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The Gutenberg-e Project Opportunities and Challenges in Publishing Born-Digital Monographs Kate Wittenberg History of Gutenberg-e Launched in 1999 with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation American Historical Association selected six dissertations each year and awarded prizes

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the gutenberg e project

The Gutenberg-e Project

Opportunities and Challenges in Publishing Born-Digital Monographs

Kate Wittenberg

history of gutenberg e
History of Gutenberg-e
  • Launched in 1999 with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
  • American Historical Association selected six dissertations each year and awarded prizes
  • E-Publishing staff at Columbia worked with authors to create the digital monographs
initial goals
Initial Goals
  • Enable enhanced forms of historical scholarship and writing
  • Influence a change in attitudes toward digital publishing in the academy
  • Contain costs of publishing scholarly books
project findings
Project Findings
  • Authors and publishing staff collaborated in creating new models of scholarship and writing
  • Over the course of the project, attitudes toward digital publications evolved
  • Time and costs involved in creating these models exceeded expectations
new models of scholarship and writing
New Models of Scholarship and Writing
  • Authors are active collaborators rather than “lone toilers”in creating their work
  • Editors and web developers are researchers creating new models rather than staff reacting to completed work
  • Both learn to think more creatively about the presentation and use of scholarship
questions raised for both author and publisher
Questions Raised for both Author and Publisher
  • Must a scholarly narrative be presented in linear form?
  • How does one present an “authorial voice” in an interactive publication?
  • Are images and archives supplementary or the organizing structure in an e-book?
  • Can new “textbooks” be created by integrating e-books and digital teaching tools?
answers to these questions
Answers to these Questions
  • Women’s Communities in Mozambique using Multiple Entry Points for Readers
  • The Soweto Uprising in South Africa using Image Archive as Narrative
  • Authors’ Initiative to Create Digital Teaching Resources to Accompany E-Books in the Classroom
views of digital scholarship in the academy
Views of Digital Scholarship in the Academy
  • Early on, some authors had trouble convincing department chairs of the quality of electronic book content
  • As project evolved, authors began receiving tenure based on evaluation of the digital book publications
  • Attitudes changed as the project developed
strategies to address concerns in the academy
Strategies to Address Concerns in the Academy
  • Production of “Bound Galleys” of E-Books for Authors’ Use with Colleagues and Journal Reviewers
  • Letters from Project Directors to Hiring and Tenure Committees
  • Authors’ Experiences with Hiring Process Changed During the Project
time cost sustainability
Time/Cost/Sustainability
  • Tremendous potential of digital scholarship can create high costs
  • Need to agree on what authors can expect in designing their digital work
  • Collaboration involves increases in cost and time
  • Dual business models: open access and subscription
print digital publishing models
Author delivers completed book

Clear limits on design options

Linear production

Sales of individual monographs

Author collaborates with publishing staff

Perception of limitless possibilities

Collaborative model

Subscription/open access models

Print/Digital Publishing Models
future of e books and scholarly publishing
Future of E-Books and Scholarly Publishing
  • Authors are pushing e-books forward--publishers and universities must follow
  • Next generation will assume their scholarship will be published in digital form
  • New technologies and e-book publishing protocols will allow costs to be contained
  • Need for continuing innovation
gutenberg e
Gutenberg-e

www.gutenberg-e.org

http://www.humanitiesebook.org/