Planning the future of JDHCS

For this issue of JDHCS, as in the past, we've drawn our articles from the paper and poster presentations selected by peer review for the annual Chicago Colloquium on Digital Humanities and Computer Science (DHCS).

More precisely, the articles you see published here do not represent every paper and poster from the 2010 DHCS Colloquium. Nor are they a short list selected by the journal's editors. They are made up of contributions from those presenters at DHCS who had the desire and the time to re-write their talks and submit them to us for publication. To our authors: thank you again for making this journal possible.

And yet, the present situation is far from ideal. Today, JDHCS cannot be the published record of the DHCS Colloquium (i.e. its "Proceedings") nor constitute itself from a smaller selection of papers (incuding outside submissions) drawn up under a defined set of criteria (e.g. papers grouped together under a common "theme"). Looking to the future, I can envision the journal moving forward into one of two directions. Under one scenario, the organizers of DHCS decide to make presentations at the colloquium contingent on submitting a full paper in advance of the event. Under the second scenario, the editors of JDHCS would restrict publication to a small number of papers selected from the previous year's colloquium. Both approaches have advantages and disadvantages. The third option, of course, is to make no change and carry on as before. 

Soliciting, editing, proofreading and formatting an online edition of a journal takes a good deal of effort. This year, as in 2010, I was very fortunate to be able to draw on the professional copyediting and editorial skills of Jenna Al-Malawi, the journal's Assistant Editor. She did by far most of the work for the issue. We all owe her a great deal of thanks. My preference as editor is that if we are to continue publishing JDHCS each year with the same degree of professional care and attention to detail we must make a deliberate choice to transition into either one of the two directions I sketched out above. This is a question which I'll take up in the weeks ahead with previous "core" members of DHCS (i.e. Chicago, IIT, and Northwestern) and in particular with the organizers of this year's colloquium at Loyola University. But more importantly, I hope it is also a matter which will prompt you, our readers and authors, to offer your own advice and comments. Please don't hesitate to contact me ( to let me know what you think.

I have just a few more journal interna to which I'd like to draw your attention. For the first time we're making articles available in an additional open e-book (.epub) format. Do you find the epub versions to be useful? Are these files (which were automatically generated from a word processor) usable on your e-book reader? In this issue you'll find the epub file somewhat hidden away in the "Supplementary Files" sidebar alongside the article's abstract. This is also where you'll find a zipped folder of larger, higher quality images of figures & illustrations. To promote greater transparency, accessibility and re-use, future issues of the journal will use the Supplementary Files section to publish machine-readable datasets referenced in our articles, and, where appropriate, offer technical instructions to reproduce individual results.

I hope you enjoy reading this issue, and I look forward to seeing many of you at the next Chicago DHCS Colloquium, at Loyola University Chicago on November 19-21st, 2011. 

Arno Bosse

General Editor, JDHCS


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