Frontiers in Digital Humanities: the road ahead

by Frederic Kaplan, Field Chief Editor for Frontiers in Digital Humanities

The announcement for Frontiers in Digital Humanities took place in Lausanne during the Digital Humanities 2014 conference, and officially launched at the end of the same year. Last week’s Digital Humanities annual conference in Sydney was the occasion of discussing with the research community where we are going and what kind of journal we want Frontiers in Digital Humanities to be.

In just six months, Frontiers in Digital Humanities has reached a number of remarkable milestones, the most important being its large support by the Digital Humanities community- approximately 500 editors have already joined our diverse editorial boards. However, Frontiers has still a long way to go to fully become representative of the diversity of the research and researchers in the field. In Sydney, we discussed in particular the lack of female representation on our board of Specialty Chief Editors (currently nine men). Our objective for next year is the recruit 5 to 10 new Specialty Chief Editors covering the fields of Digital Sociology, Digital Media Studies, Digital Writing and Publishing, Digital Education, Digital Museography, Digital Art and Digital Art History. We have many women on our short list and my dream is to present by next year, for Digital Humanities 2016 in Krakow, a board of Specialty Chief Editors, with an excellent balance of gender.  If you are interested in getting involved, send us a mail at digitalhumanities.editorial.office@frontiersin.org.

Some researchers also asked why I was both occupying the positons of Field Chief Editor and also Specialty Chief Editor for one of the sections. Being responsible of a section allows the Field Chief Editor to fully understand the workload and issues associated with the management of one of section of the journal and can take this into account when managing the journal as a whole. This principle also allows for the opportunity to introduce a rotating appointment for the position of Field Chief Editor,  allowing the diversity of viewpoints to shape the editorial direction.

Building from scratch a full-fledged, well balanced, transparent and open access journal is a challenging task. I thank all the members of the Digital Humanities community who have joined our effort so far and welcome all the ones who will do it in the next twelve months.

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