DHCommons launches as a centerNet initiative

DHCommons and centerNet are pleased to announce that, as of January 5, 2012, DHCommons will become a sponsored initiative of centerNet. The centerNet Executive Council formally approved this partnership at their meeting in Paris on December 7, 2011. DHCommons and centerNet reached this agreement after six months of discussions, led by Ryan Cordell and Quinn Dombrowski for DHCommons and Neil Fraistat representing centerNet.

This partnership promises to be mutually beneficial for centerNet and DHCommons while helping to create and solidify the emerging infrastructure for digital scholarship in the humanities. As a centerNet initiative, DHCommons will help lower the cost of entry into digital scholarship and bridge gaps between large humanities centers and solo practitioners around the world. DHCommons will complement the mission of other centerNet initiatives, such as, arts-humanities.net, aimed at supporting collaboration in the digital humanities. Through DHCommons, centerNet will foster increased collaboration among digital humanities centers and—most importantly—between centers and those previously outside of the center network.

DHCommons is an online hub focused on matching digital humanities projects seeking assistance with scholars interested in project collaboration. This hub responds to a pressing and demonstrable need for a project-collaborator matching service that will allow scholars interested in DH to enter the field by joining an existing project as well as make existing projects more sustainable by drawing in new, well-matched participants. DHCommons helps break down the siloization of an emerging field by connecting collaborators across institutions, a particularly acute need for solo practitioners and those without access to a digital humanities center. Working with centerNet, DHCommons will strive also to reach solo digital humanists in countries or regions without robust digital humanities infrastructure, helping them find communities of potential collaborators to further their work. DHCommons began in a session on interinstitutional collaboration at THATCamp Chicago in October of 2010. Session participants Ryan Cordell (St. Norbert College), Quinn Dombrowski (University of Chicago), and Christopher Dickman (St. Louis University) began developing the hub soon thereafter with the support of the Texas A&M Initiative for Digital Humanities, Media, and Culture and the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education. The DHCommons Advisory Board includes Rebecca Davis (NITLE), Christopher Dickman (St. Louis University), Quinn Dombrowski (University of Chicago), Laura Mandell (IDHMC), Katherine Rowe (Bryn Mawr College), and Lisa Spiro (NITLE).

centerNet is an international network of digital humanities centers formed for cooperative and collaborative action to benefit digital humanities and allied fields in general, and centers as humanities cyberinfrastructure in particular. Since its inception in April 2007, centerNet has added over 250 members from about 120 centers in over 20 countries. Regional centerNet affiliates have been established in Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, and the U.K. and Ireland, each with a steering committee. In 2009, centerNet became a founding member of CHAIN: the Coalition of Humanities and Arts Infrastructures and Networks (with DARIAH, CLARIN, Project Bamboo, and ADHO). In 2010, centerNet formally affiliated with the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI), the Digital Library Federation, and 4Humanities, in each case to pursue an ambitious agenda of initiatives on matters of mutual interest. On 1 January, 2012, centerNet became a fully fledged ‘Constituent Organisation’ within The Alliance of Digital Humanities Organisations (ADHO).