Collaboration Statement

From the start of the project we recognized that there are institutional and historical inequities baked into our collaborative interactions and, therefore, we decided to develop transparent strategies to combat institutional barriers and ethical concerns that emerge when conducting collaborative research. We considered existing models of equitable collaboration in the digital humanities including:

We also wanted to set our models within the larger context of Black studies work on structure and power, and we believe it is imperative that Black DH put into practice project team strategies that resist dominant paradigms of exploitation.

Collaboration Values

  1. All work on a project is equally deserving of credit (though the amount of work and expression of credit may differ);
  2. All collaborators should be empowered to take credit for their work;
  3. Projects should default to the most comprehensive model of attribution of credit;
  4. Credit should take the form of a legible trail that articulates the nature, extent, and dates of the contribution;
  5. Your CV is your place for articulating your contribution to a collaboration;
  6. All collaborators should feel empowered to express their contributions honestly and comprehensively; and
  7. Credit for collaborative work should be portable and legible. Collaborators should retain “soft” ownership to the work of the collaboration and be able to continue building on it even if they change institutions or projects.

Collaboration Policies

  • Publications and Conference Presentations:
    • Anyone who collaborated on the project should be listed as author in a fair and representative ordering based on emerging community conventions;
  • Websites/Digital Projects:
    • There should be a prominent project team link on the main page with PIs or project leads listed first. This should include current project participants as well as past participants with their dates of employment;
  • Universities, museums, libraries, and archives:
    • Such structures are locations of creativity and innovation. Intellectual property policies should be equally applied to all employees regardless of employment status; and
  • Grants:
    • Funders should take an aggressive stance on unfair institutional policies that undermine the principles of this bill of rights. Such policies may include inequities in intellectual property rights or the inability of certain classes of employees to serve as PIs.

Best Practices

  • Authorship:
    • Publication authorship defaults to inclusion of entire team;
    • Prior to publication order of names must be discussed;
    • Authorship is expressed in alphabetical order per MLA but may be reordered to show differential work load;
    • Project team is always credited if discussing project as one piece; and
    • Use footnotes to discuss reasons for name order.
  • Students:
    • All student work should be paid; and
    • Graduate and undergraduate students are equal participants during their time devoted to project.
  • Shared Knowledge:
    • Discuss and agree to all grant, conference and publication ventures;
    • Add shared slides and presentation text to team drive on Google.