The place of digital scholarship in academic promotion and tenure is one of the most significant issues facing digital humanists. Digital Humanities scholars can find it challenging to describe effectively and receive appropriate academic credit for projects containing technical components that may be well outside the area of expertise of even the most eminent of scholars in one’s field. It has been more than a decade since the MLA first released its Guidelines for Evaluating Work with Digital Mediaand Guidelines for Institutional Support of and Access to IT for Faculty Members and Students. In 2007, the MLA released its report on Evaluating Scholarship for Tenure and Promotion. Still, the humanities are struggling with how to consider digital projects and their inherent technical, typically pan-disciplinary and often intensely and broadly collaborative aspects as well as the best ways to provide access to and support for the ever-increasing number of tools available.
Recently, Profession—an MLA publication that “carries articles that focus on the fields of modern languages and literatures as a profession” (mla.org), released a series of articles solicited in order to “contribute to this continuing dialogue about recognizing and appropriately rewarding new types of scholarly investigation and communication made possible by digital media” (Professions, 2011). Links to the individual works follow.
Matthew K. Gold recently continued to prod this issue at the 2012 MLA convention as part of the Debates in the Digital Humanities panel and followed up in his blog titled Whose Revolution? Towards a More Equitable Digital Humanities. The ideas have been carried even further by Adeline Koh in her ProfHacker piece titled The Challenges of Digital Scholarship. Clearly, this issue continues to be at the forefront in the minds of academicians in the humanities.