The processes of assessment is essential for digital projects to be counted toward graduation requirements or tenure and promotion, or for discussion a projects contribution to the field. While digital dissertation projects vary widely, departments and dissertation committee members have a number a precedents in creating mutually acceptable guidelines for evaluating digital dissertation projects.
- Editors Daniel J. Cohen and Joan Fragaszy Troyano address the topic at length in an issue of the Journal of Digital Humanities, (Fall 2012).
- The Carolina Digital Humanities Initiative has compiled an excellent list of articles and posts surrounding the issue in its Valuing & Evaluating DH Practice page.
Some professional organizations have begun to recognize a need for discipline-specific evaluation guidelines.
- The Modern Language Association has released the MLA Guidelines for Evaluating Work in Digital Humanities and Digital Media. For commentary on these, see “Getting (Digital) Respect” and “The Promotion That Matters” in Inside Higher Ed.
- The American Historical Association (AHA) released a “Charge to the Ad Hoc Committee on Professional Evaluation of Digital Scholarship by Historians (2014).” According to the organization’s website, the committee’s goal is to produce its guidelines by November 15, 2014, for consideration by the AHA Council. The document will be reviewed, revised, and emended by Council for approval at the January 2015 meeting, and will then be published as a formal AHA document. The AHA has also announced the full list of members who will serve on the Committee on Professional Evaluation of Digital Scholarship by Historians.
Individual dissertation committees, advisers, and students will still have to agree upon guidelines that will be effective for a given project.
- Amanda Visconti, a PhD candidate in English at the University of Maryland, offers insight on tracking code and documenting the process of a non-monograph dissertation in her post, “Evaluating Non-Traditional Digital Humanities Dissertations.”
Return to the Digital Dissertations landing page.