Friday, May 4, 2012

MLA: Guidelines for Evaluating Work in Digital Humanities and Digital Media

The Modern Language Association (MLA) recently revised the Association's guidelines for evaluating digital scholarship. This revision (the first in twelve years), entitled Guidelines for Evaluating Work in Digital Humanities and Digital Media, addresses the swiftly evolving world of both the production and dissemination of scholarship in the digital humanities.

Excerpts from the Guidelines:
The following guidelines are designed to help departments and faculty members implement effective evaluation procedures for hiring, reappointment, tenure, and promotion. They apply to scholars working with digital media as their subject matter and to those who use digital methods or whose work takes digital form. . . .

While the use of computers in the modern languages is not a new phenomenon, the transformative adoption of digital information networks, coupled with the proliferation of advanced multimedia tools, has resulted in new literacies, new literary categories, new approaches to language instruction, and new fields of inquiry. Humanists are adopting new technologies and creating new critical and literary forms and interventions in scholarly communication. They also collaborate with technology experts in fields such as image processing, document encoding, and computer and information science. User-generated content produces a wealth of new critical publications, applied scholarship, pedagogical models, curricular innovations, and redefinitions of author, text, and reader. Academic work in digital media must be evaluated in the light of these rapidly changing technological, institutional, and professional contexts, and departments should recognize that many traditional notions of scholarship, teaching, and service are being redefined. . . .

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