Want to Join Your Digital Project to ARC?

The Advanced Research Consortium (ARC) is a vibrant community of researchers who peer review and curate cultural heritage materials for Humanities research.  ARC seeks proposals for editorial groups who wish to serve scholarly communities with particular interests — e.g., book history, postcolonial studies, Caribbean literature, cultural analytics, Latin American literature, animal studies, national literatures other than English, etc. Since 2004 with the founding of NINES, ARC has the dual goals of providing a vetting community for digital scholarship in particular fields and a technological infrastructure to support development of digital scholarly projects and access to such scholarship. In addition to NINES.org, ARC “nodes” include 18thConnect.org, MESA-medieval.org, Modernist Networks (ModNets.org), and SiRO (Studies in Radicalism Online.org), with others currently organizing.  The ARC community seeks to develop itself towards greater cultural inclusiveness.

ARC will set up for each of these communities:

  • A search interface that promotes use of valuable digital projects in the community’s field;
  • A workflow for incorporating and displaying metadata about these projects;
  • Technical support and guidance for project management;
  • Contract negotiation with proprietary resources (from companies such as ProQuest, Gale, JSTOR, ProjectMuse) to integrate journal articles, databases, and other scholarly materials that libraries purchase.

Your may choose to have the search interface embedded in a web site that already provides a meeting point for scholars in your field, or ARC will create for your community an instance of COLLEX, our Collection and Exhibit interface, that provides metadata and full-text searches of relevant resources, including digital scholarly projects that have been peer-reviewed by the community and proprietary resources deemed necessary to the research environment.

ARC hosts each community’s COLLEX instance, provides the SOLR server that allows searching of approved projects (via metadata and indexed full text, when available), negotiates contracts with proprietors for resources deemed essential by each community, and coordinates the various resources of contributing scholarly communities, combining them into a single catalog of metadata.  All metadata is stored at the Center of Digital Humanities Research (CoDHR) at Texas A&M and is mirrored at North Carolina State University. ARC is becoming a member of the Open Library Foundation.

Anyone interested is welcome to contact the ARC Director, Laura Mandell (mandell@tamu.edu) to discuss possibilities, options, and any questions you have about the Proposal.

Proposals can be submitted to https://tinyurl.com/arcnodeproposal should include:

One page Summary Introduction, including:

  • A Name (example: NINES, Networked Infrastructure for Nineteenth-Century Electronic Scholarship)
  • A statement of scope (example: Modernist Networks is a federation of digital projects in modernist literature and culture, etc.)
  • Plan of Work for Community Development (timeline, allocated duties, etc.)
  • Demonstration of support from at least one Director’s home institution, including one or more of the following:
  • A clear Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with one Director’s home institution, outlining resources to be committed (example: graduate assistant, course reduction for director, travel support to annual meeting);
  • Plans for requesting that these libraries become Founding Member-Affiliates, subscribing to BigDIVA.org. The difference between a Founding Library (listed in the brochure, p. 7) and a Founding Member-Affiliate is that the funds for those subscriptions, minus 10%, will remain at your home institution to fund your development of an ARC node.
  • A list of projects suitable for incorporation (this list can be tentative, to be expanded/revised later)
  • Named Directors (preferably two co-Directors) and affiliations
    • Directors should expect to solicit projects to contribute to the node; oversee peer review of new projects; secure some level of institutional support (such as a graduate assistant or financial contribution) and/or apply for grants to support development of the site. At least one Director attends the annual ARC board meeting hosted by various communities. Directors should provide a brief (2 page) vita highlighting contributions to their field, including any prior digital experience
  • Project Manager
    • Project Managers are typically graduate students or staff willing to be trained in day-to-day technical skills by ARC. Project Managers should ideally have familiarity with the WordPress content management platform, version control using Git, and with XML data format, particularly the RDF XML schema.  The Project Manager need not be named at time of the proposal, but please include a job description and possible hiring plans.
  • Editorial Board (can be provisional, pending invitations and final commitments)
    • Specializing in the community’s field or focus, Editorial board members provide content peer review for projects seeking to join  the community. Editorial Board should consist of respected figures in the field covered by the community.  Board sizes vary, but most nodes have at least 12 named editorial board members.
  • Technical Editorial Board
    • Provide technical oversight, ensuring that all participating digital projects conform to best practices. Technical Editorial board members should have reasonable familiarity with TEI, XML, and Metadata schema. Board sizes vary, but are usually smaller than the Editorial board (4-6).