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JASIST Special Issue on “Digital Humanities (DH)”

JASIST Special Issue on “Digital Humanities (DH)”

This special issue of the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST) mirrors the increasing worldwide attention on Digital Humanities (DH), “a discipline in its own right” (Schreibman, Siemens, and Unsworth, 2004, xxiii). It is noticeable that DH has generated a paradigm shift at the intersection between the disciplines of the humanities and digital information technology. DH has become a new, impactful mode of scholarship and institutional unit for collaborative, transdisciplinary, and computationally engaged research, teaching, and publication (Svensson, 2010; Burdick et al., 2012; Van Ruyskensvelde, 2014). While the field has advanced tremendously within the last decade and continues to expand, agreed-upon definitions of “Digital Humanities” have also seen continuing debate. “Complexity,” a theme of the DH2019 international conference that demonstrates a multifaceted connection with DH scholarship (ADHO, 2019), reflects the nature of this field today.

This JASIST special issue aims to highlight concepts, theories, methods, and analyses, and showcases the infrastructures of DH and its standard practices, the methodological and technological advancements in DH research, and critical issues in the development of DH. The special issue will present works that contribute to an understanding of DH’s multifaceted landscape and the role of information science and technologies (IST) in humanities research in the 21st century.  These contributions will build on previous work in conceptual connections between DH and IST (e.g., Poole 2017), as well as the role of information professionals in DH (e.g., Clement & Carter 2017). This issue also aims to map out a research agenda that identifies critical points of intersection and gaps in knowledge that require collaboration between IST and DH scholars and the establishment of a common theoretical framework for understanding key issues and research questions.

Topics of Interest

The topics of this special issue tentatively include, but are not limited to, the listed areas of:

Infrastructures of Digital Humanities

  • Broad organizational and structural aspects of the field;
  • Best practices and localizations of collaboration, partnerships, training and support, access, preservation, sustainability, and more;
  • Ways DH work is organized around the globe, including issues of resourcing and under-resourcing.

Applications of DH Across Domains

  • Collaborations between departments and institutions;
  • The epistemological challenges represented in the reconciliation of different knowledge structures and ways of knowing in the IST and DH disciplines;
  • Semantic technology (including but not limited to linked data) applications;
  • (Re)shaping of cultural heritage institutions, the disciplines within the information world, and associated technologies in the new DH domains.

DH landscape (in the context of DH history)

  • DH history and the changing landscape;
  • The role of IST in the DH mainstream of the 21st

Methodologies and methodological innovations in DH

  • The methodological shift of DH research in the Big Data age;
  • The impact of collaboration in the work of knowledge organization and representation in DH, and how these changes have and will continue to affect the IST fields;
  • How the large volume and diversity of data in DH projects has and will continue to affect processes and methods in

Influence of Digital Technologies on Humanities

  • How digital tools and platforms have shaped, or have the potential to influence, how humanities scholars work, conduct research, and disseminate their work and the associated implications.

Influence of Humanities on Digital Technologies

  • How humanities scholarship, traditions, and practices have shaped or have the potential to shape digital tools, platforms, and innovations.

DH Education and Training

  • Research on DH education models, curricula, courses, careers and competencies, and the diverse and collaborative approaches.

Submission Guidelines

Before submitting your manuscript, please ensure you have carefully read the JASIST Submission

Guidelines ( ). The complete manuscript should be submitted through JASIST’s Submission System ( ). To ensure that your submission is routed properly, please select “Yes” in response to “Is this submission for a special issue?” and specify “Special Issue on Digital Humanities” when prompted later. Manuscripts of up to 10,000 words are accepted for this SI.

Submission Deadlines

Paper submission due: January 15, 2021
Note: please do not submit until after January 1, 2021 – the manuscripts will not be reviewed until after the submission deadline passes. 

Guest Editors

Marcia Lei Zeng, Kent State University, USA.

Chris Alen Sula, Pratt Institute, USA.

Eero Hyvönen, University of Helsinki (HELDIG) and Aalto University, Finland

Karen F. Gracy, Kent State University, USA.

Vânia Mara Alves Lima, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil

Wilfred K Subbo, University of Nairobi, Kenya


ADHO. (2019). Digital Humanities 2019: “Complexities”. Call for papers.  Available at

Burdick, A., Drucker, J., Lunenfeld, P., Presner, T., & Schnapp, J. (2012). Digital Humanities. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Clement, T. E., & Carter, D. (2017). Connecting theory and practice in digital humanities information work. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology 68(6), 1385–1396.

Poole, A. H. (2017). The conceptual ecology of digital humanities. Journal of Documentation 73(1), 91–122.

Schreibman, S., Siemens, R., & Unsworth, J. (2004). The digital humanities and humanities computing: An introduction. In: A Companion to Digital Humanities, xxiii–xxvii. Oxford: Blackwell. Available at

Svensson, P. (2010). The landscape of digital humanities. Digital Humanities Quarterly, 4(1). Available at

Van Ruyskensvelde, S. (2014). Towards a history of e-ducation? Exploring the possibilities of digital humanities for the history of education. Paedagogica Historica, 50(6), 861-870.