Intersections Between Social Knowledge Creation and Critical Making

  • Alyssa Arbuckle Electronic Textual Cultures Lab, University of Victoria
  • Alex Christie University of Victoria
  • ETCL Research Group University of Victoria
  • INKE Research Group
  • MVP Research Group University of Victoria
Keywords: digital scholarship, knowledge production, knowledge dissemination, public knowledge, publishing platforms


This article outlines the practices of digital scholarly communication (moving research production and dissemination online), critical making (producing theoretical insights by transforming digitized heritage materials), and social knowledge creation (collaborating in online environments to produce shared knowledge products). In addition to exploring these practices and their principles, this article argues for a combination of these activities in order to engender knowledge production chains that connect multiple institutions and communities. Highlighting the relevance of critical making theory for scholarly communication practice, this article provides examples of theoretical research that offer tangible products for expanding and enriching scholarly production.

Author Biographies

Alyssa Arbuckle, Electronic Textual Cultures Lab, University of Victoria
Alyssa Arbuckle is Assistant Director, Research Partnerships & Development in the Electronic Textual Cultures Lab at the University of Victoria. She holds a M.A. in English from the University of Victoria with a focus on digital humanities, and a B.A. Hons in English from the University of British Columbia.
Alex Christie, University of Victoria
Alex Christie is a doctoral candidate in English at the University of Victoria. He is a graduate research assistant with the Modernist Versions Project and Implementing New Knowledge Environments.
ETCL Research Group, University of Victoria
The Electronic Textual Cultures Lab (ETCL) engages in cross-disciplinary study of the past, present, and future of textual communication, and is a hub for digital humanities activities across the University of Victoria campus and beyond. We're a digital humanities lab with research, teaching, and service mandates, and an intellectual centre for the activities of some 20 local faculty, staff, students, and visiting scholars (over 60 since inception), who work closely with research centres, libraries, academic departments, and projects locally and in the larger community. Through a series of highly collaborative relationships, ETCL's international research community comprises over 300 researchers. The ETCL organizes the annual Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI;, which will welcome over 750 students in 2015, and supports the activities of the multi-disciplinary Implementing New Knowledge Environments (INKE; research group, which involves over 42 researchers and consultants, 53 graduate research assistants, 4 staff members, 19 postdoctoral fellows, and 30 partners and associates.
INKE Research Group
Implementing New Knowledge Environments (INKE) is a collaborative group of researchers and graduate research assistants working with other organizations and partners to explore the digital humanities, electronic scholarly communication, and the affordances of digital text.
MVP Research Group, University of Victoria
Working with established Digital Humanities (DH) research teams both within and beyond Canada, the MVP will establish a set of best practices and a shared workflow—as well as help build the necessary tools and resources—to allow scholars to digitize modernist texts, compare multiple versions, mark-up the variants to facilitate easy searching and comparison, and display the results in an agile and extensible way. The value of doing so emerges in two ways: first, because many modernist texts are now emerging from copyright in Canada (well ahead of their emergence in the United States), the MVP is positioned to make a significant contribution to modernist studies and edition production. We have an opportunity in this regard that is nearly unparalleled in the rest of the world. Second, the MVP will enable new critical insights and facilitate new modes of scholarly production by making modernist texts accessible and queryable.