Conference chair: Luis Meneses (Vancouver Island U)
Open digital collaborative scholarship in the Arts and Humanities is significant for facilitating public access to and engagement with research, and as a mechanism of growing the digital scholarly infrastructure. But the path to adopting open, collaborative, digital scholarship has been challenging, not least of all due to questions of economic stability, infrastructure, access, understanding, implementation, and engagement.
The advent of online technologies has provided Arts and Humanities researchers with greater opportunities to collaborate and create different projects. These projects are computationally robust and require a significant amount of collaboration, which brings together different types of expertise to collaborate on equal terms rather than a model where some sets of expertise are in service to others.
The convenience and familiarity of computational methods can make us forget (or overlook) that there is a certain fragility associated with our online tools. Kathleen Fitzpatrick has argued that many online projects in the digital humanities have an implied planned obsolesce—which means that they will degrade over time once they cease to receive updates in their content and software libraries (Planned Obsolescence, NYU Press, 2011). In turn, this planned obsolescence threatens the completeness and the sustainability of our research outputs in the Arts and Humanities over time, presenting a complex problem made more complex when environments are not static objects but rather dynamic collaborative spaces.