multiple occasions!)
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