Saturday, August 31, 2013

Applications open for Five Solutions: Digital Sustainability for Historians


Five Solutions to What?

Historical scholarship is increasingly digital; and yet we do not have an agreed form of best practices for ensuring that digital scholarship lasts. Five Solutions is looking for five scholars able to outline a solution to the issues of sustainability now facing historians. This one day workshop asks participants to give a 15 minute presentation outlining practical solutions to one of five challenges, with the resources and expertise of an ordinary working historian in mind.  These presentations will form the basis for a one day workshop on practical strategies for digital sustainability.  The presentations can be based on your own experience and ideas, or can be taken on as a research project. We will work with all participants to ensure that the final presentations are both technically workable and illustrated with the most appropriate datasets.

Accepted participants will each receive a £350 honorarium.*

The Five Themes

The following five themes are designed to get you started, but if you have other ideas, we’d love to hear about it. Each theme should be approached with the ordinary working historian in mind.

1.     Preserving research data for the future
2.     Curating an enduring professional online persona
3.     Paying project costs after the money runs out
4.     Capturing and documenting the expertise of temporary staff
5.     Strategies for working together on larger projects

Who Should Apply?

We’re looking for people with passion. Scholars old or young, university students of any level, librarians, archivists, developers, designers, system administrators, or anyone who considers themselves a historian at heart. No specific qualifications or prior experience required - just an interest in helping academia find solutions to organizational and technological challenges facing the sustainability of our digital projects.

What do I have to do?

Figure out a solution, of course! Once you’ve come up with your solution, you’ll share your work in two ways:

1.     A 15-minute presentation of your solution at a one-day conference in London, UK on the 28th of November 2013 at the Institute of Historical Research.

2.     A 1500-2000 word peer-reviewed tutorial outlining your solution to be published in the spring of 2014 in the Programming Historian 2 and distributed as part of ‘IHR Digital’.

All tutorials will be peer-reviewed and released under a Creative Commons CC-BY license. Participants will have the full support of an editor at the Programming Historian 2 who will provide guidance for writing an effective, practical tutorial.

Evidence of previous work with technical writing or a willingness to learn, as well as a strong command of the English language are a bonus.

How do I apply?

By 8 October 2013 send a two-page C.V. and a brief email to (subject line: Five Solutions) addressing the following questions:

1.     What theme would you like to tackle? (Use one of our suggestions or come up with your own.)
2.     Give us an idea of how you plan to solve this issue, or where you intend to look for a solution (max 200 words)
3.     What skills or experiences make you the ideal person for the task?

We apologize in advance, but we are limited to five scholars.

* Our funding restrictions allow honorariums for UK-based participants only, though we are happy to receive applications from those abroad who have access to their own travel funding and who would like to participate.

Project Support By
And by the AHRC Theme Leader Fellowship for its Digital Transformations Theme.


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