11.0100 ruminations

Humanist Discussion Group (humanist@kcl.ac.uk)
Fri, 13 Jun 1997 09:48:17 +0100 (BST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 11, No. 100.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

Date: Thu, 12 Jun 1997 15:32:20 +0100
From: Brad Scott <bscott@routledge.co.uk>
Subject: Re: 11.0091 ruminations

For me, the paper at ACH/ALLC that highlighted the crossover of
interests and agendas was Andrea Austin's on "Discipline-Specific
Humanities Computing: Whose Job Is It?". As I suggested at the time,
the wide range of issues that academics are having to address in
coming to terms with the practicalities of dealing with texts
electronically can be mapped extremely easily onto the experiences
that publishers are having in the same area. Publishers are devising
ways of accommodating electronic activities into their core business,
whether that be through establishing separate electronic divisions,
integrating electronic products into our normal editorial processes
and structures, or devolving control to external agencies, be they
academics or commercial software companies.

I would in fact take issue with the idea that "no one else will tend
the interdisciplinary common ground". Publishers are also in this
game, which is what we traditionally do in our print publishing
activities. Arguably, we are very well placed to see the broad
similarities in approaches between disciplines; in the electronic
arena, this may include not only data schemas, but also the
functionality that individual projects require. This is something that
has become clear from our work on the Arden Shakespeare CD-ROM, which
has some potentially interesting crossover with other subject areas in
its handling of a multiple synchronised frames version of DynaText,
which supports images (and also audio files).

Attending conferences such as ACH/ALLC (and DRH as well) illustrates
all too well that there is a huge overlap of interests, expertise and
common ground between academics, publishers and librarians, all of
whom are learning about the same technical, scholarly and pedagogical
requirements, albeit from slightly different perspectives. These
forums give us all the opportunity to compare notes and collaborate to
deliver as much as possible what the broader academic community
actually want and will use for both teaching and research.


Brad Scott, Electronic Development Manager
Routledge, 11 New Fetter Lane, London EC4P 4EE
tel: 0171 842 2134 fax: 0171 842 2299
email: bscott@routledge.com
Routledge Online: http://www.routledge.com/routledge/routledge.html