London Book Fair: Day 2: The DARIAH Initiative and Giving Digital Content Value.

Day 2 (4/17/12). My day started late, well later than I wanted. I wanted to be at Earl’s Court by 9. I got there by 10. I missed a talk that I think would have been interesting. “Contract Copyright, Collaborate, and Communicate: The 4 C’s of successful publishing business models in the 21st century.” I’m going to try to sift through the twitter feed . Maybe I can find out how good it was. One thing I’m going to stress to LBF for next year is that they require all seminars to have their own hashtag that way people can follow. There’s a lot going on there and it would just make life easier. Really it’s only fitting since we’re all surrounded by social media. Most of the talks cover digital media at some point. So, you know…

Earl's Court full of publishers.

My first seminar was about a self-pubbing company called Matador. They sound perfect for those who want to self-publish, but want to make sure what they pubbing isn’t rubbish. Most self-pub companies don’t care what you publish as long as you pay them. These guys won’t publish your book if they don’t think it’s ready. They reject 40% of fiction that comes to them and 10% of biographies. So, their bar is decently high.

The talk of the day for me was definitely DARIAH and the importance of digitizing the arts and humanities. I thought the talk was going to be about different digital techniques or apps that could be used in education of the arts. it wasn’t, but it was still a good talk.

first we talked about DARIAH (Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities). Explain and thoughts on it. Dr. Tobias Blanke introduced us to this organization. There were a lot of figures and math involved, but it wounded good, so I looked up the website and found this explanation of what DARIAH does. “The grand vision for the Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities (DARIAH) is to facilitate long-term access to, and use of, all European Arts and Humanities (A+H) digital research data.”

Unfortunately, this organization only works in EU. However, there’s a sister company in the US called Bamboo. “Project Bamboo is a multi-institutional, interdisciplinary effort that brings together humanities scholars, librarians, and information technologists to tackle the question: “How can we advance arts and humanities research through the development of shared technology services?”

Here’s the way I understand both projects. They are working to make the arts and humanities as easily accessible digitally as the maths and sciences. And maybe make them more fun. If they can find a way to make English grammar more fun, they all deserve a Nobel Peace Prize.

Really interesting points were made by Alastair Horne and Prof. Sheila Anderson. When talking about the value of academic publishing and it’s many forms.  Dr. Anderson said that we can give e-text books importance by focusing on the content rather than the look or format. Horne backed up this sentiment by saying that publishers aren’t the only ones who can add value to content.

I agree with both of them. As long as the work shows the same amount of care one would give traditionally printed content, the content should be deemed just as valuable even if it is in a digital format. However, the problem I’ve had with digital formatting of information is the citation.

Going over some of the URL’s that lead to journals and whatnot that I used in a paper, I found out some not so good news. The links that I used in my citations either lead my professors to a sign-in page or some weird search result or something like. Nothing that was important. So, while I’m all for the digitization of information on the arts and humanities, if students can’t cite that information, then it will never have the value of printed material.

I found the DARIAH talk to be the most interesting of the day. But it focused on education (a subject in which I may get my doctorate) so naturally, i loved it. it was by accident that i ended up there. i got my schedule confused and went to the room at the same time on Tuesday that I was to be there on Wednesday. So, there you go.


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