“How did they make that?” Section CFP


DHCommons Journal seeks procedural descriptions of how to launch and/or maintain an exemplary aspect of a stable digital project for potential publication in its second issue. We encourage you to emphasize in your submission a component of the project that came out particularly well and/or represented a significant challenge (e.g. data visualization, accessibility compliance, data cleaning and preparation). Readers should be able to come away with a sense of how they could begin to tackle a similar challenge. In spirit, these submissions should be inspired by Miriam Posner’s “How did they make that?”

DHCommons will publish 1-3 procedural descriptions in each issue of DHCommons Journal. Submissions should be between 600-1000 words in length. Illustrative images are strongly encouraged. Submissions must correspond to digital projects that are publicly available. All submissions will be peer reviewed. 

Authors of accepted submissions will be asked to participate in an interview about their project that will be published alongside their piece. The interview will provide an opportunity to describe the project aspect and the project as a whole in more depth. Attempts will be made to select submissions in line with the theme of the overall issue, digital diversity. DHCommons Journal's concept of “diversity”  includes diversity in project language, staff, academic subject, or goals, among other possibilities. DHCommons Journal invites submissions in a wide variety of languages. DHCommons Journal has an International Advisory Board and will work with authors to find reviewers in the language of submission whenever possible.

Examples of previously published work:

Fred Gibbs, "Editorial Sustainability and Open Peer Review at Programming Historian"
Caitlin Christian-Lamb and Sara Sikes, "How Did They Make That: The Adams Timeline"

Submissions are due April 1, 2016

Submission Guidelines

Your submission should address each of the points below:

  • Timeframe from conception to implementation
  • Technical skills needed
  • Competencies needed (e.g. project management, data management, etc.)
  • Infrastructure needed
  • Funding needed, if any
  • Pointers to resources that build required skills and competencies (e.g. relevant blog posts, Programming Historian lessons, etc.)

Submission Process

Review Process

Reviewers will evaluate the clarity and completeness with which authors describe their projects.

Questions include:

  • Will the procedural description be readily accessible to readers with novice as well as advanced digital project experience?
  • Does the author effectively communicate competencies and skills required to deliver the digital project?
  • Does the author effectively describe the technologies underlying the digital project?


All inquiries should be directed to Section Editor, Thomas Padilla.

Thomas Padilla, Section Editor, tpadilla@msu.edu
Miriam Posner, Contributing Editor
Trip Kirkpatrick, Contributing Editor
Dean Rehberger, Contributing Editor