Guidelines of the Institute of Austrian Historical Research on Digital Matters

The Institute of Austrian Historical Research (IAHR) supports digital technologies as a welcome supplement to its long-standing expertise in the fields of textual criticism, editorial technique, auxiliary sciences of history, and archival science. This applies to both teaching and research as well as including a commitment to the principles of “open access”.
During a collective discussion process lasting around two years (2017–18), the Institute has defined different areas of digital activity and agreed upon corresponding recommendations regarding possible options, or, where this was not possible, at least on sound assessments of the current situation. The following text is a concise version of the results of this process. A comprehensive and more detailed version is made available to the members of the Institute.

1. The IAHR encourages the creation of digital editions. Representing world-class expertise in traditional scholarly editing techniques, the IAHR invites scholars and students to adopt digital techniques wherever the respective effort is justified by the expectable results. The IAHR seeks agreements with publishers that facilitate hybrid publication and with repositories that guarantee long-time preservation of the respective data.

2. The IAHR encourages the creation of databases allowing for the description and indexing of sources and holdings not suitable for full editions. The IAHR seeks agreements with repositories that guarantee long-time preservation of the respective data.

3. The IAHR maintains various publication series (including a journal), some of which will be developed in the direction of hybrid publishing while others will continue to appear in print. The IAHR seeks agreements with publishers and repositories that facilitate secondary publishing.

4. The MA course organized by the IAHR features digital content in the majority of its classes, which range from archival sciences through AV media to scholarly editing techniques. Thanks to a systematic survey among the teaching personnel, this content has been made transparent throughout the respective syllabi and can now be coordinated. If required and appropriate, the IAHR will participate in DH-oriented curricula at the University of Vienna.

5. Other digital matters that concern the IAHR include: the Institute’s website; the Institute’s Social Media channels; the Institute’s infrastructure for scanning and processing digital images; the Institute’s general interest in the digital advancement of auxiliary sciences of history and archival sciences.

6. The IAHR is in exchange / cooperation relating to digital matters with the relevant stakeholders within and outside the University of Vienna—and in and beyond Austria—including: the Austrian Center for Digital Humanities at the Austrian Academy of Sciences; the “Zentrum für Informationsmodellierung” at the University of Graz; Phaidra; various DH research groups at the University of Vienna; the “Monumenta Germaniae Historica”, and many more.