This website presents information, documents, audio-visual material and resources pertaining to the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded research project ‘Creation and Publication of the “Digital Manual”: Authority, Authorship and Voice.’ The project was undertaken from February to August 2012 by the research team of Dr Penny Travlou (PI) and Dr Smita Kheria (Co-I) based at the University of Edinburgh.
The project studied emergent models of multi-authored digital publications (or ‘digital manuals’). In the digital environment, artists and practitioners routinely co-create computer programs, mobile applications and web-based platforms which function as resources for themselves and others to use and manipulate digital technologies. These resources, particularly when open source, can be then employed for a variety of digital collaborative activities including both creative expression (writing and publishing cross-media content -Fake Press || Art is Open Source; doing a networked performance – UpStage || make-shift) as well as sharing of information and knowledge (documentation on using open source software – FLOSS Manuals, communication of farming practices in small-scale agricultural holdings – Sauti ya Wakulima).
We inquired (through interviews and focus group) why and how these digital resources are created and shared, the nature of communities that develop and use these resources, the power and voice of the persons involved (e.g. any shifts in authority and control, authorship and ownership of the output created by the various types of collaborators) and the role of openness in these activities. The project resulted in a research workshop, a weblog with project documentation and formation of a multi-disciplinary research network of academics and practitioners that aims to further study models of multi-authored digital publications.