Data Showcases: the Data Journal in a Multimodal World
As an experiment, the Research Data Journal for the Humanities and Social Sciences (RDJ) has temporarily extended the usual format of the online journal with so-called ‘showcases’, separate web pages containing a quick introduction to a dataset, embedded multimedia, interactive components, and facilities to directly preview and explore the dataset described. The aim was to create a coherent hyper document with content communicated via different media (multimodality) and provide space for new forms of scientific publication such as executable papers (e.g. Jupyter notebooks). This paper discusses the objectives, technical implementations, and the need for innovation in data publishing considering the advanced possibilities of today's digital modes of communication. The data showcases experiment proved to be a useful starting point for an exploration of related developments within and outside the humanities and social sciences. It turns out that small-scale experiments are relatively easy to perform thanks to the easy availability of digital technology. However, real innovation in publishing affects organization and infrastructure and requires the joint effort of publishers, editors, data repositories, and authors. It implies a thorough update of the concept of publication and adaptation of the production process. This paper also pays attention to these obstacles to taking new paths.
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