Using PressForward, Cohen and Joan Fragaszy Troyano are now editing two new publications, Digital Humanities Now and the Journal of Digital Humanities. Digital Humanities Now began as a curation tool to extract humanities information from twitter. It now covers a variety of blog, social media and repository content that is available openly on the web. The Journal of Digital Humanities takes this curation process a step further — it consists of the best content exposed by Digital Humanities Now.
In some ways, these two publications are quite novel, automatically culling from thousands of daily posts, organizing and segmenting their respective content, and then algorithmically ranking the mass of content. Increasingly, as the mega journals such as PLoS ONE, Nature’s Scientific Reports, and the few others that exist begin collecting a wide range of diverse scholarly content, these overlay journals will become increasingly useful. Digital Humanities Now and the Journal of Digital Humanities are examples of how to bring this content together and what these overlay journals might look like.
But despite its novelty, the Journal of Digital Humanities is essentially doing what traditional journals and editors had done — gather, review, and validate content — but based on a curation model rather than one that is submission-based. Traditional journals had to generate sufficient reputation and distribution to generate paper submission from authors. If a traditional publication were lucky enough to have sufficient reputation for quality, it could be selective, or even especially selective of the content it published. In the case of the new journals, they are pushing out content that already exists and then curating the content based on what is available in the open web.