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The Internet Revolution in the Sciences and Humanities$
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Alan G. Gross and Joseph E. Harmon

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190465926

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190465926.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 June 2021

Internet Humanities Essays and Books

Internet Humanities Essays and Books

Seeing and Hearing Anew

(p.52) 3 Internet Humanities Essays and Books
The Internet Revolution in the Sciences and Humanities

Alan G. Gross

Joseph E. Harmon

Oxford University Press

Has there been in the 21st-century humanities an Internet transformation similar to that in the sciences? A comparison of online elite journals suggests that the Internet transformation in the humanities is noticeably less far along. This generalization applies to the 10 elite humanities journals identified by Eugene Garfield: Language (journal of the Linguistic Society of America), Journal of Philosophy, American Antiquity, PMLA (journal of the Modern Language Association), Linguistic Inquiry, Past & Present, Philosophical Review, American Historical Review, Economic History Review, and Journal of Economic History. Even a journal called Music, Sound, and the Moving Image has no music, sound, or moving images. This state of affairs also applies to online journals. Within the past decade, the Open Humanities Press established 17 open-access journals in “response to the crisis in scholarly publishing in the humanities”; tellingly, of these 17, the articles in all but one are in the form of PDF or HTML files with straight text and, typically, few if any links or images. An exception is Vectors: Journal of Culture and Technology in a Dynamic Vernacular, which “brings together visionary scholars with cutting-edge designers and technologists to propose a rethinking of the dynamic relation of form to content in academic research.” There is an obvious explanation for this state of digital affairs: the differences between the two cultures. The typical humanities essay is primarily a verbal document composed by a single author, written in a more personal style than that of the scientific article. Typically, it is designed around an argument or narrative that does not easily lend itself to nonsequential reading. One cannot imagine essays by scholars as diverse as Martin Heidegger, Jürgen Habermas, Simone de Beauvoir, Judith Butler, or Martha Nussbaum benefitting in any substantive way from the affordances of the web, aside from easier access to a global readership. In many cases, a simple web-based reproduction of the print version suffices. Still, the elite humanities journals are not entirely free of Internet innovation.

Keywords:   Film scholars, Gutenberg-e series, Hypertext, Kairos, Music Theory Online, Open Humanities Press, Postmodern Culture, Soweto uprising, Tempest

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