AHA says digital scholarship should receive academic credit -- And here's how

Historians in the News
tags: digital history



With greater numbers of historians making contributions to scholarship through digital means, the discipline must grow to encompass the variety of formats and media available in the rapidly evolving digital environment. We can only do so by giving proper credit for work on digital projects that contribute to historical knowledge.

To encourage these developments in our discipline the AHA has published Guidelines for the Professional Evaluation of Digital Scholarship by Historians. The guidelines encourage departments to evaluate such work on its scholarly merits: “Work done by historians using digital methodologies or media for research, pedagogy, or communication should be evaluated for hiring, promotion, and tenure on its scholarly merit and the contribution that work makes to the discipline through research, teaching, or service.” 

When there are good reasons for presenting historical scholarship in new formats or media, scholars should be encouraged to do so. The guidelines focus on the contribution scholars and their work make to the “documented and disciplined conversation about matters of enduring consequence” that characterizes historical scholarship. 

Professional decisions (hiring, tenure, promotion) are made on the basis of a promise or demonstration of a scholar’s ability to advance that conversation. This contribution is evaluated in different ways that depend upon the institutional context, and in order for the guidelines to be as broadly applicable as possible, departments are encouraged to apply them to their own circumstances. ...




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