Category Archives: Editors’ Choice


Editors’ Choice: A Statistical Analysis of the Work of Bob Ross

By Walt Hickey | April 17, 2014

Bob Ross was a consummate teacher. He guided fans along as he painted “happy trees,” “almighty mountains” and “fluffy clouds” over the course of his 11-year television career on his PBS show, “The Joy of Painting.” In total, Ross painted 381 works on the show, relying on a distinct set of elements, scenes and themes, and […]

Creative Commons Image by Paul Lowry via Flickr

Editors’ Choice: New Media’s Role in Participatory Politics

By Joseph Kahne | April 15, 2014

Social network sites, websites and text increasingly serve as a conduit for political information and a major public arena where citizens express and exchange their political ideas, raise funds and mobilize others to vote, protest and work on public issues. In “Youth, New Media, and the Rise of Participatory Politics,” a working paper authored by […]


Editor’s Choice: Defining Digital Social Sciences

By Lisa Spiro | April 10, 2014

As a member of a research team investigating the skills and competencies important to digital scholarship, I’ve become interested in what “digital scholarship” means in different disciplines, particularly the social sciences and humanities. Perhaps not surprisingly, I’m finding some significant points of intersection between digital humanities and digital social sciences. For example, the Digging into […]


Editor’s Choice: The Dividends of Difference: Recognizing Digital Humanities’ Diverse Family Tree/s

By Tom Scheinfeldt | April 10, 2014

In her excellent statement of digital humanities values, Lisa Spiro identifies “collegiality and connectedness” and “diversity” as two of the core values of digital humanities. I agree with Lisa that digital humanists value both things—I certainly do—but it can be hard to *do* both things at the same time. The first value stresses the things […]


Editor’s Choice: The Value of Archival Description, Considered

By Maureen Callahan | April 8, 2014

So, what do finding aids do? Why do we create them? OK, so we can start by looking at finding aids as a way to address the practical problem of giving potential researchers access to unique or rare material that can only be found in a single location, behind a locked door in a closed […]


Editor’s Choice: Digital History and the Death of Quant

By James Baker | April 8, 2014

What do historians need to do good digital research? Well, they need skills that help them get at data, wrangle data (Open Refine perhaps), organise data (in machine readable, human readable, platform agnostic ways), chop up data (perhaps a splash of Unix), get that data into a form that tools for geo-referencing, text mining, topic […]

EC2- 4.3.14

Editors’ Choice: When we share, do they care?

By Simon Tanner | April 3, 2014

We, as memory organizations, have the wealth of human knowledge and experience within our collections and it is our responsibility to share that with the world – we should seek to educate, to enlighten and to entertain. And increasingly, our ability to share is becoming ever more feasible because, just like a candle’s flame, when we […]


Editors’ Choice: Publishing scholarly papers with, and on, Wikipedia

By Dr. Martin Poulter | April 1, 2014

Wikipedia welcomes expert contributions, and is one of the most direct ways to promote public understanding of a subject area, but it isn’t always in researchers’ personal interest to contribute. It may seem as though any time spent writing for Wikipedia is less time to write the research papers which will advance their careers. One […]