International Journal of Digital Libraries: Special Issue on Digital Scholarship

Digital scholarship, or “cyberscholarship” – that based on data and computation – is radically reshaping knowledge discovery, creation, analysis, presentation and dissemination in many topical areas.  Scientists are using vast amounts of data to explore galaxies, measure stresses on earth systems, create genetic profiles of living things and study the changing behaviors and mores of societies and individuals in a an increasing populated and fragile physical world steeped in networked digital technologies.  Similarly, humanists are using new types of information objects, methodologies and tools to transform and expand their scholarly endeavors.  Examples include the creation and use of digital representations of material culture by historians, introducing spatial and temporal indexed data into the study of literature and information visualizations to communicate the outcomes of traditional humanistic inquiry.

The enabling environment for digital scholarship is a rapidly expanding global digital ecology composed of large and diverse datasets; richly annotated, globally linked and accessible to all using open source tools.  Accompanying technology changes have been trends within scholarly communities toward rich informal dialogues, cross-disciplinary collaborations and equable sharing of research findings.

Data-centered approaches to inquiry have now become a staple of research and scholarship in almost every disciplinary domain.  Accompanying this have been cultural shifts in the scholarly community that challenge long-standing assumptions that underpin the structure of academic institutions and beg new models of scholarly communication.  Network-centric models of scientific communication that capture a comprehensive record of scholarly workflows are now seen by many as a necessary condition for accurate and complete reporting of scholarly work.

Much of the seminal work in developing the information environments and resources that support digital scholarship can be linked directly to digital libraries research – past and present.  Pioneering digital libraries research illuminated essential core information architectures and environments and inspired a generation of researchers to look beyond the confines of their own discipline and often partner with others to pursue interdisciplinary projects – many of which captured national attention and captivated the general public with their brilliance.

This special issue will solicit high quality papers that demonstrate exceptional achievements in digital scholarship, including but not limited to:

  • Scholarly work that demonstrates innovation in the creation and use of complex information objects and tools to advance domain scholarship.
  • Domain research that exemplifies creative and innovative data-intensive research in the formal, natural, social sciences and the humanities and arts.
  • New applications, tools and services that expand the scope and means for interdisciplinary digital scholarship.
  • Data repositories and infrastructure projects of exceptional quality and value that illustrate how community-based efforts can serve global constituencies.
  • Models for leveraging and expanding web-based infrastructure for scholars.
  • Document models that support multiple information types, update, annotation, executable objects, linkages, rapid integration and staged release of document components.
  • Scholarly communication environments that capture a comprehensive record of scholarly workflows and artifacts and provide new means of presentation, dissemination and reuse of digital assets.

Important Dates

  • November 30, 2013 – Paper Submission deadline
  • March 1, 2014 – First notification
  • May 1, 2014 – Revision submission
  • July 1, 2014 – Second notification
  • September 1, 2014 – Final version submission

Guest Editors

  • Stephen M. Griffin, University of Pittsburgh (contact person)
  • Stefan Gradmann, University of Leuven

Editorial Board

  • Michael Lesk, Rutgers University
  • Elizabeth Lyon, University of Bath, UKOLN
  • William Arms, Cornell
  • Christine Borgman, University of California, Los Angeles (tentative yes)
  • Tom Moritz, Consultant
  • Michael Buckland, University of California, Berkeley

Paper Submission

Papers submitted to this special issue for possible publication must be original and must not be under consideration for publication in any other journal or conference. Previously published or accepted conference papers must contain at least 30% new material to be considered for the special issue. All papers are to be submitted by referring to Please select “Special Issue” under Manuscript Category of your submission. All manuscripts must be prepared according to the journal publication guidelines which can also be found on its website provided above. Papers will be reviewed following the journal standard review process.

Please address inquiries to