Editors' note on the April 2023 issue of Reviews in Digital Humanities
Welcome to the April 2023 issue of Reviews in Digital Humanities! Here at Reviews, we’ve been busy on-boarding our new topic editors. We’re excited to see their vision for the journal!
In this month’s issue, we’re excited to share four projects from our open submissions process:
Islam Burkina Faso Collection, a database of materials on Islam, directed by Frédérick Madore and reviewed by Robert Launay;
BERT for Humanists, an online resource helping humanists use natural language processing, directed by Matt Wilkens, David Mimno, and Melanie Walsh, and reviewed by Lidia Bocanegra Barbecho;
Lynching in Texas, a website uncovering little-known stories of Texan lynching victims, directed by Jeffrey L. Littlejohn and reviewed by Maria Juzinskas; and
Disability and Belonging, an ArcGIS StoryMap exploring the Camphill movement, directed by Katherine Sorrels and reviewed by Jennifer Guiliano.
In our editors’ notes, we often focus on the projects, but this month we want to highlight the work of our reviewers. At Reviews, we aim to foster a supportive and positive review culture. We’ve been fortunate that all the reviewers we’ve worked with have approached the projects they reviewed with kindness and generosity. We say that “Reviewer 2” has no place here, and we’ve actually never had anyone act like Reviewer 2 when working with us.
Part of a supportive review culture, however, is ensuring that project directors who submit their work to us receive constructive feedback. Most of our mentoring with reviewers is focused on helping them provide constructive criticism. This ranges from identifying possible tweaks that could improve user experience, to asking questions about the scholarly and ethical positioning of projects, to pointing to features that may not work as well as they could, to providing a wishlist of future directions and areas of growth for a project. The reviews in this month’s issue are excellent examples of the supportive and positive reviews and constructive feedback that Reviews aims to provide. We hope you enjoy the careful and thoughtful responses from the reviewers.