A Review Of Ken Price’s Electronic Scholarly Editions

Compared with Aimeee Morrisons article I had to re-read this one a few extra times, but I presume I am not alone (hopefully anyways). In this article Price sets out to highlight the reasons why electronic editions are created and how they have set out to shape our future. He then follows on by discussing digital libaries and scholarly editions and the roles they play in the digital resource arena. With Electronic Scholarly Editions there are some ‘teething problems’ regarding costs, complications, audience, text translations and future developments. With a huge amount of time and money the digital scholarship has great potential. With the development of such projects it cannot be completed by one person, it relies fundamentally on collaboration. Thoes that are necessary are likely to be categorized under such titles: Librarians, archivists, graduate students and undergraduates. When creating a electronic edition, design choices have to be taken into account. This is a new experience for many editors, and in order for it to be successful they are required to have some knowledge of the technical issues. For example: mark-up of texts and database design. Price in this article explores the reasons behind why so many scholarly editors find an uncertain project like scholarly editions so attractive. He wants us to fully comprehend what an edition is and how technology can make it better.

When addressing the issue of electronic editions he takes into account Jerome McGann arguement which in short says that not enough has been done to recognise editorial work and the new possibilities of the digital medium. An archive can be how exactly the author wants it to be, it allows them to publish their own work without the interfence of an outsider. When something is published it is edited by the editor, how a work is presented to an editor by the author in the first place is never how it looks as a finished product. The ‘Blake Archive‘ is used as a perfect example in this article. We are given the opportunity to view the work by Blake himself in the way he wanted it to be viewed. With these types of Scholarly Editions they attract a different type of audience, this type of narrative offers no type of guidance. Price used a quote by William Horton to argue this point: “users expect the writers to lead them through the jungle of information”. A project like an archive aims to represent everything, but then why are they not as popular as they should be. Archives can sometimes be difficult to follow especially in comparison with a text. Having an edited form is a lot easier to understand and follow. Price argues that one of the reasons why people are making electronic editions is because of the challenges that they will encounter, in this medium you can change so much there is not one fixed pattern that has to be followed and it allows for a text to be constantly expanded and interpreted in a number of ways. Many well known Scholars have had their work digitized, here is an interesting article on when Shakespeare’s work was made into a digital archive. Another archive which is worth a look at and is mentioned in this article is the Walt Whitman Archive. walt

Price pays due attention to the work-in-progress aspect of an electronic edition. An electronic edition does not have to be completed before it is released, so when creating an archive the editor can release some of their work before it has been finished. He does however highlight a few of the pitfalls attached to this idea. Questions are raised to how will we know when it is finished and ready for use in a library system. Price points out that the internet is always changing technology and its display modes, this in turn means that archives will also have to change.

What can be achieved from digital scholarship has yet to be fully realised. Its software and hardware are constantly changing and becoming more advanced. He says that digital libraries produce quantity over quality and digital archives and editions produce work that is relevant to a specific area of study. Digitizing produces information and editing produces knowledge. To finish his article Price points out the problems to digital editions. Funding is a major one, and he highlights how important the development of XML and TEI is important to the development of digital editions. These editions are available to people all over the world via the web, therefore it is very important that it is accessible for everyone, there cannot be any language barriers. For writers who use this, it is very important that electronic scholarly editions adhere to international standards. Many scholars find it hard to manage interoperability, it is hard to make diverse systems work together, hence, a significant amount of the research potential of electronic work is lost. Price points to Marilyn Deegans remark on interoperability to allow us to fully comprehend the problems it can cause.

To finish with I feel that Price examines in detail what he believes to be the future regarding academics. Certain aspects of the article I found difficult to comprehend but that had more to do with my lack of understanding in this area of study rather that the way Price explained it. I would recommend to everyone to have a read of this article.
Ken Price

Published in: on February 23, 2011 at 1:28 am  Comments Off on A Review Of Ken Price’s Electronic Scholarly Editions  

A Review of Aimeee Morrison’s Blogs and Blogging: Text and Practice.

blogAimeee Morrison discusses the phenonemon of the blog or blogging and how it has changed (or how it is still changing).  She clearly defines blogs and blogging and focuses on the popularity of blogging, how it is used, who uses it, the privacy aspect of it and as the article unfolds she takes us into the depths of the blogosphere.

Morrison is able to explain what a blog is by clearly differentiating between a webpage and a private email, it is “not static like a webpage, but not private like an email…”  A blog can be so many different things to each individual person, some use it as a diary and others use it as a way to publish their literary works, blogs are very versitile hence the reason for the continous growing popularity of it.  Blogs are constantly being developed and now with all the new technology it is just as easy to set up a blog as it is to push a bottom, and with software like Technorati it is all the more easy.

Whilst Morrison informs us of how fun and exciting a blog can be she takes us back into history to where the blog came from. What I thought was particularly interesting was where the word ‘blog’ came from, it was quite cleverly, yet simply derieved from the word ‘weblog’. Merriam Webster won an award in 2004 for the ‘word of the year’ for the word ‘blog’.

With blogs they can be as basic or sophisticated as the individual wants. Each blog carries essential and optional characteristics, bloggers decide themselves what information they display and how they display it. Blogs are not like any other forms of digital writing because each blogger can decide everything about their blog. Bloggers can recieve feedback from their readers and as Morrison highlights in her article it is very important for there to be a relationship between the author and reader. She also discusses how blogs reference eachother through theblogroll

In the article Morrison talks about how blogs are particuarly popular all over the world but particularly in America. She refers back to 2004 when there was a huge increase in political blogs. American politicians were using blogs to promote their campaign and with Irelands elections approaching I was curious to see was there any Irish politicians using blogging or was it only social networking sites they were using. Here

Morrison aslo mentions that the most common users of blogs are young, male and have access to high-speed internet connections, have been online for more than six years, are financially prosperous, and have high levels of education. With blogs people can publish whatever they want, so even though the characterics of the most popular blogger seem promising the issue of the credibility of a blog must be always questioned. ‘Blog Carnival’ was a name given to blogs because it had similar features to a magazine but unlike magazines articles that are published are chosen according to popularity not on editors choice. What is posted on blogs can no longer be private. And as Morrison points out there is aslways an issue of privacy. There have been number of stories where employees have spoken about their employers (or vice versa) on blogs and as a result have been fired or action taken. Even if you are anonymous there is always some of your information attached to the blog so you can always be traced. The Privacy Electronic Frontier Foundation was set up in 2005. Because there is a lack of editorship and censure, blogs are often attacked by the print media. But if blogs were to be censured there would be a huge restriction imposed on the overall genre of blogs. The main genre of blogs is freedom, people can be who they want on blogs, they can use it for personal use or aspiring journalists and scholars can use it to publish work in hope that they might be noticed.

To keep people blogging, blogs must be left open despite the pressure from print media. The idea of the carnival is very interesting and it will be exciting to see how it develops in the blogosphere. Overall, I think i think Morrison makes some very interesting points but I think the issue of privacy has to be addressed more. When someone loses a job over blogging, it is hard to see blogging as fun.

Here is a link to this article and also there is an article from the guardian newspaper that you may find interesting link

Another article which I found interesting is on how people thought blogging was going to change journalism.

Published in: on February 22, 2011 at 11:36 pm  Comments (1)