Guidelines for digital projects

In the last decade, computer science increasingly influenced every field of the research within the Humanities. Philology, Linguistics, History, History of Art and Social Studies have been involved in this great shift of perspective, not only for the visualization, organization and manipulation of data, but also in developing new methods of analysis, and new systems of publication. Nowadays, we are experiencing a growth in the publication of digital and digitized editions, as well as scientific projects involving corpora, digital databases and archives, always more frequently user-friendly and interoperable.

Aldus 2.0 draws attention to digital scientific projects, sustaining their publication and fostering their circulation. If you want to give your research more visibility, you can send us your project to be reviewed and published in our journal according to the standards that you will find in the following guidelines.

Digital Scholarly Edition (DSE)

Our area of interest refers to DSEs that go beyond simple digitizations and mere transpositions from paper to digital environment. We are interested in the use of digital techniques in order to build critical and scientific analysis of the sources (manuscrits, printed editions, artistic works), to create new interpretations of texts and new understandings of the original source material.

In these years of technological evolution, digital products can be shaped in different ways due to the use of different softwares, interfaces, and visualization tools. This diversity is surely one of the strengths of DSEs, because it leaves a large area for experimentation and allows DH to constantly evolve. At the same time, however, not all projects, no matter how innovative they are, can be included in the DSEs group. For this reason, all submissions must fit the criteria identified by Patrick Sahle (University of Cologne) and Georg Vogeler (University of Graz) in their Criteria for Reviewing Scholarly Digital Editions. This taxonomy distinguishes DSEs from other types of digital edition, and provides many indicators to categorize the outputs of digital textual projects.

Therefore, we ask the authors to read carefully the following instructions before sending a proposal of a DSE:

  • the edition must be scholarly, i.e. must have critical components;
  • the edition must represent its material (usually as transcribed and/or edited text) and be a publication of the material;
  • the edition must be in compliance with scholarly requirements concerning content and quality;
  • the edition must follow an editorial concept that is not restricted to the technological limitations of print technology but realizes a «digital paradigm»; it must be a digital, not a digitized, edition;
  • the edition must be online and open access.
The following documents are not considered DSEs, and they will not be evaluated by this journal:

  • pure facsimiles;
  • retro-digitized printed editions;
  • simple OCR or HTR versions of documents;
  • all works that are mere digital reproductions of their primary source.
The authors should submit a short paper (format .doc .docx) of max. 3.000 words, bibliography excluded. The paper should be preceded by an abstract of max. 500 words and 5 keywords. Here you can find a template for the redaction. The paper must include:

  • the description of the material source/s studied, the explanation of the research project, the participating institutions, the investigators involved, the studies conducted on the material, the results expected;
  • the justification of the editorial method and a clear description of the rules at the base of the edition, the software involved (also for the visualization), the languages used (as XML, EAD, XML/TEI, HTML), its long-term sustainability, the web host.

After a double-blind peer-review the paper can be accepted, accepted with changes, rejected. If the paper is accepted, it will be published in our magazine and the reference URL to the digital edition will appear in the Aldus 2.0 database. The Aldus database allows your project to be searchable and easily accessible for every reader of the journal, giving visibility to your research.

Digital Projects

Our journal aims to provide a space of publication not only for DSEs, but also for other types of Digital Projects such as: digital infrastractures, digital libraries, digital archives, databases of texts, corpora, vocabularies, maps etc. 

The field of digital projects is wide and constantly evolving, and the diversity of each project makes a standard guideline difficult to achieve, due to the complexity and the continuous change of technologies. However, each project contributes to the evolution of its own field of study and to the experimentation in the world of DH. Following these leads, this section examines proposals about project’s infrastructures, their accessibility and usability, the use and the valorization of the resource materials, the cohesion between the digital infrastructure and the material source. We ask the authors to check the standards identified by Shannon Christine Mattern (New School of New York) in the Journal of Digital Humanities and to use them as an additional support to verify the criteria of the proposal before the submission.

In order to achieve homogeneity in the description of Digital Projects, we ask the authors to address the following subjects in their proposal:

  • topics, themes, and contribution to the field;
  • work’s fit with existing literature, comparison with other digital projects and/or published books;
  • discussion of the intended audience/s;
  • outline of the technical structure of the project (platform, tools, etc.) and of past, current and future collaborators in terms of technical and, if applicable, scholarly development;
  • a clear timeline of the project, since digital products, malleable by nature, tend to be variable and change easily through time;
  • interactive digital components and interoperability features;
  • the project must be online and open access.
The authors should submit a short paper (format .doc .docx) of max. 3.000 words, bibliography excluded. The paper should be preceded by an abstract of max. 500 words and 5 keywords. Here you can find a template for the redaction. The paper must include:

  • a description of the material/s source/s studied, the explanation of the research project, the participating institutions, hosting, credits, the studies conducted on the material, the results expected. 
  • the justification of the method and a clear description of the rules that guided the project, the software involved, the languages used for front-end, back-end and to connect them (XML, SQL, Python, Java, C++, Php, HTML, Js, CSS, etc), the sustainability of the project.

After a double-blind peer-review the paper can be accepted, accepted with changes, rejected. If the paper is accepted, it will be published in our magazine and the reference URL to the digital edition will appear in the Aldus 2.0 database. The Aldus database allows your project to be searchable and easily accessible for every reader of the journal, giving visibility to your research.