Sarah Manekin invited me and others to contribute to a workshop on “Researching, Writing and Publishing History in the Digital Age” for graduate students in the Department of History, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia on Friday, November 16th, 2012. This workshop builds on a prior discussion we organized at the History of Education Society meeting in 2010, which served as a pilot for Writing History in the Digital Age (co-edited with Kristen Nawrotzki), our open peer reviewed volume that is freely available online and forthcoming from the University of Michigan Press.

My primary task at the UPenn workshop is to explain the rapidly-changing world of digital book publishing for scholars in six minutes. Given that time constraint, here’s the simplest way that I can think of presenting some key concepts with examples. If you have any better ideas or suggested revisions, post them in a comment below.

Four Publishing Models for Peer-Reviewed Digital Monographs

Start with a small step: All of this can be quite daunting at first glance, especially if the terrain is unfamiliar. For graduate students in history, my recommended first step is to experiment with a digital format for a writing project that you’re already working on, such as a conference paper, where you can plan ahead with other panelists to publicly share and discuss each other’s writing before & after the event, on the open web. Our edited volume, Writing History in the Digital Age (available online now and forthcoming, University of Michigan Press) originally began as a conference panel, “Writing History” (2010). Today, the technology for hosting your own open review on the web has become much easier, and I recommend using the CommentPress Core plugin for WordPress.

See additional resources on related topics, such as:

Kathleen Fitzpatrick and Avi Santo, Open Review: A Study of Contexts and Practices, MediaCommonsPress edition, 2012.

Kristen Nawrotzki and Jack Dougherty, “Introduction,” Writing History in the Digital Age, forthcoming from the University of Michigan Press; Trinity College (CT) web-book edition, Spring 2012,

Lisa Spiro, “Scholarly Communication, Open Education, and Digital Humanities Support Models.” Digital Scholarship in the Humanities, May 30, 2012.

Audrey Watters, Publishing Outside the Academy workshop notes, created for THATCamp Hybrid Pedagogy, October 2012.