Presentations (Communicative Events)

Women Film Pioneers Project (WFPP): Presentation at Coalition for Networked Information, Fall Forum 2013

Newton, Mark P.; Harvell, J. Hugh; Williams, Leyla S.

The Women Film Pioneers Project (WFPP), published October 2013, is an online scholarly resource several years in development that expands on the unheralded biographies of women in the silent film industry ( Initially conceived as a collection of solicited essays and profiles for publication as a multi-volume reference work with a university press, WFPP became an online-only resource published in partnership with the Center for Digital Research and Scholarship (CDRS), a unit of the Columbia University Libraries/Information Services. The WFPP breaks convention for scholarly publication in a number of significant ways, particularly by setting itself up as a living resource, with content that can be both cited and augmented by its readership. Such expectations for the project have challenged its editors to think critically about translating scholarship for an online audience and have challenged the design and development team to make some difficult decisions around presentation and infrastructural support. The result of the publishing partnership has yielded an interesting case study around university library publishing and scholarship support programs, with supplementary considerations around the appetite for nontraditional publications from university faculty. The presenters, all members of the CDRS-based project team, propose secondary narratives around the publication of WFPP: that of the effects of adapting content-appropriate presentational approaches to online scholarship and of the impact of social media marketing as applied to library-based publishing activities. The design and development choices for the project have manifested an observable positive reception to the work. An early beta release of WFPP for debut at a film studies conference ignited grassroots viral promotion over Twitter. The resultant coverage in the popular press prior to the formal project launch indicates the translational quality of the research itself and offers the project team the opportunity to reflect upon aspects of the project activities across design and marketing that led to its unique successes. The presenters thus propose to engage attendees around multiple themes, examining the processes of development in partnership to draw some inferential conclusions around potential for translational scholarship in nontraditional publishing scenarios and the unique suitability of the university library’s digital scholarship support center to act as publishing partner.


More About This Work

Academic Units
Center for Digital Research and Scholarship
Published Here
February 24, 2014