At the beginning of November I was asked to give a keynote for a Digital Scholarship/Digital Libraries symposium at the beautiful of Emory Conference Centre. My talk was titled “The Social Text: Mashing Electronic Texts and Tools” and my thesis was that we needed to forge a closer relationship between scholarly projects and digital libraries. This is a two-fold call for change:
- Scholars develop new methods to analyze and study texts need deeper access to the digital libraries that hold the texts they want to study. On the one hand we need to be able to discover and aggregate study collections that span (often incompatible) digital library collections. On the other hand we need to be able to plug in our tools instead of using the analytical tools built into the publishing engine. I proposed that we look seriously at OpenSocial as a model for hosting social applications.
- Scholars editing or creating digital texts need to be willing to accept a much more prescriptive set of encoding guidelines so that their texts can be brought into large digital library collections which then could make the discovery and gathering of study collections possible. Smaller scholarly craft projects will not scale or play well over time – that is a function digital libraries should lead.
A copy of the slides in PDF is up for FTP access. The file is 15 MB.