Professional Evaluation of Digital Scholarship in History

Historians have been creating works of digital scholarship for over 20 years. Online databases have transformed discovery and access to both primary sources and secondary literature. There is a growing infrastructure within universities to support and sustain this research, and the NEH and others have funded groundbreaking historical scholarship executed in digital media. There are, however, no widely accepted standards or guidelines for the professional evaluation of these types of projects. In recognition of the importance of these new forms of scholarship, the American Historical Association convened an ad hoc committee. The AHA Council approved the guidelines at its June 2015 meeting.

AHA Council Approves Guidelines for Evaluation of Digital Projects

New in the September issue of Perspectives on History:

At its June meeting, the AHA Council approved the Guidelines for the Professional Evaluation of Digital Scholarship by Historians. The approval of the guidelines was the culmination of the work of the ad hoc committee appointed in early 2014 by then-president Ken Pomeranz. The committee was charged with developing a set of guidelines that departments could use to evaluate the work of scholars using digital media for research, publication, and teaching. 

With greater numbers of historians making contributions to scholarship through digital means, the discipline must grow to encompass the variety of formats and media available in the rapidly evolving digital environment. We can only do so by giving proper credit for work on digital projects that contribute to historical knowledge.

Read in Perspectives

Digital History Working Group

The AHA is establishing a Digital History Working Group that will be available to advise departments on issues raised by the guidelines, help them define their own guidelines, and recommend external reviewers. Members of the working group include:

  • David Bell, Princeton (co-chair, ex officio)
  • Kalani Craig, Indiana Univ.
  • Paula Findlen, Stanford Univ.
  • Walter Hawthorne, Michigan State Univ.
  • Jason Kelly, IUPUI
  • Andrew H. Lee, NYU
  • Jeff McClurken, Univ. of Mary Washington (co-chair)
  • Michelle Moravec, Rosemont College
  • Stephen Robertson, George Mason Univ.

If you wish to contact the working group, please email Seth Denbo, who will connect you with the right person. 

Meet the DH Working Group