3: Building Community
With Creative Commons, scholars can post information online and put a Creative Commons license on it that allows it to be shared in ways the author sees fit. Particularly with the advent of new digital tools for analysis, Creative Commons will allow for the collective advancement of scholarship in ways unimaginable before the Internet. (See a brief explanation here.)
Creating an online presence is not only an important piece of self promotion, but also a critical part of being a connected and engaged scholar. Humanities scholars have come a long way since H-Net (Humanities and Social Sciences Online) was established in 1991. H-Net ran on a listserv model–connecting people through individual email accounts. That early model has since been replaced with tools that are more decentralized and open–replacing a network that had only one hub with many interconnected networks with countless nodes. But the goals of the scholarly community are in many ways the same: to create and foster an open and active place of intellectual exchange. Today, a variety of digital venues are remaking how humanities scholars work and contribute to their field.