(Washington, D.C. and Georgetown, Texas) February 13, 2012—The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) and the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE) announce the formation of Anvil Academic, a digital publisher for the humanities. Anvil will focus on publishing new forms of scholarship that cannot be adequately conveyed in the traditional monograph.
“Increasingly, research in the humanities is dependent on large data sets and involves sophisticated algorithms and visualizations in the execution of that research and in the construction of the products of scholarship. Anvil will capture the environment in which this research is conducted: a linked ecology of scholarly expression, data, and tools of analysis that will over time become itself a place for new knowledge discovery,” said CLIR President Chuck Henry.
Works published through Anvil will be available through Creative Commons licenses on the Web and as apps on portable devices. The title production system will be developed jointly by NITLE and CLIR for use by other institutions, each of which would have the opportunity to publish under its own imprint. It is expected that Anvil will publish its first title in late 2012.
All of Anvil’s scholarly works will conform to the standards and protocols articulated by the Digital Public Library of America; Anvil will also work closely with the technical requirements of Europeana and Open Access Publishing in the European Network (OAPEN) guidelines.
“We will be developing not only new technological paradigms, but new paradigms for defining and evaluating credible scholarly discourse, and we will be thoroughly documenting, in as open a fashion as possible, our process, our progress, our thinking, and our vision,” said Henry.
“An important part of the Anvil experiment will be developing and testing new revenue models,” said NITLE Executive Director Joey King. “Our current models, which rely heavily on institutional subsidies, author subventions, and revenue from sales of printed books, are not proving to be sustainable. With Anvil, we intend to explore alternative paths to sustainability as rigorously as we explore new publishing models.”
The program received startup funding from the Brown Foundation, Inc., in Houston, Texas. Stanford University, the University of Virginia, Washington University in St. Louis, Bryn Mawr College, Amherst College, Middlebury College, and Southwestern University will also provide funds and staffing. Anvil Academic Publishing will work closely with innovative programs developed by the University of Michigan, especially MPublishing, and draw on Johns Hopkins University’s exemplary experience with digital humanities project development.
NITLE and CLIR will enlist additional publishers, scholarly societies, librarians, administrators, and faculty from member schools to participate in planning and developing Anvil-forged college and university publishing enterprises. Publishers or collaborators who are interested in collaborating in this effort should contact Anvil Editor-in-Chief Fred Moody (firstname.lastname@example.org).