@mlemweb hi! Sorry for messaging you out of nowhere. I was listening to LibreLounge and looked the hosts up on the fediverse and on birdsite, which suggested me your profile. I'm an academic in the field of music history and musicology and a free software enthusiast, so I got interested in the "digital humanities" and even more the "free software in academia" mentioned in your profile, as I've been trying to bridge these interests of mine. Do you have any resources to point me to, please?


A lot of the digital humanities work that really engages with free software is done by librarians or IT people rather than the principal investigators.

I was on a panel at last year's Libre Planet on Free Software in Academia that you might find interesting: I led a panel at LP2018 you may be interested in: media.libreplanet.org/u/librep

@mlemweb sorry for taking so much time to get back to you. I heard the mention about the American Yawp and got deep down that rabbit hole. It is exactly the reason I contacted you in the first place: I’ve been thinking about doing a history of Brazilian music (which is the area I work in) for the last two years, but I couldn’t find a way to implement this, as I’ve not yet found a way to implement the collaborative part of it. Would you have any ideas or know where to point me to?



I think the problem is that there isn't necessarily an infrastructure in place, you just need to reach out to people. You probably know the people you would like to contribute, it wouldn't hurt to test the waters, point them to the American Yawp as a successful example, & see if anyone would be willing to collaborate. This kind of project disrupts the status quo of academic publishing, and we're just indoctrinated with an 'it is what it is' viewpoint that we don't break it.

@mlemweb yes, I have an article to finish by the end of the month and will be doing exactly this right after I deliver this paper.

@mlemweb (sorry, sent the message before finishing) but I’d need a way for them to access the text and work on it. Is simply use GitHub/Lab, but people will surely throw me a funny look as soon as I say “version control”...


Yes, "version control" is a sticky issue with academics. My DH project, when I came on board consisted of a spreadsheet transcription that the principal investigator downloaded from her email and we discovered after months of me working with that data that it wasn't even the most recent version of that document. I was the one to set up a github repo and nobody else knows how to use it other than the developer.


I'd maybe look at something like Pressbooks (pressbooks.com/) I think they have options for multiple author editing and contributions. I know scholars who have used it for seminar classes to create things like exhibition catalogs.

@mlemweb hahaha advisors... I kind of know how they feel, though. This doesn’t seem at all to be your case, but some students come to you all excited about their ideas just to change them all over the next month, and then the next again... and then often you get somewhat lost, especially when the number of students starts to grow.

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