In recent years, the formats of scholarly publications have been diversified – this is also true for film and media studies. NECSUS has been an early adopter and a key journal in facilitating this development – namely by including a curated section dedicated to audiovisual essays, and by including scholarly perspectives on the GLAM sector by reviewing exhibitions and festivals. In this spirit of generative novelty, we are now calling for data papers that systematically present specific aspects of film and media studies through data sets that have been carefully selected and curated.
In the field of digital humanities, digital history, and digital methods, the publication of data papers has been established over the recent past. In the last five years a number of specialised journals for data papers in the Humanities and Social Science have been founded – two prominent examples are the Journal of Open Humanities Data and the Research Data Journal for the Humanities and Social Sciences. The recently established Journal of Digital History adds data and layers of visualisations to its articles, so it combines traditional research with the idea of data papers.
What is a data paper?
A data paper is usually understood as a publication of a data set on a specific topic with an associated documentation. This documentation describes how, when, and why the data was collected and what the data set contains. The documentation might also contain a critical reflection on the selection of data, the questions one could raise in conjunction to the specific data set, and suggestions for future research. Besides the publication of the data itself (which, if no other option is available, can be published with a persistent identifier in the media-studies repository media/rep/), a data paper should consist of the following sections:
- Introduction (contextual information about the project and the origin of the data; an explanation of the potential of the data set)
- Methods (type of data collection, sampling methods, materials and codes used, use licenses)
- Description of the dataset (descriptors and identifiers of the data)
- Conclusion (potential for further research)
Visibility and collaboration
Our new section ‘Data Papers’ – featuring one or more data papers in each issue of NECSUS – contributes to the visibility of data work in our field and it allows young and upcoming scholars working with data to broaden their publication list. This section thereby honours and makes visible work that has often been below the radar and thus invisible for academic recognition (job market, prizes, promotion, tenure, etc).
Moreover, data papers are often multi-authored collaborative publications. By including data papers in NECSUS, the collaborative scholarly research would also gain additional momentum, which we see as a (welcome) challenge in our fields. It would also allow staff that often gets no credit in the humanities (data and IT specialists, student assistants, early career researchers, infrastructural staff) to be credited as part of the work in a larger team.
This section, like the Audiovisual Essay section, is a curated section in which data is published alongside a documentation and discussion.
Data Papers is edited by Alexandra Schneider (firstname.lastname@example.org, Mainz) and Malte Hagener (email@example.com, Marburg). We look forward to receiving abstracts of 300 words, including 3-5 bibliographic references, 4-5 keywords, and a short biography of 100 words at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for submissions for the Autumn 2023 issue is 1 June 2023. Please get in touch if you have any questions.