Digital Editing & Publishing in the Twenty-First Century

The digital scholarly edition remains central to the intellectual practices of the arts and humanities, and yet, the fundamentals of their form and structure remain unchanged by the affordances of computers.

Writing in 2016, Joris van Zundert called on theorists and practitioners to “intensify the methodological discourse” necessary to “implement a form of hypertext that truly represents textual fluidity and text relations in a scholarly viable and computational tractable manner”.1 “Without that dialogue,” he warned, “we relegate the raison d’être for the digital scholarly edition to that of a mere medium shift, we limit its expressiveness to that of print text, and we fail to explore the computational potential for digital text representation, analysis and interaction.” While such a dialogue has begun in earnest, digital scholarly editing and publishing remain rooted in the cultural and structural logics of print. 

The edition is often the version of the primary source that is most immediate, accessible, and informative to scholars and students alike, and so it is vital that we invest in further enhancing that dialogue and enable researchers to establish the methods and principles for developing the scholarly digital editions of the future.

C21 Editions is a three-year international collaboration jointly funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AH/W001489/1) and Irish Research Council (IRC/W001489/1). The aim of the project is to investigate the practices of digital scholarly editing and publishing, and explore how these might advance into the future. As part of this project, scholars and practitioners are invited to submit to a collection of essays tentatively entitled, Digital Editing & Publishing in the Twenty-First Century. The final volume will be published as open access.

Chapter proposals of ~500 words will be accepted until February 11th, 2022. Final chapters will be due in early 2023, and can range from 3,000 – 6,000 words in length.

Proposals on any topic relating to digital scholarly editing and digital publishing are welcome, but the editors are particularly interested in essays which engage with future possibilities in this space and consider how digital scholarly editing and publishing can have an impact beyond academia.

Proposals can be sent to Dr James O’Sullivan:


1 Zundert, Joris van. 2016. ‘Barely Beyond the Book?’ In Theories and Practices: Digital Scholarly Editing, edited by Matthew James Driscoll and Elena Pierazzo, 83–106. Cambridge: Open Book Publishers.

2 Driscoll, Matthew James, and Elena Pierazzo, eds. 2016. Digital Scholarly Editing: Theories and Practices. Open Book Publishers.; Boot, Peter, Anna Cappellotto, Wout Dillen, Franz Fischer, Aodhán Kelly, Andreas Mertgens, Anna-Maria Sichani, Elena Spadini, and Dirk van Hulle, eds. 2017. Advances in Digital Scholarly Editing. Sidestone Press.