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Digital Publishing at Penn: Iterative & Special Publications

A guide to developing short and long-form digital scholarly publications.

Iterative Publications

Digital Publications can offer new pathways for publishing scholarship, including ways to publish or share content in stages. There are a few reasons why you might consider an iterative approach for your digital publication. These might include wanting to share research transparently, especially when it addresses the experiences, resources, and traditions of vulnerable communities. An iterative release of chapters, essays, or resources in the publication can offer a path for dialoging with the community and with peers in advance of finalizing a monograph, or the iterative publication can be the designated publication format. 

Iterative publications may also offer an approach to creating digital publications on a given topic as part of a class. Each time the class is taught, a new chapter or collection of essays and resources could be added to the project, like a new volume. 

Open Educational Resources

Digital publication platforms can support many different kinds of publications that can be used in teaching or even developed in the classroom as a collaborative class project. For example, annotation features in digital publishing platforms can facilitate the creation of digital and critical editions that employ both narrative and multimodal resources that students can contribute to through comments and short or long form essays. Open educational resources can also take the form of an enhanced collection of resources for learning about a particular subject area, like an introduction to manuscript studies, or a resource for language instruction.

Special Publication Projects

Collections Based Publications:

Digital publication platforms can support many different kinds of publications with short- or long-form narrative that are based on collections. Material collections in particular can be animated in new and unique ways through the digital affordances and enhancements. For example, a manuscript or book that was meant to be engaged with non-linearly, yet is typically read cover-to-cover in print format, can leverage digital tools and platforms to recover the original non-linear intent. Likewise, digital tools and platforms can create a space for sharing transcriptions of documents juxtaposed alongside digitized scans of the originals, or provide an environment for curating multimodal content like images, and videos, within a shared publication. Annotation features in digital publishing platforms can also facilitate the creation of digital and critical editions that employ both narrative and multimodal resources. 


Speaker Series Preserved as a Digital Publication

Although many digital publishing platforms are designed to support the needs of monographs and journals, the same layouts can be leveraged to create unique publications that are centered around lectures, podcast interviews, and other multimodal content that would be flattened in a print format. For example, a lecture series could be preserved as a digital publication, and the conversation could be extend and enhanced by juxtaposing the lecture alongside additional linked resources. In addition to a preservation method, creating a digital publication based on an individual lecture, a series, or a podcast conversation can also increase access by creating a space to include transcripts of audio or video based content.  

Iterative & Special Publication Examples


Open Educational Resources: 

Collections & Special Projects:

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