Dean Rehberger deposited Ethical Sustainability of Digital Humanities Projects in the group Global Digital Humanities Symposium on Humanities Commons 5 months, 1 week ago
Digital Humanities projects tend to come and go. The reasons are legions, but to name a few — funding ends, faculty members loss interest, institutions change hosting agreements, code becomes too insecure and costly to upgrade. For the most part, this may not be a bad thing since the value for the field, faculty member(s), and/or student(s) is often in the praxis and not the long-term sustainability. However, some projects do demand a higher concern for sustainability that can vary from the importance of access to materials to the promises made to contributors and communities. To that end, this talk examines the keys to ethical sustainability for digital projects that need to be built into the DH project — not as an afterthought — but into every phase of planning, development, and dissemination. That is, ethical sustainability must be seen as a key element of the project from the very beginning if it is to be useful and transferable to other institutions, libraries, and/or archives. To confine this to a lightening talk, this presentation will look at only one long term project, the Quilt Index, and the underlying strategies used for ethical sustainability that have kept it online and growing for more than two decades. At the heart of these strategies must be a strong ethical component that considers content, contributors, and user communities.