The Changing Culture of Humanities Scholarship: Iteration, Recursion, and Versions in Scholarly Collaboration Environments


  • Susan Brown University of Guelph and University of Alberta
  • John Simpson University of Alberta



Versioning, Editing, Textuality


The non-linear and iterative nature of scholarly research processes presents complexities with respect to how online collaborative systems manage versions both within interfaces and at the back end. This article maps out a two-part framework for thinking about versions and versioning in the context of contemporary scholarship and data preservation. The first presents four notable qualities of digital textuality that are intensified by the digital turn, and the second considers technical considerations flowing from these characteristics. The authors argue that the management of large humanities data sets and the design of associated interfaces, tools, and infrastructure need to recognize and preserve the dynamic, living nature of digital cultural artifacts and of scholarship on culture.