IRIS edits a special issue

Informatics Scholarship:  Beyond the Research University

  This special issue of Polymath invites contributions considering the accomplishments, status, and future shape of informatics scholarship in the humanities and social sciences at Masters comprehensive universities and undergraduate-intensive liberal arts colleges. Informatics scholarship, which applies digital content as a primary methodology, is poised to become standard practice. This movement is underscored by William Pannapacker, who in his recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, observes, “at this point, the digital humanities are The Thing. There’s no Next about it. And it won’t be long until the digital humanities are, quite simply, ‘the humanities.’”  As informatics scholarship becomes a mainstream scholarly endeavor, finding ways to make digital tools and methodologies accessible beyond the research university has become a priority. Masters comprehensive universities and undergraduate-intensive liberal arts colleges provide new avenues for introducing undergraduates to digital scholarship and for shortening the digital divide–the gaps that occur in technological access and skill for certain members of the population, based on socioeconomic status, race, and region. The digital divide isn’t just experienced by students; monetary limitations, access to technological expertise, and time constraints make it difficult for some scholars to establish or maintain a foothold in the field. This special issue is seeking articles that consider how bringing faculty and students together may be the best method for solving both of these problems. This special issue invites case studies as well as more general meditations that consider any of the following questions or topics related to the development of informatics scholarship at institutions other than the research university.
  • How does research in Informatics Scholarship inform our teaching, and in turn, how does our teaching inform Informatics Scholarship?
  • How does Informatics Scholarship change or challenge the way we teach and learn?
  • How can digital methods encourage interdisciplinarity at these institutions?
  • How does informatics scholarship expand the traditional boundaries of the classroom?
  • What roles can students play in faculty-led research and conceptualization?
  • What ongoing challenges does informatics face at institutions of this level?
Please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words to Jessica DeSpain at  or Kristine Hildebrandt at by September 30, 2012.  We will reply by October 31, 2012 and request that full-length papers of no more than 5,000 words be submitted by February 1, 2013.

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