Digital Humanities: Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants

Period of Performance

9/1/2010 - 2/28/2013

Funding Totals

$50,000.00 (approved)
$49,039.25 (awarded)

Building a Better Back-End: Editor, Author, & Reader Tools for Scholarly Multimedia

FAIN: HD-51088-10

Illinois State University (Normal, IL 61790-3040)
Cheryl E. Ball (Project Director: March 2010 to April 2014)

Development of an open source editorial management system and reader tools for online publication of scholarly multimedia and related forms of digital scholarship for use with Open Journal System (OJS), a widely used editorial management system.

This Level II Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant proposal would support building an editorial management system and reader tools for scholarly multimedia, a unique form of digital scholarship. This prototype will be built on the open-source, editorial management system Open Journal System (OJS), which has been widely adopted but currently only handles the editorial process for digitized print scholarship. This prototype would create plug-ins for OJS so that it could manage the multimedia-intensive portions and unique review systems inherent in scholarly multimedia.

Associated Products

Digital Publishing (Course or Curricular Material)
Title: Digital Publishing
Author: Cheryl E. Ball
Abstract: This course is all about digital publishing, with a particular focus on digital media scholarship — a niche area of scholarly publishing that will allow us to focus on a lot of cutting-edge issues and concerns that relate to all kinds of publishing, both print and digital and linear and nonlinear. We will cover all of the following topics in perhaps random but always-overlapping ways: scholarship, peer-review, metadata, open-access, globalization, copyright, creative commons, media, materiality, mode, database, distribution, Deep Web, labor, economy, funding models, sustainability, workflow, reading patterns, research, reader tools, accessibility, usability, Internet, Web, HTML, XML, Dublin Core, FTP, online communication, open-source, Open Journal Systems, OAI-PMH, rhetoric, technology, pedagogy Our main project will be to work on creating metadata for an actual publication, Kairos (the scholarly journal I edit), which recently won a $50,000 NEH grant to build a new content-management system for similar publication venues. One of the most important parts of this new CMS will be the journal’s ability to offer robust metadata for readers, librarians, etc. But we need to build the metadata so they will come. This project is resume-worthy, so get your metadata hats on!
Year: 2011
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: Course blog/syllabus for English 354: Digital Publishing at Illinois State University
Audience: Undergraduate

The Mid-Life (Crisis?) of Kairos: Caring for the Health and Welfare Cheryl E. Ball | 8 of Open-Access Digital Media Publishing. (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: The Mid-Life (Crisis?) of Kairos: Caring for the Health and Welfare Cheryl E. Ball | 8 of Open-Access Digital Media Publishing.
Author: Cheryl E. Ball
Abstract: As Jim Kalmbach (2006) noted in the 10th anniversary issue of Kairos, the journal has had three distinct ages: “Beginnings: Moving Beyond Print (Volumes 1-4); Adolescent Exuberance: The Computers and Writing Issues (volumes 5-7); and Coming of Aging: New Media and Beyond (volumes 8-10),” as represented by the navigational choices and design practices that authors had used. Now that Kairos is 15 years old and moving into digital publishing’s middle age, Presenter #1 (the editor of the journal) examines a new collection of metadata from the journal’s back-issues to answer these questions: What has changed about the kinds of texts and authors Kairos publishes? What has stayed the same? What have we learned about digital genres, technological requirements, design standards, accessibility, metadata, and sustainability? How can the journal give back to the field? Reflecting on these answers has produced a set of best practices for the journal, which were implemented in an open-source content-management system for scholarly multimedia (based on Open Journal Systems). The research findings and deliverables of this project will be discussed.
Date: 3/22/2011
Conference Name: Conference on College Composition and Communication

The Future of Peer Review in Scholarly Multimedia (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: The Future of Peer Review in Scholarly Multimedia
Author: Cheryl E. Ball
Abstract: The focus of this presentation is a peer-review system that editors of Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy are currently building as part of the Open Journal Systems program. It will allow a/synchronous chats and discussions of live, interactive webtexts (Kairos’s version of "articles" -- all of which are uniquely designed by authors using digital media). The system will also include sticky notes, highlight/pen functionality, and a "Share" system so that one user can make a note or highlight a portion of the webtext and share it with fellow online reviewers. All of the chats/discussions and stickies would be archived in the database for the editor to write review letters from.
Date: 01/05/2012
Conference Name: Modern Language Association

Kairos and Multimedia Digital Scholarship: The Need for Better Publishing Tools (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Kairos and Multimedia Digital Scholarship: The Need for Better Publishing Tools
Author: Cheryl E. Ball
Abstract: Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy is a free, independent, open-access, digital journal that has been publishing scholarly multimedia on the Web since 1996. The overall sustainability and growth of Kairos is threatened by the burden of relying on the sweat equity of Rhetoric and Technical Communication scholars who study digital technologies and know enough about how to use them to be dangerous/innovative. The journal was in desperate need of an editorial system that could handle the submission, review, copy- and design-editing processes that are unique to webtexts. So we are building plug-ins for PKP’s Open Journal Systems, which successfully manages print publications but cannot yet handle the kind of multimedia content that journals like Kairos (and increasingly others) want to publish. This presenter will discuss the history of the journal and others like it, show what webtexts are and how they are designed to make scholarly arguments, explain the journal’s collaborative review and copy- and design-editing process, all in the service of showing why and how the multimedia modifications that we are building (which the next two speakers will address) will be of benefit to OJS and its user-base.
Date: 09/27/2011
Conference Name: PKP Conference