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Giving Credit Where Credit is Due: Acknowledging Collaborative Work in Digital Humanities Projects

Collaborative work is one of the chief hallmarks of digital humanities (DH) work, which is generally organized around ‘projects’ conducted by ‘teams’ whose members bring different skill sets and interests to the enterprise.  DH crediting practices therefore differ from traditional print media, which emphasize the single author monograph or peer-reviewed article. A great deal of scholarly attention has been paid to the nature of DH collaborative work, ranging from the proper treatment of students working on DH projects (notably the UCLA Student Collaborators’ Bill of Rights) to the tendency to view technical development as support work or service rather than legitimate research. But there is very little discussion of the practical ways that the different roles of DH team members have been acknowledged nor has there emerged a set of widely accepted definitions or labels for these different roles.  This talk approaches the issue by presenting the results of a survey of the different titles employed in a representative sample of DH projects in order to assess: (1) what patterns emerge in the titles given to DH team members when cross-referenced to such factors as institutional sponsors, funding, type of project, and the team member’s roles, academic status, dates of participation, and gender? (2) Do these patterns suggest best practices for distinguishing (by titles or in other ways) the contributions of team members to DH projects?