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Welcome Anvil Academic

Digital publishing is increasingly becoming one of the most pressing issues in academia.  One of the biggest obstacles facing digitally-born scholarship is, of course, legitimacy.

But large steps are being made.

The 2011 issue of the MLA’s journal Profession had an entire section on Evaluating Digital Scholarship.  The six essays compiled for the entire are all available, open access, at the issue’s website.  In the spring, the MLA officially standardized a format for citing Tweets.

This week it looks like another piece to this puzzle is available.

Anvil Academic is officially launched—their website open here.

Anvil describes themselves as “an open-access, post-monograph publisher of new, complex forms of scholarly argument.”  The project is led by the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE) and the Council of Library and Information Resources (CLIR) and an Editorial Board of scholars well-known to those of us working in the digital humanities.  Fredy Moody, author, Program Officer for Libraries and Scholarly Communications at NITLE, and former Editor-in-Chief at Rice University Press, serves as Anvil’s Editor. 

A Tweet chat with Adeline Koh and the Chronicle of Higher Education’s ProfHacker group created quite some buzz this week, especially around what the “post-monograph” means.

While some of the details provided online are still a bit vague, Anvil’s strategies look promising, offering an approach to the very aspect needed to legitimize such innovative methods of scholarship: peer review.  Moreover, they support open-access and encourage collaboration, outlined by Lisa Spiro (who serves at Program Manager at Anvil), as among the core values shared amongst most scholars working in the digital humanities.  We are all aware of the practical problems related to funding, but Anvil, too, offers potential business models and publishing infrastructures to confront these issues.

For those interested in digital scholarship and publishing, Anvil Academic is a site to start watching.




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