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The Gutenberg-e Project: Opportunities and Challenges in Publishing Born-Digital Monographs

Friday, August 1, 2008

Abstract

The Gutenberg-e project was created as a bold experiment to explore whether peer-reviewed, born-digital monographs would alter the way historical scholarship is presented, whether scholars would receive the same professional credit for these publications as they would from work published in print, and whether the project would enable the publication of monographs that would otherwise be turned down for financial reasons by university presses. The project has a history that includes both exciting breakthroughs and significant challenges. A number of the authors have created completely new models of collaboration in the scholarly communication process as well as new models of historical scholarship and narrative. We have come to understand that e-books require a significant level of investment in both editorial and technical staff time in order to create publications that reach their full potential as works of digital scholarship. We have also learned that integrating and sustaining this work within a collaborative publishing, library, and technology organization presents significant challenges and great opportunities. Wittenberg will discuss the project’s findings and cover both the breakthroughs and obstacles encountered during the course of the project’s development.

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