By Elijah Meeks
…This is fundamentally an argument directed at administrators looking to support digital humanities work at their universities and not researchers looking to perform digital humanities work, but it is meant to push that latter group toward agitating for action from the former. I’ve had enough experience now with digital humanities projects to know that when you’re collaborating with computer scientists or contracting developer resources without a sense of standardized, centralized resources, then the data, code and tool decisions tend to be made based on expediency or a desire to experiment with new, unsupported and/or experimental technologies. The result, as evidenced by any quick survey of digital humanities projects, is a mish-mash of data storage practices, metadata standards, codebases and data models. This has led to the ex post facto justification that such projects are by necessity “boutique” development, and that standardization can only go so far and will likely cause damage to knowledge-creation.