[globaloutlookDH-l] DH Awards

Ernesto Priego efpriego at gmail.com
Wed Feb 5 02:59:15 MST 2014


Hi James,

I gave you my feedback as a user. It's not that I found the lack of links
on the form "problematic", I said I wished there had been links on the
actual form. As someone who works online every day, having to refer back to
different tabs/pages always means extra labour. When you accumulate them,
clicks are time and effort. Perhaps I am very slow and it's just me who
felt I needed to refer back to the form to remember what it was exactly I
was voting for.

You are right that the form does not have all the fields as 'required'.
This is in technical, database terms. If I am presented with a form, I want
to complete it all, even if some questions in it are not compulsory.
Instead of suggesting a user is wrong for having perceived the whole form
had to be completed, perhaps an indicative text or a different design would
help avoid this misconception?
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1gDL-FR6r6il8uhMGcRN2ocjLoiWqEI2Fs06DnAYmbCc/viewform

>>>You seem to be missing the point though. The DH Awards are not primarily
about getting some accurate measure of the 'best' in any of these
categories. To do that would necessitate having individuals vote who
actually could assess these properly and make informed decisions. Since it
is open voting, I agree that this is unlikely. The main point of the DH
Awards is one of awareness.

I am missing the point as an active, informed member of the DH community,
then. I did never suggest that the DH Awards are offering some accurate
measure of the 'best', I was suggesting that allowing voters to categorise
the nominated projects *could* be an alternative to pre-categorising the
projects in advance. However, for many people (dare I say "most people"?)
any awards imply that the best in something is being publicly recognised by
a community of experts or consumers or whatever. Awareness seems to me to
be a positive, but secondary consequence. Many public reactions to the DH
Awards expressed the sentiment that the Awards were creating a "celebrity"
culture around DH. It might be possible that you are underestimating the
reputational element of the DH Awards.

My intention when voting was precisely to assess them properly and make an
informed decision. Maybe I shouldn't have done this? I feel really stupid
now for having taken this so seriously when it fact it wasn't. Logically,
if I wanted to make an informed decision, I needed the time to do it, and
this is I why I suggested that it would be nice if it were stated more
clearly that one can only vote for one category and that's it (however,
projects nominated under just one category are a fair number deserving
proper assessment in my view).

Yo have clarified that the Awards are not about reflecting informed
decisions and hence recognising 'the best' but about creating awareness of
new projects. The About page of the page reads:

>>>This site is dedicated to *Digital Humanities Awards: Recognizing
Excellence in Digital Humanities*.
>>>*Digital Humanities Awards* are a new set of annual awards given in
recognition of talent and expertise in the digital humanities community
and are nominated and voted for entirely by the public. These awards are
intended to help put interesting DH resources in the spotlight and engage
DH users (and general public) in the work of the community.

Perhaps this text could be edited that the projects *nominated* are already
being recognised for their excellence, talent and expertise? As currently
written it suggests to me that the projects that are deemed "excellent" are
those who win. If you don't win, you were not considered "excellent" by the
community of voters.

You have said in your reply that in order to assess which projects are 'the
best' (often interpreted as a synonym of "excellent") the process would
"necessitate individuals vote who actually could assess these properly and
make informed decisions", and that "since it is open voting, I agree that
this is unlikely." It is my view that as currently phrased the information
around the DH Awards gives the impression that the intention is to reflect
informed decisions from the DH community in order to recognize excellence.
I personally don't think the obstacle to this is the open voting, but the
way it has been implemented. Of course there are many positives in the way
it's been implemented, but our focus here is brainstorming how it could be
done better by sharing our feedback as users.

I am posing these issues with a constructive mindset. I understand you have
worked very hard on the DH Awards and it must be hard not to feel
defensive. I know what it's like when one unleashes a project onto the
world and then the world seems only to complain. Like my colleagues who
have participated in this thread we have shared our feedback honestly and
with the best of intentions. I would hate it if you take our feedback
personally. If one takes the time to share this feedback is because we
believe the project is important; it might even be more important for
others than what you as its creator might imagine.

Best regards,

Ernesto






*Dr Ernesto Priego*Lecturer in Library Science
Acting Course Director, MSc/MA Electronic Publishing, City University
London

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On Tue, Feb 4, 2014 at 9:40 PM, James Cummings
<James.Cummings at it.ox.ac.uk>wrote:

> On 04/02/14 18:32, Ernesto Priego wrote:
>
>> Me again. Sorry!
>>
>> Another alternative would be to allow people to vote only for the
>> ones they really know and therefore want to vote for. Does anyone
>> actually know all the projects ? They are a lot... honestly I
>> wonder how many people actually clicked on all the links here
>> http://dhawards.org/dhawards2013/voting/  before voting...
>> Something tells me that having to vote for all the projects means
>> many votes will be given completely at random. Am I alone in
>> thinking this?
>>
>
> I'm sorry you find the lack of links on the actual voting form so
> problematic. I could re-examine this I suppose but the point is you are
> meant to decide on who you are voting for before going to the form.
>
> I don't know where you get the idea that you need to vote for all
> categories...while of course I would encourage that, it is not a
> requirement.  The *only* required fields are name and email address (which
> I use only to track those who seem to think scripting voting is a good
> idea).
>
> You seem to be missing the point though. The DH Awards are not primarily
> about getting some accurate measure of the 'best' in any of these
> categories. To do that would necessitate having individuals vote who
> actually could assess these properly and make informed decisions. Since it
> is open voting, I agree that this is unlikely. The main point of the DH
> Awards is one of awareness. Even if people only look at a very few of the
> resources, or even just see their names in the categories, then there is
> some benefit.  If good resources happen to win in their categories, then
> that is also good. I've already seen this working by having people tell me
> that they had never heard of project X Y or Z until they had seen them in
> the list.
>
>
> -James
>
> --
> Dr James Cummings, James.Cummings at it.ox.ac.uk
> Academic IT Services, University of Oxford
>
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